Asia stands as the most vast among all continents, encompassing approximately 30% of the Earth’s land area. Its immense size is matched by its population, making it the most densely inhabited continent, housing around 60% of the global populace. Geographically, Asia forms the eastern segment of the Eurasian supercontinent, while Europe occupies its western counterpart. The continent comprises 48 nations, with Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Russia sharing territories that extend into neighboring Europe. Among these nations, the Maldives holds a significant distinction, being number 1 on our list of the smallest countries in Asia, with a total area of 116 square miles.
10 Smallest Countries in Asia by Area
1. The Maldives (the Smallest Country in Asia)
Nestled in the southern expanse of Asia, the Maldives spans 26 atolls scattered across the Indian Ocean. Covering an area of approximately 116 square miles, it is home to a population of approximately 427,756 inhabitants. To ensure efficient governance, the territory is subdivided into 21 administrative atolls. Each one overseen by an elected Atoll Council, which coordinates activities with the capital, Malé.
The Maldives takes immense pride in its diverse marine ecosystem. You’ll find a wide range of habitats, from the shallow coastal areas and fringing mangroves to the deep sea and reef ecosystems. This vibrant ecosystem hosts a staggering array of marine life, including:
- 187 species of coral reefs and coral.
- 21 species of dolphins and whales.
- 1100 species of fish.
- 83 species of echinoderms.
- 5 species of sea turtles.
This rich and varied marine life sustains a thriving tourism industry, drawing visitors from around the world to explore and cherish the natural wonders of this beautiful nation.
2. Singapore (One of the Smallest Countries in Asia)
Situated in Southeast Asia, Singapore stands out as a city-state renowned worldwide. Spanning an area of approximately 276 square miles, its territory encompasses not only a mainland but also various surrounding islands. The mainland stretches approximately 17 miles from north to south and 31 miles from east to west, boasting an impressive coastline extending up to 120 miles.
The strategic location of Singapore is defined by natural boundaries—the Straits of Johor separate it from Malaysia, while the Singapore Strait creates a divide with Indonesia. Among the outlying islands belonging to Singapore, Sentosa, Jurong Island, Pulau Ubin, and Pulau Tekong take precedence as the largest and most notable.
A remarkable aspect of Singapore’s growth is its ability to expand its territory by reclaiming land. Through the innovative process of reclaiming earth from the seabed, its hills, and even neighboring nations, Singapore has successfully extended its boundaries, a testament to the nation’s determination and resourcefulness.
Nestled in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain stands as another of Asia’s island countries. It is one of the smallest countries in Asia, covering an area of 295 square miles. As for its population, this nation boasts a population of approximately 1,425,171 inhabitants. Over the years, Bahrain has undertaken ambitious land reclamation initiatives. As a result, there is a significant increase in its number of islands and island groups, which now surpass 80 in total.
Among these diverse islands, the largest ones are Umm an Nasan, Bahrain Island, Sitra, Muharraq Island, and the Hawar Islands. While the nation’s expanded landmass offers various landscapes, a striking fact is that nearly 92% of Bahrain’s territory remains covered by desert, experiencing seasonal droughts. Consequently, the residents have to contend with the challenges posed by constant dust storms, an inherent part of Bahrain’s climate.
Situated in Southeastern Asia, Brunei shares its borders with East Malaysia and the South China Sea. With an area of 2,226 square miles, it proudly holds the distinction of being Asia’s fourth smallest nation. What sets Brunei apart is that it is the only sovereign state that entirely exists on the island of Borneo, while the remaining portion of Borneo’s territory is shared between Indonesia and Malaysia.
With a population of approximately 423,196 people, Brunei showcases a diverse demographic composition. Among its inhabitants, 66.3% are Bruneian Malay, while 11.2% represent the Chinese community. The nation’s abundant wealth stems from extensive natural gas and petroleum fields, which have propelled Brunei into the status of a developed country, with prosperity and progress characterizing its identity.
Covering an area of 2,402 square miles, Palestine is home to a population of approximately 4,550,368 people. The State asserts its claim over two distinct regions: the Gaza Strip, which shares borders with Egypt and Israel, and the West Bank, which borders both Jordan and Israel. However, it’s important to note that the majority of these claimed regions have been under Israeli occupation since 1967.
