Portal:Countries

The Countries Portal

The marked territories on this global map are mostly of countries which are sovereign states with full international recognition (brackets denote the country of a marked territory that is not a sovereign state). Some territories are countries in their own right but are not recognized as such (e.g. Taiwan), and some few marked territories are disputed about which country they belong to (e.g. Kashmir) or if they are countries in their own right (e.g. Western Sahara (territory) or the state known by the same name).

A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state, nation, or other political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, the country of Japan is an independent, sovereign state, while the country of Wales is a component of a multi-part sovereign state, the United Kingdom. A country may be a historically sovereign area (such as Korea), a currently sovereign territory with a unified government (such as Senegal), or a non-sovereign geographic region associated with certain distinct political, ethnic, or cultural characteristics (such as the Basque Country).

The definition and usage of the word "country" is flexible and has changed over time. The Economist wrote in 2010 that "any attempt to find a clear definition of a country soon runs into a thicket of exceptions and anomalies." Most sovereign states, but not all countries, are members of the United Nations.

The largest country by area is Russia, while the smallest is the microstate Vatican City. The most populous is China, while the Pitcairn Islands are the least populous. (Full article...)

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Flag of Nauru.svg

Nauru (/nɑːˈr/ nah-OO-roo or /ˈnr/ NOW-roo; Nauruan: Naoero), officially the Republic of Nauru (Nauruan: Repubrikin Naoero) and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country and microstate in Oceania, in the Central Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba of Kiribati, about 300 km (190 mi) to the east. It further lies northwest of Tuvalu, 1,300 km (810 mi) northeast of Solomon Islands, east-northeast of Papua New Guinea, southeast of the Federated States of Micronesia and south of the Marshall Islands. With only a 21 km2 (8.1 sq mi) area, Nauru is the third-smallest country in the world behind Vatican City and Monaco, making it the smallest republic as well as the smallest island nation. Its population of about 10,000 is the world's second-smallest (not including colonies or overseas territories), after Vatican City.

Settled by people from Micronesia circa 1000 BCE, Nauru was annexed and claimed as a colony by the German Empire in the late 19th century. After World War I, Nauru became a League of Nations mandate administered by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. During World War II, Nauru was occupied by Japanese troops, and was bypassed by the Allied advance across the Pacific. After the war ended, the country entered into United Nations trusteeship. Nauru gained its independence in 1968, and became a member of the Pacific Community (PC) in 1969. (Full article...)

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Countries by handedness of road traffic, c. 2020
  ↑↓ Left-hand traffic
  ↓↑ Right-hand traffic

Left-hand traffic (LHT) and right-hand traffic (RHT) are the practices, in bidirectional traffic, of keeping to the left side or to the right side of the road, respectively. They are fundamental to traffic flow, and are sometimes referred to as the rule of the road. The terms right- and left-hand drive refer to the position of the driver and the steering wheel in the vehicle and are, in automobiles, the reverse of the terms right- and left-hand traffic. The rule also extends to where on the road a vehicle is to be driven, if there is room for more than one vehicle in the one direction, as well as the side on which the vehicle in the rear overtakes the one in the front. For example, a driver in an LHT country would typically overtake on the right of the vehicle being overtaken.

RHT is used in 165 countries and territories, with the remaining 75 countries and territories using LHT. (Full article...)
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Flag of Jamaica.svg

Jamaica (/əˈmkə/ (listen); Jamaican Patois: Jumieka) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola (the island containing the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic); the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands lies some 215 kilometres (134 mi) to the north-west.

Originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Many of the indigenous people either were killed or died of diseases, after which the Spanish brought large numbers of African slaves to Jamaica as labourers. The island remained a possession of Spain until 1655, when England (later Great Britain) conquered it, renaming it Jamaica. Under British colonial rule Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with a plantation economy dependent on the African slaves and later their descendants. The British fully emancipated all slaves in 1838, and many freedmen chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations. Beginning in the 1840s, the British began using Chinese and Indian indentured labour to work on plantations. The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. (Full article...)
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