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What is the smallest country in the world?


A TPL Kids explorer wondered about the biggest country in the world. What about the smallest?

Open up a map of the world. Can you find Vatican City? Also called the Vatican or the Holy See, it covers an area of ​​0.44 square kilometres. That means the entire country is smaller than Toronto's High Park!

Having trouble pinpointing this tiny territory? Here's a hint so that you don't have to go over a globe with a magnifying glass (don't let us stop you, though — that could be fun). Just look for the famously boot-shaped Italy! The Vatican is actually located inside the city of Rome, the capital of Italy.

Mostly surrounded by stone walls, Vatican City has its own government system. It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and home of the pope. At the time of this post in November 2021, the Vatican's website states that there are 618 citizens (and one pet dog). But less than half live inside the walls. Although many more people work there, most of them live in Rome.

The Vatican is not a member of the United Nations. UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) recognizes it as a World Heritage site. It contains lots of beautiful art and architecture. So what is the smallest country that is part of the UN? That's Monaco, located between France and the Mediterranean Sea. It is only two square kilometres, smaller than the Toronto Zoo!

Speaking of the zoo, did you know that you can check out tickets from the library? Tell a grown-up about our Museum + Arts Pass. Your family could visit places like the Ontario Science Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum and other attractions in Toronto — for free! How awesome is that?

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