People stand over a world map at the Monument to the Discoveries in the Belem parish of Lisbon, Portugal, on Aug. 21, 2014.
(Frederic Soltan/Corbis via Getty Images)
How many countries are there in the world? It’s a seemingly simple question. But like so many things in geopolitics, the answer is, well...complicated. The 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States listed four requirements for statehood: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. The issue, however, is defining who meets that criteria, which varies depending on who you ask.