The world does not look the same as it did 30 or even 20 years ago. If someone born after 2000 looked at a map of the world from the 1980s, it would look almost unrecognizable to them, as so many new countries have been created in the past couple of decades. So, what are the world’s newest countries?
List of the World’s Newest Countries
10. Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1992
It might not seem very new, considering that it has existed since 1992. However, compared to the hundreds of other countries that have been around for much longer, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a relatively new country. Coming in as the tenth newest country in the world, this mouthful of a country declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1992, which sparked a violent war that lasted three years.
9 & 8. Czechia and Slovakia – 1993
You won’t find Czechoslovakia anywhere but in history books, because it fell as part of the Velvet Divorce of 1993. Instead, the former central European country was split into two different countries: Czechia (Czech Republic) and Slovakia. This division came after the events of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which brought about a transition from communist leadership to a democratic government.
7. Eritrea – 1993
While the creation of the Czechia and Slovakia was extremely peaceful, the creation of Eritrea was not. Formerly a part of Ethiopia, the citizens of Eritrea had been dealing with a 30-year-long war for independence before finally being able to become their own country. Today, Eritrea is a one-party state, and national legislative elections have not been held since independence.
6. Palau – 1994
One of the least populated countries in the world, Palau became its own official country in 1994. Located in Oceania, the country is made up of a group of over 250 islands, the beautiful landscape and climate of which provide ideal conditions for tourism.
5. Timor-Leste – 2002
The country of Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, became the first country to be added in the 21st century. Formerly a part of Indonesia, this nation declared its independence in 2002, which was followed by years of violence. However, the country has become much more stable today.
4 & 3. Montenegro and Serbia – 2006
While these countries technically existed before 2006, they were part of a two-state country together simply known as Serbia and Montenegro. However, after years of tense coexistence, Montenegro decided to declare independence in 2006. Suddenly, without the second half of its name, Serbia decided to also declare independence a few days later. This dissolution of the union resulted in the now two separate countries of Montenegro and Serbia.
2. Kosovo – 2008
Long after the rest of the Balkan countries had declared their independence, Kosovo decided to finally follow suit. This declaration ended up causing Serbia to lose yet another part of their former union as Kosovo split off from them and became their own independent country in 2008.
1. South Sudan – 2011
Less than a decade ago, Sudan was one large country located in Northeast Africa. However, after decades of continuous violence and civil unrest, the southern portion of Sudan voted to secede in a 2011 referendum, attaining independence a few months later. South Sudan is officially the newest country in the world and is unfortunately still trying to reach a state of unified peace as it continues to deal with rampant violence throughout the country.
*List updated as of 2019
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