People often want to know about the oldest country in the world and where the oldest country in the world is located, but this is not always easy to answer. The reason for this is that places have been created and destroyed over the centuries and what we call countries today may not always have existed as one entity.The following is not a list of the oldest countries in the world, but rather it is our top 20 of what many people consider today to be the oldest countries. One thing almost everyone can agree on is that the main criterion for making this list is that a country must be considered by its own citizens to be very old.The following 20 countries all fit these criteria and as such are listed as some of the oldest places on earth:1. San MarinoSan Marino, which was not formally a country until 1998, is the oldest independent republic in the world. It is a small city-state, just north of the Italian Canale Della Giudecca. Being only 67 square miles in size makes San Marino very easy to defend and is what makes it such an independent republic.The Romans annexed San Marino as part of their 100 AUC or Aurelian War for control over the Italian peninsula. San Marino was restored to full independence by Napoleon in 1802 and its government structure has remained unchanged since then.2. FranceFrance is a country that has existed for the last 12 centuries. Even though France was not formally a nation until the 1790s, it has always been one. The Romans ruled France as they did most of Europe, but they were unable to govern all of Gaul. In 987, the Capetian dynasty began, which united much of the modern-day France and expanded it to include the low countries and parts of Spain and England.3. SpainSpain has existed for so long that it is not surprising that people would consider it to be very old. Much like France, Spain was never formally established as a nation until the mid-1700s under Charles III. However, it has always been one country, even though the name has changed several times.France and Spain have both existed as a part of the Roman Empire and later as separate entities and both are considered to be very old countries.4. PortugalPortugal is one of the oldest countries in the world and it has an interesting history. The Romans, who had occupied much of the Iberian Peninsula including Spain, were unable to conquer Lusitania until the mid-190 AUC (27 BC). By then the Romans controlled most of Spain, and Lusitania was incorporated into that Roman province.5. GreeceGreece is considered to be the oldest country in the world. It was established as a nation-state in 1832, but its roots go back to 1000 BC. In 480 BC, Greece rebelled against the Persian Empire and won their freedom. A federation of city-states called the Delian League was formed and was governed by Athens. In 431 BC, King Philip II managed to conquer all of Greece, but it became independent again in 404 AD.6. EthiopiaEthiopia is considered to be the oldest independent monarchy in the world and it is also the oldest country in Africa. Its also considered to be one of the olders countres of the world. In its 3,000-year history, Ethiopia has never been colonised and it has been ruled by one of two different monarchies since its origins. Ethiopia was originally a kingdom and the Aksumite civilisation held sway over much of East Africa from 100 BC, until they were conquered by the Ethiopians in 525 AD.7. EnglandEngland is a country that has existed for over 1000 years. When it formed as a nation in 1066 AD, it was the dominant power in Western Europe. At that time, England included all of what is now known as England, Scotland and Wales.England was first unified in 829 AD when the Danes left Scotland to found a new kingdom there with their capital at Jorvik (York), which they named after their leader King Guthred.8. SyriaSyria is one of the oldest nations in the world. The Roman conquest in 63 BC ended up lasting only 2 years. The Romans managed to capture it by 64 BC and held it for the next 400 years. Syria had its own king, who was given power by Rome, and they were allowed to rule under Roman supervision.9. EgyptThe Egyptians are considered to be one of the oldest civilisations in the world. Egypt became a nation-state with the rise of King Menes and in 3100 BC it became part of the Kingdom of Kush. Kush, which was located on the southern borders of Egypt, had several small kingdoms within its borders that were constantly fighting each other until they all united.10. IndiaIndia's roots go back to the Indus Valley Civilisation, which was the first place on earth where people stopped being nomadic and developed cities. This civilisation was much older than Egyptian, but it has not been as widely written about.India became a true kingdom when Chandragupta Maurya united much of what is now modern-day India under his rule in 322 BC. He founded the Maurya Empire, which lasted until 185 BC, when it was conquered by the Seleucids.11. ChinaChina is one of the oldest countries in the world and it has been a country in some form for many centuries. The first dynasty was established back in 221 BC and ever since then it has had a constant group of rulers. The last dynasty, which was the Qing Dynasty, fell in 1911 with the Xinhai Revolution.12. JapanThe nation of Japan is considered to be one of the oldest countries in Asia and it has existed as an independent country since 1952. After World War II, Japan was completely occupied by allied soldiers who were stationed there permanently. Eventually, all occupation troops left and Japan regained its power to govern itself.13. KoreaKorea is an independent country that has existed in some form for over 2,000 years. It originated as a kingdom called Baekje, which controlled much of the Korean peninsula from the 3rd to 7th centuries. In 668 AD, it was conquered by the Silla and they ruled the peninsula until they were conquered by Goguryeo in 668 AD.Korea became one country again after it was unified under the Koryo Dynasty in 935 AD, but it did not last long.14. RussiaRussia is a country that has existed as an independent entity for over 1,000 years. The first official Russian prince was Vladimir Monomakh in 1080 AD, but it became a country in 1917 and it has been unified ever since,15. AfghanistanAfghanistan is considered to be one of the oldest independent countries in the world. It existed as a territory since at least 4000 BC, but its current borders were not established until 1857 when the British took control of Afghanistan's borders.16. HaitiHaiti was first established as a nation in 1804 when Haiti declared independence from France. It was a rich and powerful nation until it was destroyed by a massive earthquake in 2010.Haiti has had its ups and downs throughout its long history.17. IranIran has been around for a little over 2,000 years and it has had many different rulers throughout those years. The current country was established when Reza Shah Pahlavi took power from the Qajar dynasty in 1925.Iran has gone through many political changes during its existence and it is now a democracy under a constitutional monarchy.18. ArmeniaArmenia has been a country for over 2,000 years and it has been on its current borders since 1918. Its capital and largest city is Yerevan.The nation of Armenia was formed back in the 6th century BC from parts of the Urartu Empire and it lasted until the 15th century BC when it fell under Persian control. It regained independence in 190 BC when the Orontid Dynasty took power and held onto it, until it fell to Alexander the Great in 331 BC.19. SerbiaSerbia is one of the oldest, if not the oldest country in Europe, and it has been on its current borders since 1878 when the Berlin Congress gave it to the Serbian Principality. In 1918, Serbia merged with Montenegro and they came together to form Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia eventually disintegrated into multiple countries in the 1990s.20. HollandHolland is considered to be one of the oldest independent countries in Europe and it has had its current borders since 1579 when the Dutch provinces united under Maurice of Nassau. The country was known as Holland for many centuries because all people in Holland are called Hollanders.ConclusionThis is a brief history of all the countries in the world and how they came to be. Many of these countries have existed in some form for thousands of years. The world has evolved so much throughout its history and there is so much to learn from it. The countries that exist today have developed from their predecessors, except for a few new ones recently, and they are all very different from what they were hundreds or thousands of years ago.FAQsWhat is the oldest country in the world with the largest population in the world?The largest country in the world with an old civilisation is Russia. It is almost twice as large as Europe and it contains over half of the population of the whole world.What are the smallest countries in the world with old civilisations?The smallest countries in the world with an old civilisation history are Vatican City and Monaco, but Vatican City also has one of the highest populations so it is, by far, the smallest country with a high population.