Many reasons exist for preferring one university over another. Some are objective. For instance, is the school noted for outstanding intellectual accomplishment? Has it produced many famous alumni? How many Nobel Prize winners are on faculty? Does it have substantial resources and a generous endowment? Do its graduates go on to successful careers—are they world leaders in their respective fields? Is the school a springboard to other top degree programs at other top schools?
Other criteria for selecting a university to attend are more subjective. For instance, is the campus in an urban center for those who like life fast paced? Is it out in the country for those who prefer nature’s beauty? Does it have long-standing school traditions that the student finds appealing? Does it have a vibrant campus culture? Does one feel an affinity for its athletic teams and desire to be a fan (or even an athlete on one of the teams)? Does it offer an interesting smorgasbord of extracurricular activities?
Yet one factor that university rankings tend to overlook—despite its huge implications for learning, career, and life—is geography. Namely, where on this planet are you going to pursue your education? Students are frequently bound to a certain geographical subset of the globe on account of family ties, language, economic opportunities, visa limitations, personal preference, healthcare, climate, or any number of other reasons. Whatever your reason for wanting to pursue higher education in a particular geographical area, TheBestSchools.org has, with this article, provided a guidebook for you to find the top university in any nation.
Thus, no matter where you think of going to university, you can have confidence that you’ve identified the best of the best for the nation (or nations) you are considering. This article is a resource that identifies the top university in just about every nation of the world. Only a few countries and sovereign states have been omitted, and that’s because of their small size and limited resources, which do not permit them to sponsor a full-fledged research university (students from such nations typically end up going to university in a neighboring state).
In describing each top university in a given nation, this article first gives a brief and impartial overview of the nation itself. We let the reader know if the nation in question has been harmed by recent war or blessed with economic prosperity, and leave the reader to decide which nation provides the best educational match with one’s interests and values. Although the international renown of these schools varies widely, they are all eminent within their respective spheres of influence (that sphere of influence for some being truly global).
AfghanistanThe American University of Afghanistan
Amidst the political turmoil that surrounds the Middle East, Afghanistan has a unique history and culture to share. Covering an area of 252,000 square miles, including the Silk Road, the country maintains large trade operations with parts of Asia and the rest of the Middle East
Located in Southeastern Europe by the Adriatic and Ionian Seas and approximately 45 miles from Italy through the Strait of Otranto, the country of Albania maintains a parliamentary republic for a population of 2.8 million.
A sovereign state in North Africa on the Mediterranean Coast, Algeria covers an area of 919,595 square miles making it the 10th largest country in the world. The current population is around 40 million.
The population of Angola consists of 24.3 million persons with a diversity of tribal groups and traditions creating an eclectic atmosphere.
ArgentinaThe University of Buenos Aires
Argentina is a federal republic located in southeastern South America. With 1,073,500 square miles of land it is the eighth largest country worldwide and the largest Spanish speaking country.
ArmeniaYerevan State University
With a history of civilization that dates back to the Bronze Age, Armenia claims to be the location of the world’s earliest known leather shoe and the world’s earliest wine-producing facility. The country is located in western Asia and is bordered by Turkey, Georgia, and Iran
AustraliaThe University of Melbourne
With an area of over 2.9 million square miles, Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. This Oceania continent is comprised of the mainland of Australia and several smaller islands.
AustriaUniversity of Vienna
The country of Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. It is landlocked by the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Switzerland
AzerbaijanAzerbaijan State University of Economics
Azerbaijan is a smaller country of just over 33,000 square miles located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bordered by the Caspian Sea, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Iran
BahamasThe College of the Bahamas
Being a tropical island country consisting of 700 islands, cays, and inlets in the Atlantic Ocean, it is of little surprise that a strong tourism and finance economy has made the Bahamas one of the richest countries in the world per capita.
BahrainUniversity of Bahrain
Bahrain is an island country near the Persian Gulf. The current population is approximately 1
BangladeshBangladesh National University
Bangladesh is a South Asia country bordered by India and Myanmar. With a land area just under 57,000 square miles and a population over 168 million, Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world
BelarusBelarusian State University
Belarus is a relatively small landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania. The 80,000 square miles holds a population of approximately 9
The 11,000 square miles which comprise the country of Belgium maintains a population of approximately 11 million citizens. This densely populated sovereign state of Western Europe is home to two main linguistic groups, Dutch and French
BelizeUniversity of Belize
Belize, formally known as British Honduras, is the only country in Central America with an official language of English, though Spanish and Kriol are also spoken. Bordered by Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea, this small country is only 8,800 square miles.
