Dependencies And Territories Of The World

Tom Smith

There are 195 countries in the world (193 UN members and two non-observer states), of which a few states possess numerous dependent territories scattered all over the globe. A dependency or dependent territory is a territory that is not fully independent or sovereign and also not fully part of an […]

There are 195 countries in the world (193 UN members and two non-observer states), of which a few states possess numerous dependent territories scattered all over the globe. A dependency or dependent territory is a territory that is not fully independent or sovereign and also not fully part of an independent country. However, the sovereign state has some degree of influence on the dependent territory, although some of the dependent territories are fully responsible for their internal affairs.

A dependency is different from a country’s subdivision in that it is not geographically part of the sovereign state nor its constituent part. It maintains some degree of political autonomy not enjoyed by a country’s administrative subdivisions. However, not all autonomous polities are dependencies or dependent territories, and not all dependencies are autonomous. The degree of autonomy is often highlighted by the presence of a local government elected by the local people, although such dependencies still do not have complete political independence. In this case, the constitution of the sovereign state only applies partly to the dependency or overseas territory. Interestingly, some dependencies democratically chose to reject their independence for territorial status partly because they feel economically and politically exposed if they become sovereign states.

Several terms can be used to refer to the dependencies and/or territories. These terms include overseas territories, crown dependencies, overseas possessions, unincorporated territories, and areas of special sovereignty. Crown dependencies are self-governing crown possessions, which the British government solely protects and represent at international levels. “Unincorporated” is a term used in the US to refer to territories where the US Constitution only partially applies. France refers to its external semi-autonomous regions as “overseas collectivities,” while the Netherlands uses the phrase “constituent countries” to refer to its territories.

There are about 58 dependencies and/or territories, most of which are islands in the world’s oceans. Although the British Empire no longer exists, the United Kingdom has the most dependencies or overseas territories. It has 17 unincorporated and dependent territories, including Gibraltar and Falkland Island. France and the US also have sizeable numbers of dependencies, with some of the US known territories including Puerto Rico and Guam. However, some dependent territories and dependencies are disputed between two or more countries. For instance, Spratly Islands is claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.




























































Dependency/Territory Capital Claimed By

American Samoa

Pago Pago

USA

Anguilla

The Valley

UK

Aruba

Oranjestad

Netherlands

Ashmore & Cartier Islands

NA

Australia

Baker & Howland Islands

NA

USA

Bermuda

Hamilton

UK

Bouvet Island

NA

Norway

British Indian Ocean Territory

Diego Garcia

UK

British Virgin Islands

Road Town

UK

Cayman Islands

George Town

UK

Christmas Island

Flying Fish Cove

Australia

Cocos Islands

West Island

Australia

Cook Islands

Avarua

New Zealand

Coral Sea Islands

NA

Australia

Faeroe Islands

Torshavn

Denmark

Falkland Islands

Stanley

UK

French Guiana

Cayenne

France

French Polynesia

Papeete

France

Gibraltar

Gibraltar

UK

Greenland

Nuuk

Denmark

Guadeloupe

Basse-Terre

France

Guam

Agana

USA

Guernsey

St. Peter Port

UK

Heard & Mc Donald Islands

NA

Australia

Hong Kong

NA

Controlled by China

Isle of Man

Douglas

UK

Jan Mayen

NA

Norway

Jarvis Island

NA

USA

Jersey

St. Helier

UK

Johnston Atoll

NA

USA

Kingman Reef

NA

USA

Macao

Macao

Controlled by China

Martinique

Fort-de-France

France

Mayotte

Mamoudzou

France

Midway Islands

NA

USA

Monteserrat

Plymouth

UK

Navassa Island

NA

USA

Netherlands Antilles

Willemstad

Netherlands

New Caledonia

Noumea

France

Niue

Alofi

New Zealand

Norfolk Island

Kingston

Australia

Northern Mariana Islands

Saipan

USA

Palmyra Atoll

NA

USA

Paracel Islands

Woody Island

disputed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam

Puerto Rico

San Juan

USA

Peter Island

NA

Norway

Pitcairn Islands

Adamstown

UK

Reunion

Saint-Denis

France

St. Helena & Dependencies

Jamestown

UK

St. Pierre & Miquelon

St. Pierre

France

South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands

Grytviken

UK

Spratly Islands

NA

disputed by China, Vietnam, Malaysia and more

Svlabard

Longyearbyen

Norway

Tokelau

NA

New Zealand

Turks & Caicos Islands

Cockburn Town

UK

Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie

USA

Wake Island

NA

USA

Wallis & Futuna

Mata Uta

France

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