I was looking at this list of countries by area and noticed something unusual – not that many have area between 1,000 and 10,000 square kilometres. The following table confirms this.
|Area||#||“countries” excluded (if area > 1000 sq km)|
|1-2||1||Guadeloupe, Faroe Islands, Martinique,
|2-4||3||South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands,
|4-8||3||French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Palestinian territories,
|8-16||10||Falkland Islands, Puerto Rico|
(Here I have assumed 196 countries: the 193 member states of the UN plus Taiwan, Kosovo and Vatican City. The seven smallest countries are Marshall Islands, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Tuvalu, Nauru, Monaco and Vatican City.)
I would have expected to see reasonably constant numbers except for the tail ends, as they are for other ranges of area. In fact there are just 8 countries between 1,000 and 10,000 square kilometres but 20 between 100 and 1,000 and 57 between 10,000 and 100,000! The 8 special countries in decreasing order of area are:
Cyprus, Brunei, Trinidad and Tobago, Cape Verde, Samoa, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Comoros
Six out of these are islands, so perhaps this anomaly indicates that for this area range, it is on the small side for a continental region or that there are not many groups of islands with total area in this range that are willing to form a unified nation.