On July 9, 2011, the number of countries in the world will likely grow by one to 196. South Sudan can legally declare independence from Sudan following the official results of a referendum held in January. Nearly 99% of voters in South Sudan chose the independence option over remaining part of Sudan. While the new country has not yet officially selected a name, it is possible that "South Sudan" will be the 196th country's name.
While speculation centered on Juba as the new capital, South Sudan plans to build a new capital city for the new country. A flag and national anthem have, however, been selected. The Guardian provides an excellent map of the proposed boundaries of South Sudan, which will be a country of approximately 8.3 million. South Sudan will unfortunately join the ranks of the world's poorest countries with most of the country's population in poverty and under eighteen years of age. Just over a quarter of South Sudan's people are literate. Foreign Policy has a nice essay about the upcoming challenges for the world's newest country.(Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)