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Commonwealth of Nationsvgwort

Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations

The 52 states of the Commonwealth of Nations are basically an association of countries of the former British Empire. It was founded in 1931, when the largest and most influential former colonies, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, were to become independent of the British Crown.

The 52 current members of the Commonwealth of Nations cover an area of 31.51 m km² on all continents with a population of around 2.56 bn. This corresponds to 20.85% of all land masses and 33.08% of the world population.

Map of member countries: Commonwealth of Nations

CountryCommencementPopulationArea
Antigua and Barbuda19810.10 M440 km²
Australia193125.69 M7,741,000 km²
Bahamas19730.39 M14,000 km²
Bangladesh1972164.69 M148,000 km²
Barbados19660.29 M430 km²
Belize19810.40 M23,000 km²
Botswana19662.35 M582,000 km²
Brunei19840.44 M5,770 km²
Cameroon199526.55 M475,000 km²
Canada193138.01 M9,985,000 km²
Cyprus19611.21 M9,250 km²
Dominica19780.07 M750 km²
Eswatini19681.16 M17,000 km²
Gambia19652.42 M11,000 km²
Ghana195731.07 M239,000 km²
Grenada19740.11 M340 km²
Guyana19660.79 M215,000 km²
India19471,380.00 M3,287,000 km²
Jamaica19622.96 M11,000 km²
Kenya196353.77 M580,000 km²
Kiribati19790.12 M810 km²
Lesotho19662.14 M30,000 km²
Malawi196419.13 M118,000 km²
Malaysia195732.37 M330,000 km²
Malta19640.53 M320 km²
Mauritius19681.27 M2,040 km²
Mozambique199531.26 M786,000 km²
Namibia19902.54 M824,000 km²
Nauru19990.01 M21 km²
New Zealand19315.08 M268,000 km²
Nigeria1960206.14 M924,000 km²
Pakistan1947220.89 M796,000 km²
Papua New Guinea19758.95 M463,000 km²
Rwanda200912.95 M26,000 km²
Saint Kitts and Nevis19830.05 M260 km²
Saint Lucia19790.18 M620 km²
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines19790.11 M390 km²
Samoa19700.20 M2,840 km²
Seychelles19760.10 M460 km²
Sierra Leone19617.98 M72,000 km²
Singapore19655.69 M719 km²
Solomon Islands19780.69 M29,000 km²
South Africa193159.31 M1,219,000 km²
Sri Lanka194821.92 M66,000 km²
Tanzania196159.73 M947,000 km²
Tonga19700.11 M750 km²
Trinidad and Tobago19621.40 M5,130 km²
Tuvalu19780.01 M26 km²
Uganda196245.74 M242,000 km²
United Kingdom193167.22 M244,000 km²
Vanuatu19800.31 M12,000 km²
Zambia196418.38 M753,000 km²



Origins of the Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations dates back to the British Empire, which consisted of more and more colonies and occupied territories from the 15th to the early 20th century. In 1922 it had 458 million inhabitants worldwide. At that time, this corresponded to a quarter of the world's population on a quarter of the entire earth. After the end of the First World War, the 4 largest colonies allied themselves with the kingdom, although they were already considered sovereign states. The first 4 partners were initially referred to as "Dominions", and since 1952 as "Commonwealth Realms". Over the years more and more countries were added, almost all of which were once an English colony or at least a territory occupied by England. The only exceptions are Mozambique and Rwanda.

The Commonwealth of Nations sees itself more as a partnership than as a contractually binding construct. All states of today's Commonwealth of Nations are sovereign states and not interdependent. They commit themselves to common loyalty to the British Crown. Originally, this was also the only part of the treaty ever promised. It could well be that the member states themselves had an autocratic government. In Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the British royal house was adopted and referred to as the "Queen of Australia" (or Canada and New Zealand), which meant Queen Elizabeth II, who had been in office since 1952. The symbolic head of the Commenwealth is always the head of the British Crown. Thus, also the administrative seat is always in London.

Until 1962 all Commonwealth citizens were considered British citizens and were therefore able to immigrate to the United Kingdom and received British citizenship.

Former member countries

CountryExitPopulationArea
Fiji20090.90 M18,000 km²
Ireland19494.99 M70,000 km²
Maldives20160.54 M300 km²
Zimbabwe200314.86 M391,000 km²


Dependent territories

Some of the above member states have other dependent outlying areas. These are not independent states, but they do have some economic and political autonomy. The treaties concluded by the Commonwealth of Nations apply to them at least in part. However, these countries are not listed as official member states.

CountryRegionDependency
AnguillaCaribbeanselbstregiertes Territorium des Vereinigten Königreiches
BermudaNorth Americaselbstregiertes Territorium des Vereinigten Königreiches
British Indian Ocean TerritoryEastern AfricaTerritory of the United Kingdom
British Virgin IslandsCaribbeanselbstregiertes Territorium des Vereinigten Königreiches
Cayman IslandsCaribbeanselbstregiertes Territorium des Vereinigten Königreiches
Christmas IslandAustralia/New Zealandnicht selbstregiertes Territorium Australiens
Cocos IslandsAustralia/New Zealandnicht selbstregiertes Territorium Australiens
Falkland IslandsSouth Americaselbstregiertes Territorium des Vereinigten Königreiches
GibraltarSouthern Europeselbstregiertes Territorium des Vereinigten Königreiches
GuernseyNorthern Europeautonomer Kronbesitz des Vereinigten Königreiches
Heard and McDonaldAustralia/New ZealandTerritory of Australia
Isle of ManNorthern Europeautonomer Kronbesitz des Vereinigten Königreiches
JerseyNorthern Europeautonomer Kronbesitz des Vereinigten Königreiches
MontserratCaribbeanselbstregiertes Territorium des Vereinigten Königreiches
Norfolk IslandAustralia/New ZealandTerritorium Australiens
Pitcairn IslandsPolynesiaBritisches Überseegebiet
Saint HelenaWestern Africabeschränkt selbstregiertes Territorium des Vereinigten Königreiches
South Georgia and South Sandwich IslandsSouth AmericaTerritory of the United Kingdom
TokelauPolynesiaTerritorium Neuseelands
Turks and Caicos IslandsCaribbeanselbstregiertes Territorium des Vereinigten Königreiches