Formally known as Dahomey, the country of Benin is located in West Africa and bordered by Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The 44,000 square miles hold a population of approximately 10.8 million citizens.
A landlocked country in western-central South America, Bolivia is bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Its 400,000 square miles holds a population of 11 million with one third of the country living in the Andean mountain range.
BotswanaUniversity of Botswana
A landlocked country in Southern Africa bordered by Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, Botswana became an independent country within the Commonwealth in 1966. Nearly 70 percent of the 224,000 square miles consists of the Kalahari Desert.
Bosnia and HerzegovinaUniverzitet u Sarajevu (The University of Sarajevu)
Usually abbreviated B&H, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula comprised of nearly 20,000 square miles. The multiethnic population consists of approximately 3
BrazilUniversity of Sao Paulo
A total of 3.2 million square miles of land and a population of over 205 million citizens makes Brazil the fifth largest country in the world and the largest of the Portuguese speaking nations.
Brunei is a small country of just over 2,000 square miles located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. The decline of the country started during the 19th century and ended with Brunei becoming a British protectorate in 1888, until it was able to gain independence again in 1984
Located in southeastern Europe, the 42,000 square miles which comprise the country of Bulgaria are divided into 28 provinces. A unified state of the country can be traced back to 681 AD, however further prehistoric culture in Bulgaria goes back to the Neolithic period
Burkina FasoUniversité de Ouagadougou
Bordered by six other countries, Burkina Faso is a landlocked area of 105,000 square miles in West Africa with a population of just over 17.3 million citizens. Historically known as the Republic of Upper Volta, the country was inhabited by various tribes until French colonization in the 19 century.
Considered part of Central Africa, the history of Burundi is one of struggle and war. Bordered by Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Congo, Burundi has been home to the Twa, Hutu, and Tutsi tribes for the past 500 years.
CambodiaRoyal University of Phnom Penh
Historically known as the Khmer Empire, Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia on the Indochina Peninsula. The 69,800 square miles holds a population of over 15 million citizens, 95 percent of whom practice Theravada Buddhism, the official religion of the country
The 183,000 square miles of Cameroon are also known as ‘Africa in miniature’ for the geological and cultural diversity. Located in Central Africa, the country is home to over 200 various linguistic groups, with French and English being the official languages of government and trade, and more than 22.5 million citizens.
CanadaUniversity of Toronto
The world’s second largest country by total area, Canada’s 3.86 million square miles is divided into 10 provinces and three territories. This northern neighbor of North America has an estimated 36 million citizens.
A small island country of just over 1,500 square miles, Cape Verde is located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Western Africa. The archipelago of 10 volcanic islands was discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century.
Central African RepublicUniversité de Bangui (The University of Bangui)
A landlocked country in Central Africa, this area of 240,000 square miles holds a population of approximately 4.7 million citizens. The country’s current borders were set by France during the 19th century, though the land had been inhabited for millennia prior.
The fifth largest country in Africa, Chad encompasses an area of over 495,000 square miles. The population is estimated at 13.6 million citizens who represent over 200 ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.
ChileUniversity of Chile
Chile is a narrow South American country located between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. Conquered and colonized by Spain in the 16th century, Chile declared its independence in 1818 and has since maintained an extremely stable republic.
The world’s most populous country with 1.38 billion citizens, China is currently governed by the Communist Party, contrary to the previous dynasties which ruled the land for generations
In the northwest of South America lies the 440,000 square miles that comprise the country of Colombia. Discovered by the Spanish in 1499, Colombia gained independence from Spain in 1819 and officially became the Republic of Colombia in 1886.
Congo, Democratic Republic ofUniversité de Kinshasa (The University of Kinshasa)
Previously known as Zaire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in Central Africa. The second largest country in Africa by area, the Congo is comprised of over 905,000 square miles and holds a population of over 81.6 million citizens.
