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{{Short description|Region that is identified as a distinct entity in political geography}}{{Other uses}}{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2019}}File:Political Map of the World, June 2019.pdf|thumb|upright=2|2019 map showing countries with full recognition and some UN non-member states; some disputed territories are not shown]]A country is a region that is identified as a distinct entity in political geography.A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state,Jones, J. (1964). What Makes a Country? Human Events, 24(31), 14. as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, a physical territory with a government, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. Regardless of the physical geography, in the modern internationally accepted legal definition as defined by the League of Nations in 1937 and reaffirmed by the United Nations in 1945, a resident of a country is subject to the independent exercise of legal jurisdiction.{{Citation needed|date=March 2018}} There is no hard and fast definition of what regions are countries and which are not.Countries can refer both to sovereign states and to other political entities,AUSTLII, FCA, 912, 1997, Tjhe Kwet Koe v Minister for Immigration & Ethnic Affairs, 8 September 1997, auto, . while other times it can refer only to states.WEB,weblink Geography: Country, State, and Nation, 2008-11-12, Rosenberg, Matt, For example, the CIA World Factbook uses the word in its "Country name" field to refer to "a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states".WEB,weblink The World Factbook, CIA, 2012-02-16, [Note 1]

Etymology and usage

The word country comes from Old French contrée, which derives from Vulgar Latin (terra) contrata ("(land) lying opposite"; "(land) spread before"), derived from contra ("against, opposite"). It most likely entered the English language after the Franco-Norman invasion during the 11th century.In English the word has increasingly become associated with political divisions, so that one sense, associated with the indefinite article – "a country" – through misuse and subsequent conflation is now a synonym for state, or a former sovereign state, in the sense of sovereign territory or "district, native land".OED, Country Areas much smaller than a political state may be called by names such as the West Country in England, the Black Country (a heavily industrialized part of England), "Constable Country" (a part of East Anglia painted by John Constable), the "big country" (used in various contexts of the American West), "coal country" (used of parts of the US and elsewhere) and many other terms.ENCYCLOPEDIA, John Simpson, Edmund Weiner, Oxford English Dictionary, 1971 compact, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 978-0-19-861186-8, The equivalent terms in French and other Romance languages (pays and variants) have not carried the process of being identified with political sovereign states as far as the English "country", instead derived from, pagus, which designated the territory controlled by a medieval count, a title originally granted by the Roman Church. In many European countries the words are used for sub-divisions of the national territory, as in the German Bundesländer, as well as a less formal term for a sovereign state. France has very many "pays" that are officially recognized at some level, and are either natural regions, like the Pays de Bray, or reflect old political or economic entities, like the Pays de la Loire.A version of "country" can be found in the modern French language as contrée, based on the word cuntrée in Old French, that is used similarly to the word "pays" to define non-state regions, but can also be used to describe a political state in some particular cases. The modern Italian contrada is a word with its meaning varying locally, but usually meaning a ward or similar small division of a town, or a village or hamlet in the countryside.

Sovereignty status

{{See also|List of sovereign states}}The term "country" can refer to a sovereign state. There is no universal agreement on the number of "countries" in the world since a number of states have disputed sovereignty status. By one application of the declarative theory of statehood and constitutive theory of statehood, there are 206 sovereign states; of which 193 are members of the United Nations, two have observer status at the UN (the Holy See and Palestine), and 11 others are neither a member nor observer at the UN. The latest proclaimed state is South Sudan since 2011.The degree of autonomy of non-sovereign countries varies widely. Some are possessions of sovereign states, as several states have overseas territories (such as French Polynesia or the British Virgin Islands), with citizenry at times identical and at times distinct from their own. Such territories, with the exception of distinct dependent territories, are usually listed together with sovereign states on lists of countries, but may nonetheless be treated as a separate "country of origin" in international trade, as Hong Kong is.WEB,weblink Made In The British Crown Colony, Thuy-Tien Crampton, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2014-04-07, WEB,weblink Matchbox label, made in Hong Kong,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 April 2014, WEB,weblink Carrhart Made In Hong Kong?, ContractorTalk, A few states consist of a union of smaller polities which are considered countries:

See also


  1. ^ General information or statistical publications that adopt the wider definition for purposes such as illustration and comparison include:WEB,weblink Greenland Country Information,, 2008-05-28,weblink" title="">weblink 21 December 2007, dead, WEB,weblink The World Factbook – Rank Order – Exports, Central Intelligence Agency, 2008-11-12, WEB,weblink Index of Economic Freedom, The Heritage Foundation, 2008-11-12, WEB,weblink Index of Economic Freedom – Top 10 Countries, The Heritage Foundation, 2008-11-12, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-01-24, WEB,weblink Asia-Pacific (Region A) Economic Information, PDF, The Heritage Foundation, 2008-11-12, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-11-14, WEB,weblink Subjective well-being in 97 countries, PDF, University of Michigan, 2008-11-12, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-08-19, Mercer's 2012 Cost of Living Survey city rankings {{webarchive |url= |date=25 July 2008 }}. (18 December 2008). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.WEB,weblink Country, industry and risk analysis from The Economist Intelligence Unit – List of countries – The Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU Digital Solutions,, WEB,weblink Measuring Misery around the World, May 2014, Hanke, Steve H., Cato Institute,



Further reading

External links

{{sister project links|d=Property:P17}} {{Lists of countries and territories by continent}}{{Authority control}}

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