Commonwealth of Nations

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 million km² on all continents with a population of around 2.63 billion. This corresponds to 20.85 percent of all land masses and 33.31 percent of the world population.

Official website:
Map of member countries: Commonwealth of Nations
Antigua and Barbuda19810.09 M440 km²
Australia193125.69 M7,741,000 km²
Bahamas19730.41 M14,000 km²
Bangladesh1972169.36 M148,000 km²
Barbados19660.28 M430 km²
Belize19810.40 M23,000 km²
Botswana19662.59 M582,000 km²
Brunei19840.45 M5,770 km²
Cameroon199527.20 M475,000 km²
Canada193138.25 M9,985,000 km²
Cyprus19611.24 M9,250 km²
Dominica19780.07 M750 km²
Eswatini19681.19 M17,000 km²
Gambia19652.64 M11,000 km²
Ghana195732.83 M239,000 km²
Grenada19740.12 M340 km²
Guyana19660.80 M215,000 km²
India19471,407.56 M3,287,000 km²
Jamaica19622.83 M11,000 km²
Kenya196353.01 M580,000 km²
Kiribati19790.13 M810 km²
Lesotho19662.28 M30,000 km²
Malawi196419.89 M118,000 km²
Malaysia195733.57 M330,000 km²
Malta19640.52 M320 km²
Mauritius19681.27 M2,040 km²
Mozambique199532.08 M786,000 km²
Namibia19902.53 M824,000 km²
Nauru19990.01 M21 km²
New Zealand19315.12 M268,000 km²
Nigeria1960213.40 M924,000 km²
Pakistan1947231.40 M796,000 km²
Papua New Guinea19759.95 M463,000 km²
Rwanda200913.46 M26,000 km²
Saint Kitts and Nevis19830.05 M260 km²
Saint Lucia19790.18 M620 km²
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines19790.10 M390 km²
Samoa19700.22 M2,840 km²
Seychelles19760.10 M460 km²
Sierra Leone19618.42 M72,000 km²
Singapore19655.45 M719 km²
Solomon Islands19780.71 M29,000 km²
South Africa193159.39 M1,219,000 km²
Sri Lanka194822.16 M66,000 km²
Tanzania196163.59 M947,000 km²
Tonga19700.11 M750 km²
Trinidad and Tobago19621.53 M5,130 km²
Tuvalu19780.01 M26 km²
Uganda196245.85 M242,000 km²
United Kingdom193167.33 M244,000 km²
Vanuatu19800.32 M12,000 km²
Zambia196419.47 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 four largest colonies allied themselves with the kingdom, although they were already considered sovereign states. The first four 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 promised. It was quite possible that the member countries themselves even 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 held office from 1952 to 2022. The symbolic head of the Commonwealth is always the head of the British Crown, currently King Charles III. Thus, the administrative seat of the Commonwealth is always in London.

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

Former member countries

Fiji20090.92 M18,000 km²
Ireland19495.03 M70,000 km²
Maldives20160.52 M300 km²
Zimbabwe200315.99 M391,000 km²

Dependent territories

Some of the above-mentioned member states have other external territories dependent on them. These are not independent states, but they do have some economic and political autonomy. The Commonwealth of Nations treaties apply to them at least in part. These countries are not listed as official member states.

AnguillaCaribbeanSelf-governing territory of the United Kingdom
BermudaNorth AmericaSelf-governing territory of the United Kingdom
British Indian Ocean TerritoryEastern AfricaTerritory of the United Kingdom
British Virgin IslandsCaribbeanSelf-governing territory of the United Kingdom
Cayman IslandsCaribbeanSelf-governing territory of the United Kingdom
Christmas IslandAustralia/New ZealandNon-self-governing territory of Australia
Cocos IslandsAustralia/New ZealandNon-self-governing territory of Australia
Falkland IslandsSouth AmericaSelf-governing territory of the United Kingdom
GibraltarSouthern EuropeSelf-governing territory of the United Kingdom
GuernseyNorthern EuropeAutonomous Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom
Heard and McDonaldAustralia/New ZealandTerritory of Australia
Isle of ManNorthern EuropeAutonomous Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom
JerseyNorthern EuropeAutonomous Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom
MontserratCaribbeanSelf-governing territory of the United Kingdom
Norfolk IslandAustralia/New ZealandTerritory of Australia
Pitcairn IslandsPolynesiaBritish overseas territory
Saint HelenaWestern AfricaLimited self-governing territory of the United Kingdom
South GeorgiaSouth AmericaTerritory of the United Kingdom
TokelauPolynesiaTerritory of New Zealand
Turks and Caicos IslandsCaribbeanSelf-governing territory of the United Kingdom