The year round tropical country of Costa Rica is a rapidly developing nation. The 19,000 square miles, once heavily dependent on farming and agriculture, now include an economy of finance, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism.
The 21,000 square miles of Croatia are at a key location between Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. The country also controls over 1,000 islands in the Adriatic Sea coast
Comprising over 42,000 square miles, Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and the second most populated with over 11 million citizens. The country was colonized by Spain in the 15th century and remained so until the Spanish-American war of 1898.
Cyprus is an island country of 3,500 square miles off the coasts of Syria and Turkey. Located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is the third largest and third most populated in the area
Czech RepublicCharles University in Prague
Bordered by Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland, Czech Republic is a unitary parliamentary republic located in Central Europe. The 30,000 square miles holds a population of 10
DenmarkUniversity of Copenhagen
The southernmost of the Nordic countries, Denmark occupies an area of 16,500 square miles. In addition to the proper mainland, Denmark consists of the peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 islands
Also known as the ‘Nature Isle of the Caribbean’ for its natural beauty, the small island country of Dominica, located in the Caribbean Sea, is still being formed by volcanic activity. Colonized in 1493 by French Europeans, the 290 square miles currently holds a population of just over 72,000.
East TimorDili Institute of Technology
Colonized by Portugal in the 16th century, the 5,400 square miles which comprise the country of East Timor are located in Maritime Southeast Asia. East Timor remained under the Portuguese rule until 1975 and the Revolutionary Front for and Independent East Timor
The 109,000 square miles which comprise the country of Ecuador include the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Now a democratic presidential republic, Ecuador was colonized by Spain in the 16th century.
The history and cultural influence of Egypt cannot be overstated with evidence of civilization dating back to the 10th millennium BC. Spanning both the Northeast corner of Africa and the Southwest corner of Asia, Egypt is one of the few transcontinental countries.
El SalvadorUniversidade de El Salvador
With just over 8,000 square miles and a population of 6.38 million citizens, El Salvador has been ranked as the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. Conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century, El Salvador has a history of political and economic instability.
Located in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, Estonia covers over 17,000 square miles including the mainland and more than 2,000 islands and islets in the Baltic Sea. With a population of approximately 1
EthiopiaAddis Ababa University
The 420,000 square miles which comprise Ethiopia are located in the Horn of Africa. This multilingual country is home to more than 100 million citizens and approximately 80 ethnolinguistic groups making it the most populated landlocked country in the world.
Well known for its tourism industry, Fiji is an island county in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean. Comprising a total land area of 7,100 square miles, Fiji has over 330 islands with a population of 858,000 citizens.
FinlandUniversity of Helsinki
Historically an integral part of Sweden, Finland was brought into the Russian Empire in 1809 and was able to declare its independence in 1917 after the Russian Revolution. Being the eighth largest country in Europe in terms of area with over 130,000 square miles, Finland has also been noted to be the most sparsely populated
Encompassing over 248,000 square miles in Western Europe, France has an estimated population of 66.6 million citizens
Located on the west coast of Central Africa, Gabon encompasses an area of 100,000 square miles on the equator. The country holds an estimated 1.5 million citizen population.
The country of Georgia is located between Eastern Europe and West Asia. The cultural and political peak of the country lasted from the last 11th century through the 13th century, after which Georgia entered into alliance with the Russian Empire and saw the rise of civil unrest through the 1990’s
The 137,000 square miles of Germany includes 16 constituent states with a population of approximately 81.5 million citizens, making the country the most populous in the European Union
GhanaUniversity of Ghana
With evidence of civilization stretching millennia into the past, the first permanent state of Ghana dates back to the 11th century. Political turmoil erupted in the 15th century as European powers battled over trading rights.
Located in southeastern Europe, the ancient history of Greece spans millennia. Widely considered to be the cradle of Western civilization, the country was first unified under the rule of Philip of Macedon in the 4th century BC
GrenadaSaint George’s University
Grenada is a small tropical island country consisting of the mainland and six lesser islands in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. The total land space is only 133 square miles which holds a population of approximately 110,000 citizens.
GuatemalaUniversidad Rafael Landívar
Once the focus of the Mayan Civilization in Central America, Guatemala was conquered by Spain in the 16th century. In 1821 independence was attained and Guatemala became part of the Federal Republic of Central America.
