Country List


So, what makes a country?

According to the UN, there are 193 of them that are members. I think pretty much everyone agrees that Vatican City is also a country even though it chooses to not belong to the UN, so that makes 194.  I’m also counting Palestine (recognized by 130 UN members) and Kosovo (recognized by 92 UN members) now. Also, I decided to add Taiwan this year, which is recognized by 21 UN members. So, total of 197.

The Travelers Century Club, a club for extreme travel nerds, takes things a step farther, and lists places that are geographically distinct, separated from their parent country, etc, giving them a list of 321. I have some real problems with this list, mainly because it includes Hawaii, Alaska, Siberia, etc as countries.

I decided to settle on my own list which is the UN list of 193 (197 with my additions)  plus another 24 that I consider quasi-independent places based on a combination of criteria:

  1. They have independent border control regimes – you must face a passport check coming from the UN parent
  2. The place is disputed by the government in de facto control, and the UN parent claiming it
  3. It uses a different currency than its UN parent
  4. It is so far removed/distinct from its parent that you just have to call it an “independent place” (yes, this is subjective…) – I’ll probably add to this going forward…Greenland is the obvious first one in this group, but places like St. Helena and the Falklands come to mind…feel free to start a debate.

If it meets one of these criteria, it goes on my independent place list.

Current Status:

197 of 197 Countries Visited **COMPLETE**

212 of 222 Independent Places Visited

252 of 325 Travelers Century Club Places Visited


The List of 196 Countries (Plus 25 Independent Places in Parenthesis):


Complete:  Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sāo Tomé e Principé, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Not Complete:  (Somalia – Non-Somaliland),  (Western Sahara)


Complete:  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, (Hong Kong), India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, (Macau), Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

Australia and Pacific:

Complete:  Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, (New Caledonia), New Zealand, Palau,  Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Not Complete:  (Cook Islands), (Niue), (Tokelau)

Central America and Caribbean:

Complete:  (Anguilla), Antigua and Barbuda, (Aruba), Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, (Bonaire), (Cayman Islands), Costa Rica, Cuba, (Curacao), Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

Europe and Central Asia:

Complete:  (Abkhazia), Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYR of Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, (Gibraltar), Greece, (Greenland), (Guernsey), Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, (Isle of Man), Italy, (Jersey), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monoco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, (Transdniester), Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vatican City

Not Complete:  (Nagorno-Karabakh), (South Ossetia)

Middle East and North Africa:

Complete:  Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirate, Yemen

North America:

Compete:  Canada, Mexico, United States

Not Complete:  (Bermuda)

South America

Complete:  Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela

Not Complete:  (Falkland Islands)

  20 Responses to “Country List”

  1. I have some serious work ahead of me to make it anywhere near your list above. Currently traveling mostly for work, and seeing some places that I would have never visited on my own. Presently in Dubai.

    Was in Saudi Arabia last year – don’t rush to cross that one off your list.

    Where in the Marshall Islands did you go? I presume Majuro? I was able to hop over to Kwajalein and Ebeye two years ago for work, both interesting places to visit for a short period.

  2. […] blogger Jason @ Jason is a thirty-something travel addict who has visited 124 countries and counting. Not only has he travelled the globe but he has been to some very remote and ‘off the beaten […]

  3. Interesting you don’t count the falkland islands and gibralter, but do count jersey and guernsey.

    Own currency (pegged to GBP like jersey)
    Own borders
    Own parliament
    Own judiciary

    For Palestine, would you count the west bank (no border controls, no currency), or just gaza (has borders, independent government from the west bank with judicery and law making abilities)

    Obviously west bank is easy to visit- just get a taxi from TLV to Jerusalem and you cross it. Bethlehem is hardly off the beaten track. Gaza is a nightmare to visit.

  4. […] blogger Jason @ Jason is a thirty-something travel addict who has visited 124 countries and counting. Not only has he travelled the globe but he has been to some very remote and ‘off the beaten […]

  5. Very impressive list of travels — I’ve got a lot of catching up to do! I did notice two things that might merit correction: (1) I did not see Tahiti listed, though I think it would meet at least 3 of your criteria (currency, borders, governance); and (2) I think UK, not England, would be a more appropriate designation. Anyway, safe travels!

  6. I would count countries a little differently but I do understand that there’s a problem for a definitive list. Consider that the Republic of China on Taiwan is a country. Also consider East Germany as a former country which counts if you visited while it existed. Gibraltar is not a country but a distinct entity as is Hong Kong, Greenland, Pitcairn Island, etc. Good luck!

  7. […] blogger Jason @ Jason is a thirty-something travel addict who has visited 124 countries and counting. Not only has he travelled the globe but he has been to some very remote and ‘off the beaten […]

  8. […] palatakseni – vaikka en ihan fanita hänen sivujensa tummaa yleisilmettä, niin pidän hänen maalistaussivustaan, jossa on samalla sivulla linkit tehtyihin matkoihin ja matkasuunnitelmiin. Ehkä jonain päivänä […]

  9. […] ja alueiden lisäksi tällä sivulla on myös hiukan tulevia hahmotelmiamme per alue.Tavoittelimme Jason Around the World -blogin tapaista yhteenvetoa kaikesta, mutta ensimmäinen toteutuksemme ei sisällä vielä ihan kaikkea tuosta eikä sen […]

  10. How about Antarctica, South Georgia, Falklands, Australian sub antarctic islands???

  11. “England”? I assume you mean the UK, as you haven’t listened Wales and Scotland (both of which have different parliaments, and Scotland has its own currency) separately.

  12. Hey Jason,

    Cool list! Just curious, why did you include islands such as Bonaire, Bermuda, and Falklands but not, say, Turks and Caicos or Guam?

  13. Great job. The amateur radio list of “DXCC entities” is a bit different (the TCC is based somewhat on this), and runs higher–340. See

    That includes some very remote islands that are part of larger “countries”, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in Rome, the British bases in Cyprus, Guantanamo, etc. Antarctica, which I got to in January (very small ship from Ushuaia–big ones don’t let you land) counts under TCC for each of the claimant countries but under the DXCC radio rules is one “entity”. (Though a few claimed islands are separate.) It’s a fun topic to play with, and good for you getting to so many!

    My count: My TCC is 109 (2 more coming up). As for working DXCC on my ham station–272. I’ve a PhD in geography so always enjoy these discussions. There’s no simple answer, but they are fun.

  14. Jason,
    Please let me know the fixer for crossing the Mauritania border. I got the list of countries from your posting. Again great job. My friends think, I am a crazy traveler (140 countries). But I always tell them if I am 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, I have seen fellow travelers who are 20 on 10. Please keep me posted.
    All the best for rest of the journeys.

    With Regards
    Chandra Bharadwaj

  15. Also, for those (of us) who have travelled for a while; what about collapsed countires? I have been to East Germany, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia while they existed. Do they count, or do you have to go back to add new countires to your list? They were all members of the UN while they existed.

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