How Many Countries Are in North America?

Sam Howzit/CC-BY 2.0

North America consists of 23 wholly independent countries, which include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central American countries and Caribbean island countries. North America’s southern border is where Panama meets Colombia, and water borders everywhere else. Specifically, North America is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.

North America is the world’s third-largest continent. The world’s largest island, Greenland, is physiologically part of North America, though it is often overlooked because of its political and cultural association with Europe. In reality, however, Greenland is geographically closer to Canada at its nearest point than it is to Europe, although it is an autonomous part of Denmark.