In an exercise that gets more difficult each year, the State Department calculates there are now 165 independent nations in the world. Its geographic section calculates the number of nations has increased from 70 at the close of World War II. Countries recognized most recently as being independent include: Vanuatu, Zimbabwe, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Kiribati, St. Lucia, Dominica , Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, a nd Comoros.