Despite the challenges, Palestine has garnered international recognition with about 136 UN member states acknowledging its sovereignty. This recognition has allowed Palestine to actively participate in various global organizations, including the G77, the Arab League, the International Olympic Committee, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
In terms of administrative divisions, Palestine has 16 distinct regions. Regarding religious affiliations, Islam holds the majority following among 93% of Palestinians, while 6% of the population follows Christianity, highlighting the religious diversity within the nation.
Located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, the island of Cyprus is one of the smallest countries in Asia. It covers an area of 3,572 square miles, excluding 2,276 square miles of Northern Cyprus. Cyprus’s strategic location places it in close proximity to both Northern Africa and Southern Europe, shaping its history with influences from Western European, Greek, Levantine, Turkish, and Byzantine cultures.
The island’s landscape is characterized by the dominant Kyrenia and Troodos Mountains, with the Mesaoria plain nestled between them. Cyprus is divided into four segments, with the Republic of Cyprus occupying approximately 60% of the total area. In the northern part, there exists a self-declared entity called the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” which represents around 36% of the island’s territory. The United Nations mandates a buffer zone to separate these two regions, fostering peacekeeping efforts.
Additionally, Cyprus houses two British Sovereign Base Areas, namely Dhekelia and Akrotiri, which further contribute to the island’s unique geopolitical landscape.
Spanning an estimated area of 4,536 square miles, Lebanon’s geographical expanse reaches along the captivating coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. Historically, it has earned the distinguished reputation of being called “the pearl of the Middle East” due to its strategic location as a crucial trade link between the Mediterranean territories, East Asia, and India.
Despite its rich heritage and significance, Lebanon has faced unique challenges, especially in recent times. Its proximity to Syria has resulted in an influx of refugees, placing immense strain on the country’s resources and infrastructure. The regions of Northern Lebanon and the Beqa’a have particularly borne the brunt of this crisis, experiencing the most significant impact as they try to accommodate and support the growing number of displaced individuals seeking refuge within Lebanon’s borders.
Located in Western Asia, Qatar occupies a land area of 4,473 square miles and is positioned on the Qatar Peninsula, which constitutes the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia, while the rest of its territory is surrounded by the waters of the Persian Gulf.
The main reason behind Qatar’s economic prosperity is its significant reserves of oil and natural gas. This have elevated it to the status of a high-income nation. The country is home to an estimated population of 2,675,522 inhabitants, which includes a substantial number of migrant laborers from various countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. These workers play a crucial role in contributing to the nation’s development and growth, making Qatar a diverse and dynamic melting pot of cultures and talents.
Timor-Leste stands as the 9th smallest nation in Asia, encompassing an area of 5743 square miles. Its territorial expanse comprises not only the eastern half of Timor island but also includes the outlying islands of Jaco and Atauro, as well as the enclave of Oecusse. The history of Timor-Leste is marked by periods of Portuguese and Indonesian occupation, eventually culminating in its attainment of sovereignty in 2002.
A distinctive characteristic of Timor-Leste, along with the Philippines, is its predominantly Christian population in the context of Southeast Asia. This religious aspect sets it apart from its neighboring countries and contributes to the unique cultural and social fabric of the nation.
10. Kuwait (the last on our list of the Smallest Countries in Asia)
Nestled at the far northwestern corner of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait encompasses an area of 6,879 square miles. Blessed with this strategic location and abundant oil revenues, the country’s economy has thrived over the decades. Kuwait’s territorial reach extends to encompass nine islands, with Warbah and Bubiyan remaining largely uninhabited.
The Kuwait Bay stands as the most prominent geographic landmark, curving along the shoreline for nearly 25 miles, providing natural protection for Kuwait’s vital port. To its south, Kuwait shares a 155-mile-long border with Saudi Arabia, a boundary that was established through the 1922 Treaty of Al Ugayr.
Kuwait is home to a population of about 4.2 million residents, among whom approximately 2.9 million are expatriates. The presence of such a diverse community adds to the cultural richness and dynamism of the country, contributing to its unique identity on the global stage.
The 10 Smallest Countries in Asia By Area
|Area (in square km)
|9,251 (5,896 km² excluding Northern Cyprus.)
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