Dwarf state

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Dwarf states

As a mini-state or micro state in which it is Wirtschaftsgeographie a small state with a particularly low land area and a small population , respectively.


In the scientific literature, the term microstate is predominantly used, since the dwarf state and numerous synonyms (such as the smallest state , Lilliput state , pygmy state , miniature state , mini state or diminutive state ) are understood as rather derogatory. The Duodezstaat (derived from a historical book format ), a derogatory term from the 18th century for the then extremely small German principalities, is particularly disparaging .

Under international law, size does not matter. Occasionally, however, individual sovereignty attributes are missing in dwarf or micro-states. Some can be represented militarily , partly also in foreign policy, by a neighboring state. After initial concerns, which were discussed as the “microstate problem” especially in the 1970s, the United Nations accepted all dwarf or microstates worldwide that had submitted a corresponding application as members.


The term “ dwarf state” is vague and has changed over time. It is therefore not possible to clearly determine the size of a small state as a dwarf or micro state.

For the sometimes very small principalities of German history, the terms small states and dwarf states are still used today as synonyms (see Kleinstaaterei ). From the 18th century they were ironically referred to as duodec states. Duodez was a small book format and figuratively meant something insignificant.

In addition to the concept of the micro-state, the so-called micronation occasionally appears . Micronations are not recognized by the United Nations and other international organizations. Micronation is not to be understood analogously to micro-state ; that doesn't mean a very small nation .

The geographer Erich fruit categorized 1972, not trans or subcontinental States Makrotop ( surface States with more than 800,000 square kilometers), Mesotop (States 40,000 to 800,000 square kilometers), MikroTOP (States from 1000 to 40,000 square kilometers), or Minitop (countries with less than 1000 km²).

The list below also uses the geographic size in square kilometers, not the number of inhabitants, as a criterion for the definition of the term miniature state . So appear z. B. Iceland and Luxembourg , which have a population similar to some of the countries mentioned in the list, but have a larger territory, are not in this context.

European and non-European dwarf states

European dwarf states (excluding Malta and Luxembourg)


In Europe there are six countries, mostly referred to as miniature states: Andorra , Liechtenstein , Malta , Monaco , San Marino and the Vatican City . These are individual principalities or republics that have maintained their independence until today, or about the former Papal States reaching back papal entitled to under international law recognized sovereign enclave in the heart of Rome .

Outside of Europe

The dwarf states outside Europe are mainly island states in the Caribbean and the South Pacific .

List of very small states

Sovereign states with a fixed land mass of up to approx. 1000 square kilometers (excluding maritime territories).