Located in West Africa, Guinea is a relatively small country of 94,900 square miles. Home to a population of 10.5 million citizens, there are 24 ethnic groups and 24 indigenous languages recognized with Islam being the predominant religion.
GuyanaUniversity of Guyana
Also known as the ‘Land of many waters’, Guyana is the fourth smallest country in the northern South America mainland encompassing a total of 83,000 square miles. The country was first settled by the Dutch and then came under British control in the 18th century.
Just over 10,000 square miles in size, the country of Haiti can be found on the island of Hispaniola in the archipelago of the Caribbean, a space it shares with the Dominican Republic. With a total of 10.6 million citizens, Haiti is recognized as the most populous country in the Caribbean Community.
Holy See (Vatican City)Pontificia Università Gregoriana
Vatican City is an independent city state comprising 110 acres within the country of Italy. Established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty to guarantee the diplomatic independence of the Pope, Vatican City is considered the smallest state in the world by area and population
Historically, the 43,000 square miles of Honduras were the home of several Mesoamerican cultures, the most notable of which is the Maya. Discovered and conquered by Spain in the 16th century, Roman Catholicism and the Spanish language were blended into the culture.
HungaryEotvos Lorand University
Over the centuries Hungary has been home to several people groups including the Celts, Romans, Huns, and Slavs. The land reached its golden age in the 15th century
The 40,000 square miles of Iceland constitute a geologically and volcanically active Nordic island country located between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. With a population of 332,000 citizens, Iceland is considered the least populated country in Europe
Home of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, the 1.2 million square miles of India located in South Asia now holds a population of 1
Located in Southeast Asia and Oceania, Indonesia is the largest island country in the world by number of islands. Over 258 million citizens inhabit the 14,000 islands of Indonesia making the country the fourth most populous in the world
The 636,000 square miles of Iran located in West Asia comprise the second largest country in the Middle East. Home to 78
Iraq has been the center of various political struggles since the sixth millennium BC. The 169,000 square miles have been a part of the Hellenistic, Parthian, Roman, Umayyad, Mongol, and Ottoman empires, to name but a few
IrelandTrinity College Dublin
The second largest island of the British Isles with 6.4 million citizens, Ireland is divided between Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdome and the Republic of Ireland which covers the majority of the land
The 8,000 to 8,500 square miles which comprise the nation of Israel are perhaps the most disputed lands in history. Since Biblical times Israel has seen political turmoil and the consecutive overpowering from nations including ancient Babylon, Rome, and the Ottoman Empire
A center of history and culture, Italy consists of 116,000 square miles and is home to a population of 61 million citizens. The capital city of Rome was the conquering power through the ancient world and was the center of innovation during the Renaissance period
The 124,000 square miles of the Ivory Coast are located in West Africa. In 1843 the land became a protectorate of France and in 1893 became a full colony.
As the fourth largest island country in the Caribbean Sea and the fourth most populous, Jamaica consists of just over 4,000 square miles and contains the states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The land was brought under Spanish rule in 1494 until England conquered Jamaica in 1655.
JapanUniversity of Tokyo
Consisting of 145,000 square miles, the island country of Japan is located in East Asia in the Pacific Ocean. The 6,852 strato-volcanic islands are divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions
JordanUniversity of Jordon
Jordon is in many ways at the center of the world. It sits at the crossroads between Africa, Europe, and Asia
KazakhstanAl-Farabi Kazakh National University
With just over one million square miles of land, Kazakhstan is recognized as the world’s largest landlocked country by area. Located in Eurasia between Eastern Europe and northern Central Asia, Kazakhstan was historically occupied by various nomadic tribes
The 224,000 square miles of Kenya overlies the East African Rift along the line of the equator. Evidence of human civilization in the country can be traced back to the Lower Paleolithic period. European and Arab influence first appeared in the Early Modern period.
