The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries.
It is home to 2.5 billion people, and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. 32 of our members are small states, including many island nations.
Our member governments have agreed to shared goals like development, democracy and peace. Our values and principles are expressed in the Commonwealth Charter.
The Commonwealth's roots go back to the British Empire. But today any country can join the modern Commonwealth. The last country to join the Commonwealth was Rwanda in 2009.
The Commonwealth is often described as a 'family' of nations. At the heart of this family are 3 intergovernmental organisations:
Member countries are also supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil, cultural and professional organisations.