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Fast Facts on the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is made up of 52 independent countries that work together to pursue common goals which promote development, democracy and peace. Our combined population is 2.4 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged 29 or under.

The Commonwealth spans the globe and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. It encompasses Africa (18 countries), Asia (7), the Caribbean and Americas (13), Europe (3), and the Pacific (11).

Thirty of our members are small states, usually with a population under 1.5 million, and 24 members are small island developing states.

The Pacific nation of Nauru is the smallest Commonwealth member country with a population of about 10,000. The most populous member country is India with over 1.2 billion people.

Top facts

  • The Commonwealth’s population is 2.4 billion, of which more than 60 percent is aged 29 or under.
  • One in three young people aged between 15 and 29 live in Commonwealth countries: about 640 million out of 1.8 billion.
  • The Commonwealth has observed more than 140 elections in nearly 40 countries since 1980.
  • The combined gross domestic product of Commonwealth countries is estimated at US$10.4 trillion in 2017 and predicted to reach US$13 trillion in 2020.
  • Bilateral costs for trading partners in Commonwealth countries are on average 19 percent less than between those in non-member countries.
  • Half of the top 20 global emerging cities are in the Commonwealth: New Delhi, Mumbai, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, Johannesburg, Kolkata, Cape Town, Chennai and Dhaka.
  • Many small and developing Commonwealth countries are among those with the lowest ecological footprints worldwide.
  • Commonwealth countries are among the highest performing in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, and make up 7 of the top 10 nations.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, Commonwealth countries make up 7 of the top 10 highest performing countries for gender equality.

Media factsheets

Fast Facts on the Commonwealth Secretary-General
Fast Facts on the Commonwealth
Fast Facts on the Commonwealth and Elections