Society

Countries With Fewer Than 100,000 People

Vatican City is not only the world's smallest sovereign state, but also the world's least populated.

With a world’s population estimated at just over 7.7 billion people, it is usually expected that the population of a country to be in millions or at least hundreds of thousands. However, some countries and dependent territories have a very low population. According to the United Nations projection and national estimates, up to 13 countries have fewer than 100,000 people. China is the most populous country in the world with 1.4 billion people followed by India with 1.3 billion people. On the tail-end of the list of countries by population is the Vatican City with just 799 people. Below are some of the countries with fewer than 100,000 people.

Countries with Fewer than 100,000 People

Vatican City

Vatican City is an enclave of Rome with the Pope as the head. The city-state is not only the smallest sovereign country by land area but also by population. It covers an area of approximately 0.17 square miles and has a population of about 799 people. The majority of the citizens are either clergy who work in service in the Holy See while others are mainly Swiss Guards. Additionally, 2,400 lay workers work in the Vatican but reside out of the country.

Tuvalu

Tuvalu is an island county in the Pacific Ocean located between Hawaii and Australia. It consists of three reef islands and six atolls covering a total area of approximately 10 square miles. According to the 2018 national estimates, Tuvalu has a population of 10,200 people, representing 0.000132% of the world’s population. The majority of the population is of Polynesian ethnicity with only 6% being Micronesian.

Nauru

The Republic of Nauru is an island country in Central Pacific, covering an area of approximately 8.1 square miles. It is the world’s third-smallest country after Monaco and Vatican City and the smallest island state and republic. Nauru has a population of about 11,000 people. Ethnic Nauruan accounts for 58% of the population while 26% are Pacific islanders. Other major ethnic groups on the island are Han Chinese and Europeans.

Palau

Palau is also an island country in the Pacific Ocean, comprising of about 340 islands. It covers an area of approximately 180 square miles, with Koror as the largest island. According to the 2018 national population estimates, the population of Palau is approximately 17,900 people down from 21,000 people in 2000. Although the country has 340 islands, most of these islands are uninhabited. Ngerulmud, the capital of Palau, is located on the island of Babeldaod.

San Marino

San Marino is an enclaved state surrounded by Italy and covering an area of approximately 24 square miles. Its population of approximately 33,354 people is the smallest of any member of the Council of Europe. The largest ethnic group in San Marino is the Sammarinese while the majority of the foreign residents are Italians. Italian is the primary language spoken in the country while Romagnol is also widely spoken.

Other Countries with Fewer than 100,000 people

Other countries with fewer than 100,000 people are Monaco (38,300), Liechtenstein (38,380), Saint Kitts and Nevis (52,823), Marshall Islands (55,500), Dominica (71,808), Andorra (76,177), Antigua and Barbuda (96,453), and Seychelles (97,625).

​Factors that Have Contributed to the Minute Population

The geographic location, small land area, and harsh climate are some of the factors responsible for the small population of the countries discussed above. Most of these countries are island countries that are geographically isolated from other countries, making it difficult for most people to access them. The small land area restricts the population to only a small number. Harsh weather and natural disasters such as hurricane and earthquakes have also discouraged people from settling in some of these countries.

Countries With Fewer Than 100,000 People

RankCountryPopulation
1 Seychelles97,625
2 Antigua and Barbuda96,453
3 Andorra76,177
4 Dominica71,808
5 Marshall Islands55,500
6 Saint Kitts and Nevis52,823
7 Liechtenstein38,380
8 Monaco38,300
9 San Marino33,524
10 Palau17,900
11 Nauru11,000
12 Tuvalu10,200
13 Vatican City799

About the Author

  • John Misachi
  • Writer

John Misachi is a seasoned writer with 5+ years of experience. His favorite topics include finance, history, geography, agriculture, legal, and sports. 

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