Asia Trivia

Smallest Country in Asia by Area and Population: Exploring Maldives

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Hey there, trivia enthusiasts! Welcome to another exciting edition of our trivia deep dive. Today, we’re heading into the vast continent of Asia. In this installment, we’ll be tackling a popular question from ‘The Asia Trivia Quiz’ where we explore the continents and regions of this remarkable part of the world.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of Asian trivia and uncover some little-known facts and history behind the smallest country in Asia.

Here’s Our Question of the Day

See if you can answer this question from The Asia Trivia Quiz before reading on.

The Smallest Country in Asia: Maldives

When it comes to the smallest country in Asia by area and population, the answer is the picturesque nation of Maldives.

The Maldives, officially known as the Republic of Maldives, is an archipelagic state located in the Indian Ocean. It consists of 26 atolls, which are made up of more than 1,000 coral islands. Despite its small land area, it is renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and clear blue waters.

Geographical Context

The Maldives covers an area of around 298 square kilometers, making it the smallest country in Asia both in terms of land area and population. Its population stands at approximately 530,000 people as of the latest estimates. Despite its size, the Maldives plays a significant role in international discussions on climate change and rising sea levels, as it is particularly vulnerable to these environmental challenges.

Cultural and Political Significance

The Maldives has a distinct cultural heritage influenced by various civilizations, including the Sinhalese, Arabs, Portuguese, and British. Its official language is Dhivehi, and the majority of the population practices Islam, making it the smallest predominantly Muslim country in the world. In terms of governance, the Maldives is a presidential republic, with its capital city located in Male, which is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

The country’s economy heavily relies on tourism, fisheries, and shipping, with tourism being the largest contributor to its GDP. The Maldives is known for its luxury resorts, attracting visitors from around the globe who seek to experience its idyllic beaches and marine biodiversity.

Misconceptions about the Smallest Country in Asia


Many people mistakenly believe that Singapore is the smallest country in Asia by area and population. However, while it is indeed one of the smallest countries in the world, it is not the smallest in Asia. Singapore’s land area is around 721.5 square kilometers, making it significantly larger than the Maldives, which is composed of 26 atolls spanning roughly 298 square kilometers. Singapore’s population of over 5.6 million also dwarfs the approximately 540,000 residents of the Maldives. Despite its small size, Singapore’s role in the global economy and its influential position in Southeast Asia often lead to misconceptions about its actual size in comparison to other countries.


Another common misconception is that Brunei holds the title of the smallest country in Asia. Located on the island of Borneo, Brunei has a land area of approximately 5,765 square kilometers. This area is significantly larger than the Maldives. In addition, Brunei’s population of over 400,000 is also larger than that of the Maldives. While Brunei is indeed a small country, especially in comparison to its neighbors in Southeast Asia, it is not the smallest in either area or population on the continent.


The misconception that Bahrain is the smallest country in Asia by area and population is also prevalent due to its diminutive size. Situated in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain covers an area of about 765 square kilometers, making it larger than the Maldives. Bahrain’s population of over 1.5 million is also significantly greater than that of the Maldives. Despite being one of the smallest Arab states, Bahrain’s strategic location and economic significance often lead to misconceptions about its size. However, when considering both land area and population, the Maldives rightfully claims the title of the smallest country in Asia.


So, the smallest country in Asia by area and population is none other than the stunning Maldives. Despite its small size, this archipelago nation boasts unparalleled natural beauty and is a popular tourist destination for travelers seeking pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life.

If you’re hungry for more trivia challenges, why not put your knowledge to the test and take the Asia Trivia Quiz? It’s a great way to explore more interesting facts and expand your understanding of the diverse and breathtaking continent of Asia.

Professor Leonard Whitman