What counts and why

We're counting countries, right? It only works if we are only working from the same list. But ask experts how many countries there are in the world and you'll get a lot of different answers. You'll also stir up plenty of controversy.

Think about it ... England, Scotland, Wales, or the United Kingdom? The People's Republic of China and Taiwan? (they both claim there is only one China, and each says they're it!). The Palestinian Territories? Western Sahara?

See the problem? Well, the team at Country Counter has made the call, and we're not going to please everyone.
Here goes ...

UN Member States   193
UN Observer States *   2
Kosovo **   1
Total   196

* The Holy See (Vatican City) and the Palestinian Territories both have Observer Status at the UN so we're counting them. While we're alive to the controversies we're travellers, not diplomats.
** Ok, so this is more contentious. But 108 of the 193 member states of the UN now recognise Kosovo. That's more than half the world's states and that's good enough for us. We're counting it!

So this leaves lots of places where sovereignty is disputed (eg South Ossetia) or where the territory belongs to someone else (eg New Caledonia). Many are fabulous places and you won't want to miss them, others ... not so much! We've listed most of them under the ambiguous category of "Territories". When you select a Territory a prompt will appear that explains which sovereign state the Territory belongs to and offers you the opportunity to add that Territory to your Territory list. Of course, it's always up to you if you wish to add the sovereign state as well.

Travellers, its the best we could do!

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