Korea, NorthPyongyang University of Science and Technology
After World War II the nation of Korea was divided into the Norther and Southern zones by the United States of America and the Soviet Union with the Americans occupying the south and the Soviets in the north. The country describes itself as a socialist state, though many accuse North Korea of being a totalitarian dictatorship
Korea, SouthSeoul National University
After World War II, South Korea came under the jurisdiction of the United States of America. The land is now considered the best developed in East Asia with the most advanced democracy
Located in Western Asia, the 6,800 square miles of Kuwait were historically home to fishing villages. By the 1700’s the country had become a major trading route and was well known for its shipping industry
KyrgyzstanKyrgyz Russian Slavic University
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country comprising 77,000 square miles and an approximate population of 5.7 million citizens
Located on the Indochinese peninsula of Southeast Asia, Laos is a landlocked country comprising 91,000 square miles and a population of 6.8 million citizens
Located in Northern Europe, Latvia is one of the three Baltic States bordered by Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, and Estonia with which it shares a common history. The nearly 25,000 square miles of Latvia are divided into 118 administrative areas which include 109 municipalities and nine cities
Bordered by Syria and Israel, Lebanon consists of just over 4,000 square miles of land on the Asia continent. The country contains evidence of human civilization from before written history
Lesotho National University of Lesotho
Completely landlocked and surrounded by South Africa, the country of Lesotho consists of 11,500 square miles and is home to just over two million citizens.
LiberiaUniversity of Liberia
Located on the West African coast, Liberia is known as the oldest republic on the continent and the only country in Africa to have gained independence without revolt.
Comprising 700,000 square miles of land, Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa. Located in the northern portion of the continent, the land was ruled by Persians, Egyptians, and Greeks before becoming part of the Roman Empire.
Liechtenstein comprises a total of only 62 square miles of beautiful alpine country which are divided into 11 municipalities. Bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north, Liechtenstein is a landlocked German speaking microstate in Central Europe
Located in Northern Europe, Lithuania is one of the three Baltic States east of Sweden and Denmark. Inhabited by the Baltic tribes for centuries, the land was united in the 1230’s by King Mindaugas
LuxembourgUniversité de Luxembourg
The landlocked country of Luxembourg in Western Europe is bordered by Belgium, Germany, and France and comprises two main regions: Oesling in the North and the Gutland in the South. The neighboring invasions and treaties have led to a strong mixture of the French and German culture within the 998 square miles of land
Current day Macedonia is located in the Southern Europe Balkan peninsula. Formerly part of Yugoslavia from which it declared independence in 1991, Macedonia consists of 9,700 square miles and is home to 506,000 citizens
Off the coast of Southeast Africa in the Indian Ocean is the island country of Madagascar. Comprising over 226,000 square miles and a population of 22.4 million citizens, the island is the fourth largest in the world.
MalawiUniversity of Malawi
Formally known as Nyasaland, the 45,000 square miles of Malawi have been nicknamed the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’.
MalaysiaUniversity of Malaya
The 127,000 square miles of Malaysia in Southeast Asia are comprised of 13 states and three federal territories. The country came under the rule of the British Empire during the 18th century and was restructured in 1948 to create the Federation of Malaya
Mali is the eight largest country in the continent of Africa. It holds a population of 14.5 million. Most of the population consists of non-denominational Muslims.
MaltaUniversity of Malta
One of the smallest and most densely populated islands in the world, Malta is comprised of 122 square miles of land 50 miles south of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. As a Southern European Island country, the land has historically been of great strategic importance for the naval bases of various nations over the centuries
MauritaniaUniversité de Nouakchott
Located in the western area of North Africa, Mauritania comprises 397,000 square miles of land bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.
MauritiusUniversity of Mauritius
Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean 1,200 miles off the southeast coast of Africa. The land includes the island of Rodrigues and some disputed outer islands, mainly Agalega and St. Brandon.
Bordered by the United States, the Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico, the county of Mexico is comprised of 760,000 square miles divided into 31 states and one Federal District, making it the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area.
The 13,000 square miles of Moldova are landlocked by Romania and the Ukraine. This Eastern European country declared independence in 1991 after the break down of the Soviet Union
Though Monaco is less than one square mile in size, it holds a population of 37,800 citizens making it the world’s second smallest, but most densely populated area. This sovereign microstate is located in West Europe on the French Riviera
MongoliaNational University of Mongolia
Mongolia is the world’s second largest landlocked country. Located in East Asia, the country is bordered by China and Russia
Montenegro, meaning ‘Black Mountain’, consists of 5,300 square miles. Located in Southeastern Europe the country consisted of three principalities in the ninth century, Duklja, Travunia, and Rascia
MoroccoAl Akhawayn University
Characterized by mountainous terrain and large portions of desert, Morocco consists of 172,000 square miles in North Africa. The country is one of only three with a coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Located in Southeast Africa, Mozambique was for centuries under the rule of the Portuguese. In 1975 Mozambique gained independence but descended into civil war between 1977 and 1992.
Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia with a third of the country being bordered by the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. After centuries of various rulers, Myanmar was conquered by the British in the 19th century and became a British colony
NamibiaUniversity of Namibia
A southern African country, Namibia was historically inhabited by the San, Damara, and Namaqua people. The 318,000 square miles which comprise the country came under the rule of the German Empire in the 19th century and then South Africa.
Located in South Asia along the Himalayas are the 56,000 square miles of Nepal. This landlocked country bordered by China and India contains eight of the ten tallest mountains in the world including the tallest, Mount Everest
Translated as the ‘lower countries’, the Netherlands are located in Western Europe and claim dominion over three islands in the Caribbean. With only about 50 percent of the 16,000 square miles above sea level, the Netherlands are fertile and mild in climate
New ZealandUniversity of Auckland
New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean which consists of 103,000 square miles broken down into two main land masses, the North Island and the South Island.
In the 16th century the Spanish empire conquered what is now the country of Nicaragua. Consisting of 50,000 square miles in the Central American isthmus, it is the largest country in the area.
Encompassing over 489,000 square miles, Niger is the largest landlocked country in western Africa. More than 80 percent of the country is comprised of the Sahara Desert.
NigeriaUniversity of Lagos
Encompassing over 356,000 square miles and home to more than 182 million citizens, Nigeria is recognized as the most populous country in Africa.
NorwayUniversity of Oslo
Located on the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, the country of Norway includes the island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard. The country also claims dominion over part of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land
Located in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman comprises a territory of over 119,000 square miles. The capital city of Muscat has been recognized as one of the most important trading ports in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean
Located in South Asia, the current day Pakistan covers an area of 340,000 square miles. The country was uniquely created in 1947 in the name of Islam as an independent nation for Muslims
One of the most disputed areas in the Middle East, the State of Palestine claims the land of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as the capital. The Palestine Liberation Organization declared the areas independence in 1988, however much of the land has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967
Located in Central America, the 28,000 square miles of Panama were historically inhabited by indigenous tribes until the land was conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. In 1821 Panama broke from Spanish rule and joined the Republic of Gran Colombia.
Papua New GuineaDivine Word University
One of the least explored areas left in the world, the 178,000 square miles of Papua New Guinea comprise the eastern half of the island of New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean, just north of Australia.
ParaguayUniversidad Nacional de Asunción
Located in the middle of central South America, Paraguay has also been called the ‘Heart of South America’. This landlocked country of 157,000 square miles was historically ruled by the Spanish Empire.
Originally home of ancient empires such as the Inca’s, Peru was conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. Located in western South America, the 496,000 square miles declared independence from Spain in 1821.
PhilippinesUniversity of the Philippines
An island country in Southeast Asia, the Philippines consists of more than 7,000 islands in the western Pacific Ocean on the Ring of Fire. The 115,000 square miles are prone to natural disasters due to the location; however, there are also many natural resources and some of the greatest biodiversity
Comprising an area of over 120,000 square miles in Central Europe, Poland has been ranked the ninth largest country in Europe. Additionally, the population of more than 38
PortugalUniversity of Lisbon
Portugal is located in Southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Comprised of 35,000 square miles, the country is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Spain
Qatar University – On the coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia is the relatively small country of Qatar. Bordering Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, the 4,400 square miles of land were historically ruled by the Ottoman Empire before becoming a British protectorate in the 20th century
The 92,000 square miles of Romania are located in Southeast Europe. The country’s current borders were established in 1859 after the union of the two Danubian principalities Moldavia and Wallachia
RussiaMoscow State University
Recognized as the largest country in the world, Russia is comprised of 6.6 million square miles which span 11 time zones
RwandaUniversity of Rwanda
Comprising just over 10,000 square miles, Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Located slightly south of the equator, the subtropical country has a growing tourism business, as it is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely.
