What is the exact number of countries in the world?

seems to be a question - what is the total number of countries in the world, but he often puts geographers to a standstill, because different calculation methods yield different results.

First you need to distinguish between the concept of "nation" and "state" because they are not identical.The government has recognized the independence of other countries, the official state borders and other attributes when the country - not always.In addition, the concept of "country" often involves controversial colonies and dependent and semi-dependent territories.

For example, the number of countries in the world according to the number of 192 UN member states, but there are at least two States that are not members of the United Nations - Kosovo and the Vatican City.In addition, there is still Taiwan, which is the statistical reference books and encyclopedias for a long time has a separate status from China, but China does not recognize Taiwan as a separate state, believing it to their particular area, so for political reasons, the United Nations did not include it in its composition as a separate party.But this debate about what is the number of countries in the world does not end.

addition of a unique status, there are states with uncertain status.The number of countries in the world with this status is now 12: 8 of them are recognized by one or more member states of the United Nations, 2 the state, one recognized or partially recognized by several States, as well as 2 officially unrecognized by any country.These 8 countries recognized by at least one member of the UN, and are not part of this organization, but according to international law, should be recognized as independent states, but for one reason or another their political status remains unclear.The list of these countries are already referred to the Republic of Kosovo and Taiwan (Republic of China) and the Republic of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Palestine, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Cyprus considers its occupied territory), the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Azad Jammu and Kashmir(separated from Pakistan and recognized them).

In addition, responding to the question, what is the number of countries in the world, not to mention the phenomenon of virtual states.According to the theory of statehood, every state must have a territory, but the Internet makes it possible to ignore such a necessity.On the other hand, can have a virtual state flag, coat of arms, even to produce banknotes and stamps.

In addition, these states can claim to territory in Antarctica,
to comply with all state attributes.These areas include the Grand Duchy of Westarctica, founded in 2001, as well as the famous unrecognized state of Sealand, in the territorial waters of the United Kingdom.But on its territory, consisting of a platform built during the Second World War, Britain does not apply.Yet there wirtland Vimperium and that is completely Internet-based network.Also, the state in the conventional sense can not be called the Order of Malta, has nevertheless an observer status at the UN.

So definitely say what the number of the world, it is not possible.As a recognized method of counting 195 states there, but if we talk specifically about the countries and to include in this concept not recognized and the disputed territories, the answer may be the number 262.