The 9 Countries That Start With P in 2024

© ibrar.kunri/

Written by Oak Simmons

Updated: November 7, 2023

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There are 195 countries in the world today. Of these 195 countries, there are nine countries that start with P. Countries that start with the letter P include Portugal, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, and Palau. The combined population of these countries is approximately 462 million. These nine countries are spread almost evenly across five of the seven continents. Two of these countries are in Asia, two are in Europe, two are in South America, two are in Oceania, and one is in North America. Africa and Antarctica are the only continents that lack any countries that start with P.

The Portuguese Empire, from 1415 to 1999, was one of the longest-lived European empires.

Let’s explore the nine countries that start with P, in order from greatest to least population. This guide includes the location, population, and size of each country, along with which countries are the oldest and youngest.

Summary of the 9 Countries That Start With P

Papua New Guinea8,935,000

1. Pakistan


Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan, with a population of over 20 million.


Pakistan is the fifth-most populous country in the world. It is also the second-largest country by area in South Asia, behind its neighbor India. The total area of Pakistan is 340,509 square miles. Pakistan gained independence from the British Indian Empire in 1947. The name Pakistan means “land of the pure” in Persian.

2. Philippines

Manila - Philippines, Philippines, Urban Skyline, Greater Manila Area, City

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is the second-most populous city, with a population of 1,846,513.


The Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia that is made up of 7,641 islands. 115,831 square miles is the total area of The Philippines. The Philippines was colonized by Spain and then the United States until it gained independence in 1946. King Phillip II of Spain is the origin of The Philippines’ name.

3. Poland

Warsaw, Poland. Aerial view Palace of Culture and Science and downtown business skyscrapers, city center.

Warsaw is the capital and largest city in Poland, with a population of 1,863,056.

©PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/

Poland is in Central Europe. The total area of Poland is 120,733 square miles. Poland was a member of the Eastern Bloc of the Soviet Union but regained its independence in 1989. The name Poland comes from the Western Polans, a tribe that began inhabiting the area in the 6th century.

4. Peru

LIMA, PERU: Panoramic view of Lima from Miraflores.

Lima is the largest city in Peru and the third largest in South America. The population of Lima is 9,751,717.

©Christian Vinces/

Peru is in Western South America. The total area of Peru is 496,225 square miles, making it the 19th largest country in the world. Peru was colonized by the Spanish Empire but gained independence in 1824. The name Peru is thought to come from BirĂº, a local ruler of 16th-century Panama City.

5. Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital and largest city in Portugal with a population of 544,851.


Portugal is on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. The total area of Portugal is 35,603 square miles. Portugal’s name comes from Portus Cale, an ancient Roman-Celtic town on the Duoro River. The Portuguese Empire, from 1415 to 1999, was one of the longest-lived European empires.

6. Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Port Moresby is the capital and largest city in Papua New Guinea, with a population of 383,000.


Papua New Guinea is in Oceania, the continent that includes Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. It incorporates the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and nearby islands. The total area of Papua New Guinea is 178,700 square miles.

7. Paraguay

Presidential Palace in Asuncion, Paraguay. It serves as a workplace for the President and the government of Paraguay.

Asunción is the capital and largest city in Paraguay, with a population of 525,252.

©Don Mammoser/

Paraguay is in central South America and covers a total area of 157,065 square miles. Paraguay was colonized by the Spanish Empire but gained its independence in 1811. The name Paraguay translates to ‘this side of the river’ in Guarani.

8. Panama

Downtown Panama City Skyscrapers, Panama

The capital and largest city in Panama is Panama City, with a population of 4,337,768.


Panama is transcontinental, located on the narrow strip of land where North America and South America meet. The total area of Panama is just 29,119 square miles. The origins of Panama’s name are unknown.

9. Palau

Aerial View of the City of Koror (Palau, Micronesia)

Koror is the largest city in Palau, with a population of 11,200.

©Naima Niemand/

Palau is in beautiful Oceania. Although it is made up of around 340 islands, the total area of Palau is only 180 square miles. The name Palau comes from the Palauan word Belau, meaning ‘village’. Like many Pacific islands, Palau was once a trust territory of the United Nations administered by the United States. Palau gained sovereignty in 1994.

The Most Populated Country That Starts With P

Pakistan is the most populated country that starts with P, with a population of 249,566,743.

The Largest Country That Starts With P By Area

Peru is the largest country that starts with P, with an area of 496,225 square miles.

The Oldest Country That Starts With P

Portugal, formed in 1,143, is the oldest country that starts with P. The incredibly long-lived Portuguese Empire lasted from 1415 to 1999.

The Youngest Country That Starts With P

Palau gained its sovereignty in 1994 when it entered a Compact of Free Association with the United States. This makes Palau the youngest country that starts with P.

Summary of 9 Countries That Start With P

RankCountry Beginning With PPopulation
6Papua New Guinea8,935,000
Summary Table of 9 Countries That Start With P

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About the Author

Oak Simmons is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering North American wildlife and geography. They graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. A resident of Washington state, Oak enjoys tracking mammals and watching birds.

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