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Same area as above illustrating territorial and political boundaries

A country is a region that is identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. Regardless of the physical geography, in the modern internationally accepted legal definition as defined by the League of Nations in 1937 and reaffirmed by the United Nations in 1945, a resident of a country is subject to the independent exercise of legal jurisdiction.

Sometimes the word countries is used to refer both to sovereign states and to other political entities,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> while other times it refers only to states.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> For example, the CIA World Factbook uses the word in its "Country name" field to refer to "a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states".<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>[Note 1]


Country sections
Intro  Etymology and usage  Sovereignty status  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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