Saint Kitts and NevisWindsor University School of Medicine
Saint Kitts and Nevis comprise a two-island country located in the West Indies. With only 54,000 citizens in a total area of 104 square miles, the country is the smallest in terms of both area and population in the Americas.
The independent country of Samoa occupies the western half of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Samoa itself consists of two main islands, Savai’l and Upolu, and four smaller islands, covering a total area of just over 1,000 square miles.
Saudi ArabiaKing Abdulaziz University
An Arab state located in Western Asia, Saudi Arabia consists of 830,000 square miles making it the fifth largest country in Asia. Historically consisting of four distinct regions, the land was united in 1932 by Ibn Saud who founded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
SenegalUniversité Cheikh Anta Diop
Inhabited by various tribes over the millennia, a more organized kingdom in Senegal started to emerge in the seventh century. During the 15th century European colonization began which switched to French rule in the 19th century.
SerbiaUniversity of Belgrade
Serbia is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. During the middle ages the Serbs founded several states that would be recognized as the Serbian Kingdom in 1217 by Rome and Constantinople
SeychellesUniversity of Seychelles
Consisting of 115 islands, the country of Seychelles is an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar. With 93,000 citizens Seychelles is noted to have the smallest population of the independent African nations.
Sierra LeoneNjala University
A West African country, Sierra Leone consists of more than 27,000 square miles divided into four major geographical regions which are further allocated into 14 districts.
SingaporeNational University Singapore
National University Singapore – Also known as the Garden City, the Lion City, and the Red Dot, Singapore is a unique island city-state in Southeast Asia. Consisting of the main land and 62 islets, the 278 square miles have been settled since the second century AD and are now home to 5
Slovak RepublicSlovenská Technická Univerzita v Bratislave
During the fifth and sixth centuries, the people group called the Slaves settled the land now known as the Slovak Republic. Before becoming an independent nation, the land was conquered by the Kingdom of Hungary during the 10th century
SloveniaUniversity of Ljubljana
Known for its dense river network and rich aquifer systems, Slovenia consists of nearly 8,000 square miles located in southern Central Europe. The area is a mix of culture and languages including Slavic, Germanic, Romance, and Hungarian, with Slovene being the official language of government and trade throughout the country
Solomon IslandsSolomon Islands National University
To the east of Papua New Guinea in Oceania lays the six major islands and 900 smaller islands which comprise the Solomon Island nation. Inhabited for centuries, the 11,000 square miles were first visited by Europeans in 1568.
The history of Somalia is filled with political tension and social instability. Over the centuries the land has been constantly fought over and ruled by various powers including the Ajuran Empire, the Adal Sultanate, and the nation of Italy.
South AfricaUniversity of Cape Town
Located at the southern-most tip of the African continent, South Africa comprises an area of over 471,000 square miles.
The land now known as South Sudan has an extensive history of political tension. Historically, the area has been governed by the Muhammad Ali Dynasty and the Anglo-Egyptian condominium.
The unified country of Spain emerged during the 15th century and rapidly grew into one of the first global empires. With over 500 million Spanish speakers in the world, the influence of the culture is comparable to any historical rival
Sri LankaUniversity of Colombo
Originally known as Ceylon, the island country of Sri Lanka located in South Asia declared its independence from British rule in 1972. The current constitution of Sri Lanka was adopted in 1978
In 2011 when South Sudan declared independence as a separate nation, Sudan went from the largest country in Africa to the third largest with over 728,000 square miles of land.
On the Atlantic coast of northeastern South America lays the smallest country in the continent. The 64,000 square miles of Suriname were highly disputed by various European powers until the conquering of the Dutch empire in the 17th century.
SwazilandUniversity of Swaziland
Just over 6,700 square miles in size, Swaziland is one of the smallest countries on mainland Africa. Despite its small size, the country has a nice diversity of landscapes and climates.
