Youngest Countries in the World

8 of the Youngest Countries in the World

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The world’s countries come in all shapes, sizes, landscapes, and ages. Each of the 194 universally recognized countries in the world brings to the table an incredibly storied, rich history that is worth exploring. From the architecture, the peoples, the culture, the cuisine, and everything in between. It provides so much material for the curious minds and the world travelers who seek to enrich their life’s experiences and broaden their horizons.

Of those 194, there are some countries you could call babies at the world’s table filled with elders. These older countries have seen battles, regime changes, catastrophic disasters, both natural and manmade.

Today, we’re going to recognize those infant countries that sit at the kid’s table because they bring history and culture that’s just as important. So, let’s take a look at the youngest countries that the world has to offer us!

8. Czech Republic

Independence: 01/01/1993
Continent: Europe
Population: 10.7 million
Currency: Czech koruna

Czech Republicphoto source:

The Czech Republic, known as Czechia, formerly known as Bohemia, is located in Central Europe. Its population estimate as of 2021 is over 10.7 million people. Very impressive considering this country claimed its independence on January 1st, 1993!

In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended Communist rule in the country. This led to the dissolving of Czechoslovakia. Its constituent states are what became the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The revolution resulted in a peaceful split between both countries and has since gone through major economic reforms and other typical growing pains on the way to becoming a self-sustaining country.

Did You Know?

Their government is classified as a democracy and is called a pluralist multi-party semi- presidential representative democracy. Say that five times fast! In layman’s terms, it means you have an equal delegation of powers between office holders like the President, President of the Senate, Speaker, and Prime Minister.

7. Palau

Independence: 10/01/1994
Continent: Oceania
Population: 18,092
Currency: USD

Palauphoto source:

Palau is a group of over 500 islands that belong to the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. The island is a commercial city called, Koror Island, which was the former capital. That title now belongs to the larger island, Ngerulmud. It sports a tropical paradise with its sandy beaches and beautiful mountains.

On October 1, 1994, after 50 years under U.S. administration, Palau was the last component of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands that gained independence. In 1993 it was ratified and the agreement took effect.

Did You Know?

Palau takes great pride in its Philippine-influenced cuisine. A popular delicacy of theirs is called fruit bat soup. Does that sound appetizing enough? They also place emphasis on the importance of having women treated fairly. They play key roles in political policy and they are consistently valued and recognized for the valuable insights they always bring to the discussion.

6. East Timor

Independence: 05/20/2002
Continent: Asia
Population: 1.35 million
Currency: USD

East Timorphoto source:

East Timor is a Southeast Asian nation that takes up half the island of Timor. Surrounding it are boundless coral reefs abundant in all different kinds of marine life.

The official languages of the country are Portuguese and Tetun. Tetun is a language exclusive to Timor. The country struggled mightily for independence from Portugal in 1975 and again from Indonesia in 2002. The capital city is Dili.

Did You Know?

Xanana Gusmão was the first East Timorese President after the Indonesian occupation. They are selected by popular vote on a five-year term basis. He was a former rebel and served as President from 2002 to 2007.

5. Montenegro

Independence: 06/3/2006
Continent: Europe
Population: 621,718
Currency: Euro

Montenegrophoto source:

Montenegro is a Balkan country known for its mountains and medieval villages. It’s also a country that materialized as a result of the fall of Yugoslavia. Similar to most border formations in Europe, transitions of power were exchanged like playing cards from battles and political dealings.

Its current president is Milo Dukanović. In 1996, when he severed ties between Montenegro and Serbia, Montenegro was able to form its own economic policy. These were the first steps toward their journey for independence.

Did You Know?

Montenegro sports a multi-lingual and ethnically diverse population. Because of the eclectic mix, the country enjoys a wide variety of cuisine spanning from oriental to Mediterranean. Basketball and handball happen to be fan-favorites as well.

4. Serbia

Independence: 06/03/2006
Continent: Europe
Population: 6.908 million
Currency: Serbian dinar

Serbiaphoto source:

Serbia is located in the Balkan Peninsula and Pannonia Plain. This is the crossroads between Central and Southern Europe. With land expanding 34, 116 sq miles, nearly 30% of it is covered by dense forest.

Serbia has worked its way to a stable economy and you could call it upper-middle class in terms of income. That’s thanks to business ventures and collaborations with some big-name corporations like Siemens, Bosch, Panasonic, and Coca-Cola. If you favor drinking or at the very least enjoying a glass of wine while you relax, Serbia produces roughly 230 million liters of wine per year. There’s plenty to go around!

Did You Know?

Serbia is the territorial birthplace of 18 Roman Emperors, including one of the most notable, Constantine the Great. Constantine was the first to declare Christianity an official religion.

3. South Sudan

Independence: 07/09/2011
Continent: Africa
Population: 43.85 million
Currency: South Sudanese pound

South Sudanphoto source:

South Sudan claimed its independence from Sudan in July of 2011. The catalyst for the secession was a peace deal that was made six years ago in 2005. Since it departed from Sudan, the country has struggled with water supply, food, and other basic needs essential to life. Education is severely lacking as well with female literacy ranking among the lowest in the world.

Shortly after their Independence Day, a constitution was signed by the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and is now the overarching law of South Sudan.

Did You Know?

Though they do not have an official religion, the dominant one is Christianity, with 60.5% of South Sudan’s inhabitants observing. 32.9% practice traditional faiths more localized to the region, and 6.2% are Muslim.

2. Kosovo

Independence: 2013
Continent: Europe
Population: 1.86 million
Currency: Euro

Kosovophoto source:

Kosovo is a partially recognized state in Southeast Europe but is realized fully as it’s own country officially as of 2013. Spanning 4,203 sq miles, its population reaches over 1.8 million and is bordered by Serbia. Kosovo has gained recognition as a sovereign state by 97 members of the United Nations.

The cuisine is informed heavily by the influences of Albanians and Serbians. Much like other developing nations, food plays an integral role in the society and culture of its people. If you’re not familiar with Baklava or have been eager to try it, there’s no better place to get it than in Kosovo.

Did You Know?

95% of the population identifies as Muslim. Kosovo has the highest percentage of Muslims in Europe, behind Turkey. Despite the majority practicing some form of religion, they are a secular state.

1. Bougainville

Independence: 12/07/2019
Continent: Oceania
Population: 300,00 approximately
Currency: Papua New Guinean kina

Bougainvillephoto source:

Bougainville is the youngest country on Earth – getting its independence in 2019!

Bougainville was declared an independent country officially on December 7th, 2019. Part of the autonomous region of Papua New Guinea, a non-binding independence referendum was submitted and placed for a vote.  Between November 23rd and December 7th, there was deliberation on whether Bougainville should have autonomy. The inhabitants all voted overwhelmingly with a resounding “yes!”

Did You Know?

The country has changed rulers several times between Germany, Australia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, and America. With this constant ebb and flow of relinquishing power back to seizing of power, the Civil Wars took an exhaustive toll on the advancement of this beautiful, budding land. Now, with Bougainville becoming a more sought-after tourist destination year after year, the country is hopeful that it can begin its young journey and become a place that the world can come to and enjoy.

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