Country / territory location Area (km²) resident was standing
Vatican cityVatican Vatican city Southern Europe 0000.44 0,000.618 3rd July 2018
MonacoMonaco Monaco Southern Europe 0002.03 0.037,550 December 2016
NauruNauru Nauru Oceania - Micronesia 0021 0.011,288 2015
TuvaluTuvalu Tuvalu Oceania - Polynesia 0026th 0.011.206 Census 2012
San MarinoSan Marino San Marino Southern Europe 0061 0.033,031 May 2016
LiechtensteinLiechtenstein Liechtenstein Central Europe 0160 0.037,850 December 2016
Marshall IslandsMarshall Islands Marshall Islands Oceania - Micronesia 0181 0.053,158 2011
Cook IslandsCook Islands Cook Islands Oceania 0236 0.011,700 September 2016
NiueNiue Niue Oceania 0260 0.001,669 December 2019
Saint Kitts NevisSt. Kitts Nevis St. Kitts and Nevis Caribbean 0261 0.052,834 2019
MaldivesMaldives Maldives South Asia - Indian Ocean 0298 0.530,953 2019
MaltaMalta Malta Southern Europe - Mediterranean 0316 0.415.196 July 2016
GrenadaGrenada Grenada Caribbean 0344 0.090,739
Saint Vincent GrenadinesSt. Vincent and the Grenadines St. Vincent and the Grenadines Caribbean 0388 0.117,200
BarbadosBarbados Barbados Caribbean 0430 0.286.705
Antigua and BarbudaAntigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda Caribbean 0442 0.085,632
SeychellesSeychelles Seychelles Africa - Indian Ocean 0455 0.087,500
PalauPalau Palau Oceania - Micronesia 0459 0.017,661 Census 2015
AndorraAndorra Andorra Southern Europe 0468 0.073.105 December 2016
Saint LuciaSt. Lucia St. Lucia Caribbean 0616 0.173.907
Micronesia, Federated StatesMicronesia Micronesia Oceania - Micronesia 0702 0.116,431 2021
SingaporeSingapore Singapore South East Asia 0719 5,076,700
TongaTonga Tonga Oceania - Polynesia 0747 0.100,651 November 30, 2016
DominicaDominica Dominica Caribbean 0751 0.072,514
BahrainBahrain Bahrain Asia - Persian Gulf 0760 1,214,705
KiribatiKiribati Kiribati Oceania - Micronesia 0811 0.110.136 2015
Sao Tome and PrincipeSao Tome and Principe Sao Tome and Principe Central Africa 1,001 0.167,000
  1. Member States of the United Nations , unless otherwise stated.
  2. Is represented internationally by the Holy See , which is a permanent observer at the United Nations as an independent subject of international law.
  3. Not a member state of the United Nations, but self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand , but is recognized as an independent state by more than 40 member states of the United Nations, including also from the Federal Republic of Germany (2001), Belgium (2005) and Switzerland (2005).
  4. Not a member state of the United Nations, but rather self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand , but increasingly maintains independent diplomatic relations, among other things. on the People's Republic of China (2007), India (2012) and Turkey (2014).

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Theodor Schweisfurth: Völkerrecht. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-16-148992-6 , p. 17.
  2. Brockhaus Encyclopedia , 21st edition. FA Brockhaus, Leipzig / Mannheim 2014.
  3. Duodets. In Wissen.de , accessed on June 16, 2017
  4. Erich Obst / Martin Schmithüsen (eds.), Allgemeine Staatsgeographie , 1972, p. 13
  5. Vatican City website: Popolazione (population) vaticanstate.va , accessed January 19, 2021.
  6. ^ The official population figures. From: monacostatistics.mc , accessed June 10, 2017
  7. Nauru Stats At A Glance. Nauru Bureau of Statistics at: prism.spc.int , accessed June 10, 2017
  8. ^ Tuvalu Statistics at a Glance. Tuvalu Central Statistics Division at: prism.spc.int , accessed June 10, 2017
  9. Bilancio Demografico ( Memento of July 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 200 kB). From the website of the Ufficio Informatica, Tecnologia, Dati e Statistica of the Republic of San Marino, accessed on July 8, 2016
  10. Population statistics on December 31, 2016. On the website of the Statistical Office, State Administration of the Principality of Liechtenstein, accessed on June 10, 2017
  11. ^ Social Statistics. Economic Policy Planning and Statistics Office (EPPSO) at: prism.spc.int , accessed June 10, 2017
  12. Vital Statistics and Population Estimates. Cook Islands - Ministry of Finance and Economic Management at prism.spc.int , accessed June 10, 2017
  13. Niue Vital Statistics 2019 , accessed January 19, 2021
  14. World Bank: Population, total - St. Kitts and Nevis
  15. World Bank: Population, total - Maldives
  16. Malta. In: CIA World Factbook , accessed June 10, 2017
  17. Republic of Palau, Bureau of Budget and Planning Ministry of Finance, Statistical Yearbook 2019, Table 2.2 , accessed January 19, 2021
  18. Últimes dades. ( Memento of December 10, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) On the statistics website of the Govern d'Andorra , accessed on June 10, 2017
  19. Micronesia Population 2021 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs). August 27, 2021, accessed August 29, 2021 .
  20. ^ Tonga Statistics Department , accessed January 19, 2021
  21. Kiribati Stats at a Glance ( Memento from January 8, 2017 in the Internet Archive ). Kiribate National Statistics Office at: www.mfed.gov.ki , accessed June 10, 2017