There are 23 independent countries in North America. But other territories and islands are also considered part of the North American continent. You can freely visit most of these countries but some of the smaller islands might be a bit more difficult to reach without a bit of planning.
The biggest countries in North America
Everybody knows about the US, but North America has multiple other large and small countries you need to know about. If you need to refresh your memory with the list of countries you learned in geography, here they are according to population.
- The United States
The USA has a population of 329 million. It is the wealthiest and the largest country in North America. Many of its cities are the biggest on the continent and in the world. It is also one of the largest countries by landmass in the world.
Canada is another large country on the continent. It has a population of just over 37 million and it can be considered one of the largest countries by mass per person in the world.
Mexico is small compared to Canada and the USA. But it still has a high population of over 128 million. It’s home to Mexico City, one of the largest municipalities in the world.
The small nation of Guatemala has a population of 17 million. This country is one of the Latin countries of North America with Spanish being its first language.
Cuba has a population of over 11 million. The small island nation attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists with its relaxed way of life and with its traditional attractions mostly preserved through the US embargo. Other countries on the continent such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras have a similar population.
- North American countries and foreign territories
Not all territories of the US are independent. Some are owned by countries from other regions of the world. For example, the British Virgin Islands are considered UK territory. Saint Martin is considered French territory.
But some countries are even independent and far away from mainland North America. Greenland is a large island in the middle of the Atlantic that is also considered North America.
Not all North American island nations are small. Jamaica is one of the large islands with millions of inhabitants. It has an army, a parliament, and all of the official bodies needed in a modern state. Jamaica gained independence in 1962.
The North American continent has a diverse population. Both English and Spanish-speaking countries are found here. Some of the smaller territories are even known to speak French as a native tongue together with areas from Eastern Canada. Most of these countries have good transport infrastructure and you can sail or take an airplane to them if you want to visit these countries. The natural scenery is very diverse. From volcanoes to high mountain peaks, North America is one of the naturally rich continents of the world.