Countries that Still Have Colonies

In an era where globalization is the buzzword and the world is connected more than ever, one might be surprised to know that there are still territories under other countries’ jurisdiction. Often referred to as ‘colonies’ or ‘dependencies,’ these regions are administered by a separate sovereign state. This article explores the question: Which countries still have colonies?

A Glance at Modern-Day Colonies

There are 61 colonies or territories in the world today, maintained by eight countries. These countries are:

  1. Australia, with 6 territories
  2. Denmark, with 2 territories
  3. Netherlands, with 2 territories
  4. France, with 16 territories
  5. New Zealand, with 3 territories
  6. Norway, with 3 territories
  7. The United Kingdom, with 15 territories
  8. United States, with 14 territories

Delving Deeper: Territories under Each Country’s Jurisdiction

Under Australian Jurisdiction (6):

  • Ashmore and Cartier Islands
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Coral Sea Islands
  • Heard Island and McDonald Islands
  • Norfolk Island

Under Danish Jurisdiction (2):

  • Faroe Islands
  • Greenland

Under Dutch Jurisdiction (2):

  • Aruba
  • Netherlands Antilles

Under French Jurisdiction (16):

  • Bassas da India
  • Clipperton Island
  • Europa Island
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French Southern and Antarctic Lands
  • Glorioso Islands
  • Guadeloupe
  • Juan de Nova Island
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • New Caledonia
  • Réunion
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Tromelin Island
  • Wallis and Futuna

Under New Zealand Jurisdiction (3):

  • Cook Islands
  • Niue
  • Tokelau

Under Norwegian Jurisdiction (3):

  • Bouvet Island
  • Jan Mayen
  • Svalbard

Under UK Jurisdiction (15):

  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey
  • Isle of Man
  • Montserrat
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

Under U.S. Jurisdiction (14):

  • American Samoa
  • Baker Island
  • Guam
  • Howland Island
  • Jarvis Island
  • Johnston Atoll
  • Kingman Reef
  • Midway Islands
  • Navassa Island
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palmyra Atoll
  • Puerto Rico
  • Virgin Islands
  • Wake Island

Territories with Disputed Status

Apart from the established territories, there are also areas with disputed jurisdiction. These include:

  • Antarctica
  • Bajo Nuevo Bank (Petrel Islands)
  • Gaza Strip
  • Paracel Islands
  • Serranilla Bank
  • Spratly Islands
  • West Bank
  • Western Sahara

These regions have multiple countries staking claims, and the dispute is often a result of historical, political, or strategic reasons.

What did we learn today?

While most nations have moved past the era of colonial expansion, the remnants of this period still persist in the form of these territories and colonies. Understanding which countries still have colonies is essential in appreciating the complex tapestry of geopolitics and international relations in the present day.

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