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Camilla Care

Countries that start with the letter N

Vaseline 1 month ago

Of the 195 countries in the world, only 11 have names starting with the letter ‘N’. Although the sound “N” begins with the names of only three countries in English, the same sound is used in approximately 78% of all languages!

Furthermore, in English, the “N” sound occurs in approximately 6.95% of all words. This fact comes from researchers at Cornell University. Still, it’s a fascinating story how these 11 countries got their names that start with an ‘N’, so keep reading to find out more.

All countries starting with N

Country Population Area
Namibia 2,604,172 318,260 miles2
Nauru 12,780 8 miles2
Nepal 30,896,590 56,826 miles2
The Netherlands 17,618,299 16,039 miles2
New Zealand 5,228,100 103,798 miles2
Nicaragua 7,046,310 50,336 miles2
Niger 27,202,843 489,191 miles2
Nigeria 223,804,632 356,668 miles2
North Korea 26,160,821 46,539 miles2
North Macedonia 2,085,679 9,927 miles2
Norway 5,474,360 125,020 miles2


Aerial city view of Windhoek at sunset.  Image used under license from
Aerial city view of Windhoek at sunset. Image used under license from

Namibia gets its name from the Namibian Desert that covers most of the country. The word “Namib” comes from the local Nama language and literally translates to “big place” or “big place” in English.

Namibia is located on the southwest coast of the African continent. Namibia is bordered by South Africa, Zambia, Angola, Botswana and the Atlantic Ocean. The largest and capital of the country is Windhoek, with approximately 431,000 inhabitants.


A quiet beach in Nauru.
A quiet beach in Nauru.

The origin of where Nauru got its name is not entirely clear. Leading theories suggest it could originate from the native Nauruan word ‘anáoero’. This means ‘going to the beach’. Others claim it was a name given by early European explorers, but this has yet to be supported by much evidence.

Located in the southern region of the Pacific Ocean on the continent of Oceania, Nauru is one of the smallest countries on Earth. With a total area of ​​13.1 square kilometers, Nauru is the third smallest country in the world, after Vatican City and the Principality of Monaco. The country has a population of approximately 11,347 and the official languages ​​are Nauruan and English.


A stupa in Nepal.
A stupa in Nepal.

According to Hindu myth, the region now known as Nepal got its name from an ancient sage named Ne. Nepal is a predominantly Hindu nation and is known for its political and cultural isolation from the rest of the Indian subcontinent.

Nepal is a landlocked country in the southern region of Asia. The country lies between China and India and is home to Mount Everest, the highest location on Earth. The largest capital of Nepal is Kathmandu.

The Netherlands

Tulip fields in the Netherlands
Tulip fields in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands, also known as Holland, literally means ‘low-lying country’ in Dutch. The Netherlands is indeed a very low-lying country and much of its territory is below sea level. Over the centuries, the Dutch have undertaken a remarkable project: excavating their own land from the North Sea through a series of locks, canals, dikes and canals.

The Netherlands is located on mainland Europe. The Netherlands borders Germany and Belgium and meets Great Britain in the North Sea with maritime boundaries. Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, while English, Frisian and Papiamento are widely spoken in the Netherlands and some of its overseas territories.

New Zealand

Queenstown, southern New Zealand
Queenstown, southern New Zealand.

New Zealand owes its name to Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, the first European to discover the islands in the mid-17th century. Originally called Staten Land, it was baptized Nova Zeelandia, after the Dutch province of Zeeland. It was later Anglicized in New Zealand.

New Zealand is located about 900 miles east of Australia, on the continent of Oceania. New Zealand was one of the last countries to be occupied by humans due to its remoteness. The official languages ​​spoken in New Zealand are English, NZ Sign and Maori.


A dairy farm in Nicaragua.
A dairy farm in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua gets its name from a leader of an indigenous tribe called Nicarao. Nicarao and its people came into contact with Spanish colonists in the 1520s, who promptly named the area after Nicarao.

This country, officially called the Republic of Nicaragua, is located in Central America. It is bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south, as well as the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.


People wade into the Niger River.
People wade into the Niger River.

Niger gets its name from the Niger River. The Niger River has long been the lifeline of the region, providing its people with a means of rapid transportation, water for irrigation, and a means of easy travel and trade.

Niger is located in West Africa, with more than 80% of its territory located in the Sahara. The country is landlocked and bordered by Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Algeria. French is the official language, while the country also has ten national languages, with Hausa and Zarma-Sonrai widely spoken as second languages.


Aerial view of Lagos in Nigeria.
Aerial view of Lagos in Nigeria.

Like their neighbors in Niger, the name Nigeria comes from its location on the mighty Niger River. The Niger River is crucial to Nigeria and provides the country’s interior with access to the sea.

Officially known as the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Nigeria has the largest population in Africa. It shares land borders with Niger to the north, Chad and Cameroon to the east and Benin to the west. To the south it is bordered by the Gulf of Guinea. English is the official language, although Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba are the main languages ​​in the country.

North Korea

Pyongyang, North Korea.
Pyongyang, North Korea.

North Korea takes its name from the Korean kingdoms and dynasties that preceded it. Korean culture is ancient and storied, but the country of North Korea was only founded in the 1950s, in the aftermath of World War II.

North Korea, officially called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is located in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It is bordered by Russia, China and South Korea, as well as the Yellow Sea, Korea Bay and the Sea of ​​Japan. Pyongyang is both the capital and the largest city in the country.

North Macedonia

Byzantine basilica in Ohrid, Macedonia
Byzantine basilica in Ohrid, Macedonia

The name Macedonia comes from both Greek and Latin from the 13th century. The Greek word Makedones it is said to mean ‘the highlanders’ or ‘the tall people’. This word is related to a similar word, Makednos meaning ‘tall’ or ‘tall’ in Greek.

Macedonia took an important step in 2019 by changing its name from Republic of Macedonia to Republic of North Macedonia, or North Macedonia for short. The name change ended a long-standing dispute between Greece and Macedonia over the name of the region.


Hardangerfjord, Norway
Hardangerfjord, Norway

The English name for Norway comes from the Old English word Norþweg. This simply translates to ‘northern road’ or ‘road leading north’. Norway was also home to the Norse people, some of whom invaded and settled in England during the Dark Ages.

The Kingdom of Norway is part of the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. The country borders Sweden, Finland, Russia and Denmark, along with an extensive coastline along the Barents Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway. Norwegian and Sami are the official languages ​​of the country.


On every continent there are countries that start with the letter N. Each of these countries has its own culture and way of life. Although there are only 10 countries starting with N, each N country has something unique to offer to those willing to visit.