UNESCO Members: An Overview

Africa and Arab States Have the Least World Heritage Sites, but the Highest Number of Endangered Ones.

The 981 World Heritage Sites belong to 195 UNESCO members, plus the Holy See. Most of the sites are distributed in two UNESCO regions: Europe and North America, and Asia and the Pacific. In fact, the first region is home to than half (502) of the total.

This rank is almost the exact mirror of the geographical distribution of the List of World Heritage in Danger: in this case, almost all of the heritages are located in Africa and the Arab States.



Italy in First Place with 49 World Heritage Sites: About One Every 6,000 sq.km.

Mount Etna and Medici's Villas and Gardens became World Heritage last year, making Italy the country with more UNESCO sites in the World. China comes second, but its dimensions are more than 30 times those of Italy. Mexico is the only country to appear in the top ten that is not from the UNESCO Regions of the Europe & North America and Asia & The Pacific UNESCO Region - which, we saw earlier, detain most of the World Heritage Sites.



The UK and The USA are the only two countries to figure in this top ten and to also have endangered Heritage Sites. All other top ten countries don't figure in the List of World Heritage in Danger (which you can explore here), despite the high presence in the general World Heritage List.

Tentative Lists: Who Has More Sites of Outstanding Natural or Cultural Value Waiting to Become World Heritage.

UNESCO members can file lists containing their possible World Heritage candidates. A look at the number of properties in the national lists of each country reveals which states have more sites awaiting a nomination. The top ten of countries with most properties in a tentative list sees many nations that currently don't have many  World Heritage Sites. For example, Egypt, Uzbekistan and the Philippines all have less than 10 current World Heritage Sites.

These are the countries with most properties in their tentative lists:



Explore More World Heritage Data for Each Country

Click on each country to see its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, facts, statistics and visualizations.