Youngest Country in the world: 12 youngest countries in the world in 2023

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Written By Chinyere Akalugwu

 

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South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. It only became a country of its own in 2011 after it split from Sudan.

In the modern world, new countries are always being made, even though many of these countries have been around for hundreds of years. While some of the oldest countries are hundreds of years old, the youngest countries are only decades old.

Almost all of the countries on this list came into being when they broke away from a nearby country that was in charge after a war or referendum. Some have done well since becoming independent, while others are still trying to get their feet under them.

In this article, we will look at some of the youngest countries in the world that have only become sovereign states recently.

12 youngest countries in the world (newest nations)

1. Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is one of the five countries in Central Asia. Russia surrounds it to the north and northwest, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea, and Turkmenistan to the south. 

Kazakhstan is the largest country by land mass in Central Asia and the ninth-largest country in the world. It has a land area of about 1,820 miles (2,930 km) long from east to west and 960 miles (1,500 km) long from north to south. 

Kazakhstan was not thought of as a part of Central Asia by officials in the former Soviet Union, but it has many of the same physical and cultural features as the other Central Asian countries.

Astana, which used to be called Nur-Sultan, Aqmola, and Tselinograd, is the country’s capital. It is in the north-central part of the country. 

Kazakhstan became an independent country on December 16, 1991, it used to be a part of the U.S.S.R., but on December 16, 1991, it became an independent country.

Kazakhstan

2. Uzbekistan

The Republic of Uzbekistan is a country in Central Asia that is completely surrounded by land. Kazakhstan is to the north, Kyrgyzstan is to the northeast, Tajikistan is to the southeast, Afghanistan is to the south, and Turkmenistan is to the southwest. 

Tashkent is the country’s capital and largest city. Uzbekistan is a Turkic country and a part of the Organization of Turkic States. 

Eastern Iranian nomads, called Scythians, were the first people to live in what is now Uzbekistan. They built kingdoms in Khwarazm (800–600 BC), Bactria (800–600 BC), Sogdia (800–600 BC), Fergana (300 BC–600 AD), and Margiana (300 BC–600 AD) (3rd century BC – sixth century AD).

In the 13th century, the Mongols came and destroyed the local Khwarazmian dynasty. After that, Turkic people took control of the area. In the 16th century, the Uzbek Shaybanids took over the lands of the Timurid dynasty and moved the centre of power to Bukhara.

During the 19th century, all of Central Asia was slowly added to the Russian Empire. Tashkent became the centre of political life in Russian Turkestan. In 1924, the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic became an independent state within the Soviet Union.

This was made possible by the process of national delimitation. It became the Republic of Uzbekistan on August 31, 1991, just a few months before the Soviet Union broke up.

Uzbekistan

3. North Macedonia

It is a landlocked country that shares borders with Kosovo[e], Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania. [8] It makes up about a third of the larger area of Macedonia.

A quarter of the country’s 1.83 million people live in the capital and largest city, Skopje. Most of the people who live there are South Slavic Macedonians. About 25% of the population is Albanian, which is a big minority. After that comes the Turks, Romani, Serbs, Bosniaks, Aromanians, and a few other small groups.

The Republic of North Macedonia takes up one part of the historical and geographical area of Macedonia. This part is called Vardar Macedonia (nowadays split between Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria).

At the end of the 14th century, Macedonia was taken over by the Ottoman Empire, and the region’s culture changed again. The region became a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1944.

North Macedonia held a vote on independence on September 8, 1991, and 74% of the people who voted were in favour. So, in January 1992, the country announced that it was no longer part of the Former Yugoslavia.

Macedonia

4. Eritrea

Eritrea used to be a colony of Italy before it lost its territory during the East African Campaign following World War II. Soon, the region came under British administration.

The Eritrean Liberation Movement was set up in 1958 by a group of Eritreans (ELM). Most of the people in the group were students, professionals, and intellectuals from Eritrea.

It took part in secret political activities that were meant to build up opposition to the imperial Ethiopian state’s policies of centralization. [92] The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), led by Hamid Idris Awate, began an armed fight for independence on September 1, 1961.

Eritrea declared its independence and was recognized by the rest of the world in 1993. This happened after the people of Eritrea voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum called UNOVER.

Eritrea

5. Slovakia

Slovakia is one of the two countries that made up former Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was first created from several empires in 1918 after the end of World War I, which led to the breakup of Austria-Hungary, 

During the time between the two world wars, it was the only country in central and eastern Europe that stayed a democracy. Fascist regimes slowly took over Czechoslovakia, which was a shame. After a coup in 1948, Czechoslovakia was run by communists and joined the Eastern Bloc, which the Soviet Union led.

Slovakia has become a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy since it became its own country. It ranks very high on the Human Development Index. Slovakia also does well on tests of civil liberties, freedom of the press, freedom of the internet, democratic government, and peacefulness.

Slovakia

6. Czech Republic

Before Czechoslovakia broke up, the Czech Republic was the other half of the country. Up until 1918, the Kingdom of Bohemia was in charge of the country. After Czechoslovakia was formed, the Czechs joined Moravia, Bohemia, and Slovakia together. After 1948, the country was ruled by the Soviets, just like Slovakia.

