|Continent||Number of countries|
|Australia and Oceania||14|
|Total number: 197|
To answer this question, you should firstly clarify what you mean by a country and how you distinguish it from the concept of the state. These concepts are similar in meaning, but still different. The first one often means something in common on the basis of territory, culture and people. The second means mainly a sovereign power on a certain area.
But it is still more complicated: there is no universally accepted definition of these concepts, and there is no regulation, according to which the states should be recognized or not (any political power always has enemies, with all the contradictions and collisions as follows). In practice, it all comes down to a bilateral or multilateral recognition, which is always associated with the personal motives of the parties. For example, Abkhazia and South Ossetia were recognized by the Russian Federation, but are not recognized by most countries of the world. At the same time, Russia has still not officially recognized and established diplomatic relations with such entities as Kosovo and Northern Cyprus, but there are countries that have accepted them, cooperate with them closely and encourage. Everyone decides this matter for himself, according to the national interests and the opportunity to defend them.
In counting the number of countries around the world one can rely on the degree of state sovereignty, even if it is also relative. But according to this criterion the world's remaining colonies and dependent territories (for example, the Cook Islands and American Samoa) are immediately excluded from the list.
Geographically, it is convenient to divide the countries by the continents. In this case, Africa has the leading number of countries, it being fifty four. The smallest number of countries is in South America (only twelve). And the overall number of countries on the Earth is 197, though, according to various estimates (with different criteria), it may vary.
Origin page: Сколько стран в мире.