According to the InfoPlease Kids’ Almanac in Yahooligans!, there are currently 190 independent countries worldwide. Russia is the largest country, while Vatican City in Rome is the smallest–it’s less than half a mile wide! But there are also dozens of territories, colonies, and dependencies. These are areas that are under the control of larger countries. For instance, Samoa, a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, is under the control of the United States. And there are many territories that want to be officially recognized as independent countries. So the number changes from year to year.