Information on All Countries

In geography and politics, a country (IPA: /ˈkən-trē/[1]) is a political division of a geographical entity. Frequently, but not always, a country is considered a Sovereign territory and is associated with the notations of State, Nation and Government. Formal recognition as a state requires the fulfillment of the constitutive theory of statehood, which requires that for a state to be to be recognized as a sovereign state, it must receive recognition from other states, which, in turn, are themselves recognized by other states.

In common usage, the term country is widely in the sense of both nations and states, with definitions varying. In some cases it is used to refer both to states and to other political entities,[2][3][4] while in some occasions it refers only to states[5] It is not uncommon for general information or statistical publications to adopt the wider definition for purposes such as illustration and comparison.[6][7][8][9][10]

Many entities which constitute cohesive geographical entities, some of which are former states, but which are not presently sovereign states (such as England, Scotland and Wales), are commonly regarded and referred to as countries . The degree of autonomy of such countries varies widely. Some are possessions of states, as several states have overseas dependencies (such as the British Virgin Islands, Netherlands Antilles, and American Samoa), with territory and citizenry distinct from their own. Such dependent territories are sometimes listed together with independent states on lists of countries.

In ancient history, civilizations did not have definite boundaries as countries have today, and their borders could be more accurately described as frontiers. Early dynastic Sumer, and early dynastic Egypt were the first civilizations to define their borders.