The Commonwealth defines small states as sovereign states with a population size of 1.5 million people or less . Using this standard, 44 countries are classified as small states according to the World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth has 32 small states among its 54 members. In addition, the Commonwealth also includes some larger member countries which share many of the characteristics of small states; these are Botswana, Jamaica, Gambia, Lesotho, Namibia and Papua New Guinea.
Full list of our small states classified by the Commonwealth Secretariat/World Bank criteria >>
Commonwealth small states face further challenges in their quest for economic and environmental development and growth. These include growing debt burdens; pressure from increasing compliance costs to combat global terrorism; security and crime; corruption; a heightened need for regional and other forms of integration; migration of skilled workers and rising levels of youth unemployment.
Needs of small states is one of The Commonwealth Secretariat's highest priorities. It supports small states in many ways; by advancing their integration in the global economy, building their resilience and competitiveness and helping them take advantage of opportunities and to meet challenges arising from globalisation.