How many countries in South America?

There are 12 countries in South America. If you want to know how many countries there are in the world, click here

On my journey to every country in the world, personally I spent well over a year crossing the ‘Super Continent’ (aka ‘The Americas’). The Americas contains two of the 7 continents; North America & South America. If you want to know how many countries in North America, there are 23 (click the link to read what they are).  But now it’s time to look at their southern neighbors and see how many countries are in South America, the 4th biggest continent.

How many countries in South America
How many countries in South America; In Peru!

What Countries Are in South America?

As I told you at the start, there are 12 countries but also a few dependent territories which I’ll get to later. Brazil is easily the biggest country, it has over 50% of both the land and population on the continent. Another country on the list that’s interesting is Suriname; it might be in Latin America but it’s the only place here where Dutch is the official language, the country is tiny, with a population of under half a million people. Here is a list of the 23 countries in South America:

  1. Argentina
  2. Bolivia (home to the famous ‘Death Road cycle track’
  3. Brazil
  4. Chile
  5. Colombia
  6. Ecuador (don’t miss out on mountain biking down Cotopaxi volcano when you’re here!)
  7. Guyana
  8. Paraguay
  9. Peru
  10. Suriname
  11. Uruguay
  12. Venezuela
How many countries in South America
How many countries in South America; in Bolivia!

What About Dependent Territories In The Region? Isn’t French Guiana A Country?

More often than not, when I make these lists the countries are fairly straight forward. The real debate comes when deciding which dependent territories to include as being part of the continent and then whether we should actually see them as sovereign states. Click here to remind yourself about my definition of disputed/dependent territories – it’s well worth a read because you get to see how we categorise certain places on the map.

In South America, there are 3 dependent territories, which are;

French Guiana (France)

French Guiana is not a country. It is an overseas region of France. French Guiana, and its Capital city of Cayenne, is situated in the northeastern part of the continent, sitting next to Guyana and Suriname both of which are countries, having officially gained independence from the British & Dutch respectively.

The Falkland Islands (UK)

The Falklands is a self-governed British Overseas Territory. Argentina still disputes the British ownership and claim it should belong to their nation. The archipelago is made up of hundreds of small islands which are home to many types of birds and a huge number of sheep. 

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (UK)

The islands were part of The Falkland Islands up until 1985. It is a British Overseas Territory, but interestingly there are no permanent residents there. The non-permanent residents are made up of scientists and researchers. 

And Finally…..what about Easter Island?

Home to the world-famous stone sculptures representing the faces of ancestors in the past, Easter island is the most remote inhabited island on the planet, but alas, it is not a country, nor is it even in South America. It still remains part of Chile, and actually falls within the list of Pacific Island nations, which belong to Australasia/Australian continent. 

Thoughts on how many countries in South America?

There are 12 countries and 3 dependencies in South America. South America is a lot more simple than how many countries there are in Africa, or Europe for example. Do you guys agree? Let me know what you think and leave your comments below. Look out for the other posts about country lists of all the other continents in the world!

How many countries in South America
How many countries in South America; 12 but Easter Island doesn’t count!

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Colombia in South America (everythi...
Colombia in South America (everything you need to know)
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