When the Slovaks said they wanted to be on their own from the Czechs in 1992, the Czechs agreed to break up the federated state.

On December 13, 1992, Czechoslovakia broke up, and the Czech Republic and Slovakia took their place as close countries independent of one another. Moravia stayed in the hands of the former.

Czech republic is one of the youngest countries in the world.

7. Palau

Palau is the least populated country on this list. It is in the western Pacific Ocean and is made up of a group of islands called Micronesia. Just over 21,000 people live there on about 250 islands. Palau got its own government on October 1, 1994, 15 years after deciding not to join Micronesia because of differences in culture and language.

The islands that make up Palau was colonized by different countries over the years. After World War II, they became part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific, which the United States runs.

Its relationship with the United States is still a “Compact of Free Association,” which means the U.S. gives Palau money and keeps control over its military.

In 2009, the country agreed to take in six Uighur prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, which caused a lot of trouble. Palau is known for its tourism industry and is one of the richest Pacific Island states.

Palau

8. Serbia & Montenegro

After Yugoslavia broke up in 1991, Serbia and Montenegro came together as one country. In 2003, they became the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and in 2006, they became two separate countries.

In the end, it was Montenegro that broke ties with Serbia. On May 21, 2006, a referendum showed that just over 55 percent of people wanted to cut ties with Serbia. On June 3, Montenegro declared independence. A few days after that, Serbia did the same thing.

Since it gained independence, Montenegro has tried to join the European Union, joined the World Trade Organization and has brought back its long-exiled monarchy. Most people have been happy with its economic performance since it became independent.

Of course, when Montenegro became independent, Serbia was also essentially a “new” state, even though it was legally the successor to the union. Since 2006, most of Montenegro’s policies have been pro-European, and it is currently on track to join the European Union.

Since President Tomislav Nikolic was elected two years ago, the country has tried to find a balance between being part of Europe and working with Russia, which has been its traditional ally.

Serbia and Montenegro are among the youngest countries in the world.

9. Timor 

East Timor was the old name for Timor-Leste. In the 1500s, the Spanish and the Portuguese were the first people to live there. In 1613, the Dutch moved into the west. By 1812, the island was run by the British, who were in charge.

The Dutch and the Portuguese fought over the eastern half of the island in 1860 and 1893. During World War II, East Timor was ruled by the Japanese. East Timor was ruled by the Portuguese from the 1500s until 1975.

The next year, in 1976, Indonesia invaded the area and made the island part of their country.

East Timor stayed under Indonesian rule for the next 20 years. Many people lost their lives due to the occupation, annexation, famine, and disease.

Due to pressure from other countries, the Indonesian government agreed to a referendum on August 30, 1999. Timor-Leste didn’t really become independent until 2002.

Timor

10. Croatia

After Austria-Hungary was defeated in 1918, Croatia joined forces with Serbia and Slovenia to form Yugoslavia. During World War II, the Germans and the Italians worked together to make the country an independent country that included Croatia-Slavonia.

It became part of Dalmatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croatia was turned into a communist republic under Yugoslavia after the war. It got its own government in 1991. This caused the Yugoslav army and the Serbs to rise up.

By 1995, it had taken back most of the areas that the Serbs had controlled. In 2002, Croatia finally had full control over all of its lands.

Croatia

11. Kosovo

Kosovo was once ruled by many different empires hundreds of years ago. The Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Serbian Empire were all part of this. When Serbia broke away from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, it took back control of Kosovo.

In 1918, Serbia was no longer in charge of the country. Since Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary were both in charge of the area at the time, Kosovo was left to join Yugoslavia in the same year.

Kosovo was a part of Yugoslavia until the government was taken over by Serbia in 1989. In the late 1990s, Yugoslav and Serbian air forces left the country because of a rebellion and air strikes by NATO. At the start of 1999, the United Nations was in charge of the area. On February 17, 2008, Kosovo got its freedom from Serbia.

Kosovo

12. South Sudan

South Sudan broke away from Sudan on July 9, 2011, to become the world’s youngest country after a long and bloody civil war with the Arab-dominated north.

In a referendum, almost 99 percent of voters chose independence, and the rest of the world quickly recognized the new country. The United States is given credit for being a very important part of South Sudan’s path to independence.

Since the country gained independence, it has had a lot of problems, most of which can be traced back to two big things:

  • The number of poor people in South Sudan,
  • The country’s political groups come from different ethnic groups and don’t have a common enemy.

Add to that the fact that the country is young and has a lot of natural resources that haven’t been used much, and you have a place where political fights have been going on for the past few years.

The civil war in South Sudan has ended since 2018 however, insecurity and unrest in the country have remained a threat to the citizens.

South Sudan is currently the youngest country in the world.

Final Words

We hope this article has given you an insight into the world’s youngest countries in the world. People and countries change over time, and the government can break contracts.

In the future, there might be new countries on the map. Any changes that happen after that should probably be peaceful. Once it is safe for tourists to travel abroad, we can expect and look forward to getting new boarding passes all along the route.

Let us know in the comment section if you suspect that any new nation will be emerging in the near future to take the top spot as the youngest of all nations in the world. 


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