By area, Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union with over 173,000 square miles divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. Inhabited for decades by various Germanic peoples and tribes, it was not until the Middle Ages when Sweden developed into an independent and unified land
Located on the northern border of Italy, Switzerland is a landlocked country in Central and Western Europe. The history of the Swiss Confederation dates back to 1291
Though the modern boundaries for Syria were established after World War I, the capital city of Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Located in Western Asia, Syria is comprised of more than 71,000 square miles divided into 14 governorates which are further divided into 61 districts
One of the most densely populated countries in the world, Taiwan is comprised of nearly 14,000 square miles with 23.4 million people
TajikistanTajik State Medical University
Landlocked in Central Asia, Tajikistan is comprised of 55,300 square miles of mountainous terrain. The land has been home to numerous people groups and cultures over the centuries and has been subject to the rule of many empires including the Sassanian Empire, the Timuid dynasty, and the Russian Empire
TanzaniaUniversity of Dar es Salaam
The 365,000 square miles of Tanzania are located in Eastern Africa. The land contains Africa’s highest mountain and three of Africa’s great lakes.
Located in the middle of the Indochinese peninsula in mainland Southeast Asia lays the 198,000 square miles of Thailand. Home to over 66 million people, the country is governed by the National Council for Peace and Order headed by King Bhumibol Adulyadei
One of the smaller countries in Africa, the nation of Togo is comprised of just over 22,000 square miles. Being a tropical area with an abundance of fertile ground, there is a strong reliance on agriculture to stimulate the economy and sustain the citizens.
Trinidad and TobagoUniversity of the West Indies, St. Augustine
The twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago occupy an area of just under 2,000 square miles off the northern border of South America. Under Spanish rule since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498, Trinidad and Tobago declared independence in 1962 and established a republic in 1976.
TunisiaUniversité de Tunis El Manar
One of the northern most countries in Africa, the nation of Tunisia is comprised of more than 64,000 square miles. Since 146 BC the land was ruled by the Roman Empire until the first century when the Arabs conquered Tunisia.
Bordered by eight other countries and three bodies of water, Turkey operates as a significant crossroad between Europe and Asia. With history dating back to the Paleolithic age, Turkey has been under the rule of many nations and empires
Uganda is a landlocked country comprised of 93,000 square miles located in East Africa near the African Great Lakes region. Inhabited by Bantu-speaking people groups for centuries, the land was established as a British protectorate in 1894.
Recognized as the largest country entirely within the European continent, Ukraine is comprised of more than 233,000 square miles. The country is also said to be the world’s largest exporter of grain
United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates University
The United Arab Emirates nation was established in 1971. There are seven emirates, each individually governed by an absolute monarch, which comprise the Federal Supreme Council
United KingdomUniversity of Cambridge
The United Kingdome consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The British Empire has been considered the largest in history with extensive influence of culture, government, and language worldwide
United StatesHarvard University
Comprised of 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the third largest country in the world by total area. The federal republic is composed of 50 states and five major territories. Home to more than 320 million people, the land is also the third most populous in the world.
Uruguay is a small nation nestled in-between Argentina and Brazil. It is probably the most culturally European of the various South American nations. It has a stable economy, working health care, and a first world standard of living.
Located in Central Asia, Uzbekistan is comprised of 172,000 square miles divided into 12 provinces, one autonomous republic, and one capital city. Throughout history the land has been ruled by the Timurid Empire and then the Eastern Turkic nomads
VenezuelaUniversidad de Los Andes
Located on the northern coast of South America, Venezuela is comprised of more than 353,000 square miles divided into 23 states. Conquered by Spain in 1522, the country was one of the first Spanish-American countries to declare independence from Spain.
Located in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula. The 128,000 square miles were under the rule of Imperial China for over a millennium until the 19th century when first the French Empire prevailed and then the Japanese in the 1940’s
Comprised of more than 203,000 square miles, including over 200 islands, Yemen is the second largest country on the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. The land has been ruled by various empires over the centuries including the Himyarite Kingdom, the Rasulid dynasty, and was divided between the British and Ottoman Empires in the 20th century
ZambiaThe University of Zambia
The 290,000 square miles of Zambia are landlocked in Southern Africa. Historically home to the Khoisan tribe, European explorers entered the country during the 18th century. Near the end of the 19th century Zambia became a British protectorate.
ZimbabweThe University of Zimbabwe
During the 1800’s the British South Africa Company established the current borders of Zimbabwe and called the land ‘Rhodesia’. In 1979 the name of the country was changed to Zimbabwe Rhodesia after Muzorewa became the new prime minister.