The world’s smallest towns are those that have not managed to attract many dwellers. Human beings are social creatures, and as such we tend to prefer places where we have the opportunity to socialize with one another. Young people want to live in places where they can make friends and have a larger dating pool to choose from. They also want places with economic opportunities.
When other factors are considered; is not surprising that some towns become completely abandoned, as people leave in large numbers to find larger communities where their needs can be met.
But all the residents do not often leave; sometimes there are a few hermits and anti socials who like to live in isolation, and prefer the town being empty.
Top 10 Smallest Towns In The World
1. Betoota, Queensland
Population – 0
Betoota is a deserted town in Queensland, Australia. The town was founded in 1887, and had a period of rapid growth until around 1915. Since then the town started to whither, and slowly decline. Some relics of the town include a phone box, a hotel, racetrack, airstrip, a cricket field and a petrol pump.
The hotel operated until 1997, when the owner retired. The owner Sigmund (Simon) Remienko was the last permanent resident of Betoota; he died in 2004.
However, many people are still attracted to the town for the Simpson Desert Carnival which is held in September every year. The Bettota Hotel has been bought by a new owner, and it has also been reopened.
2. Buford, Wyoming
Population – 0
Buford is described as a Ghost Town located in Wyoming. It is actually located in the Laramie Mountains, between Cheyenne and Laramie. The town was founded in 1866, and was once a military outpost. The town once had a population of 2000, but when the military post was moved to the nearby town of Laramie, there was nothing left to sustain the town, and so it started to decline.
Between 1900 and 1999 there was a post office there. One of the officers at the Post Office; Don Sammons bought a parcel of land measuring about 10 acres; that had a small shop and a gas station. He operated the place for several years with his wife and son.
His wife died in 1995, and his son moved away in 2008. Don Sammons lived alone in this town until 2012 when he left to live with his son.
3. Monowi, Nebraska
Population – 1
Monowi is a small town in Nebraska, USA that was founded in 1903, when the railroad was extended to the area. The town enjoyed some growth; there was a post office; tavern, and those kinds of things in small towns. The population of the town once reached 150 people, but the younger generation soon started moving away in search of better paying jobs. That was how the town lost its population; gradually diminishing until two people were left.
Presently, there is one registered person living there permanently; she operates a tavern. There are no records of her business; but for the fact that she is still in business one can tell that she receives sufficient visitors to keep the place open.
The single resident of Monowi is Elsie M. Eiler; and she is the self appointed Mayor of the town, so she granted herself the liquor license and takes all the decisions to keep the town going.
4. Cass, New Zealand
Population – 1
Cass is a town located in New Zealand’s South Island. The town was founded in 1910 when a railroad was built to pass through. The rail station is still an important relic of the town’s founding; it is the symbol of the town and the most iconic feature.
People still stop at Cass, but mostly out of curiosity. After their sight seeing they quickly get on the train and get out of the town. This was not always the case; the town once had a population of somewhere around 800 people; that was when the rail line was under construction, and the rail workers stayed there.
Since then the town has been on the decline; and now there is only one person living in the town.
5. Swett, South Dakota, USA
Population – 2
Swett is a town in South Dakota, USA. It was founded in 1931, and is described as a ghost town. The town never attracted many people; although at its highest, there were around 40 residents; and that was in the 1940’s. The community had a post office and a grocery store operated by the town’s biggest farmer.
As time passed people started selling their properties until one person owned everything, and it was passed from person to person as a single estate. It was even given as settlement after a divorce at one time, and eventually a bank foreclosed it in 2015.
There is still a bar there and it attracts customers from within a two mile radius. However, only two people live in this town.
6. Brewster, Florida
Population – 3
Brewster is a town in Florida, USA which was established as a mining town in 1910. It is now described as a ghost town with only 3 people living in it. At its highest; it was a company town for the workers in American Cyanamid; which was a phosphate mining company.
The town had everything; schools, movie theater, medical clinic, post office, and even a public swimming pool. Now these things are just relics of what used to be.
People come in to see the sights; but hardly anyone stays the night.
7. Cooladdi, Queensland
Population – 3
Cooladdi is a ghost town in Queensland, Australia. It was named in 1913; although it existed with another name for a few years before that. The town was based on the rail line which at that time stopped there.
At its height this town had about 270 people living there, and had a school, post office, and police station when the rail road extended further to the west, the result was that many people moved with it, and the town lost significance. The population declined, and now it is just a ghost town.
8. Valley City, Illinois, United States
Population – 12
Valley City, is a village in Pike County, which is in Illinois. This is one of the smallest towns in the world; there are only three families living there, and there is little to suggest that any more people will come in anytime soon.
The 2017 Census count 14 people living in this town; but there are many people who come visiting perhaps having heard about this ghost town.
9. Manele, Hawaii
Population – 29
Manele is a town in Hawaii; one that only has 29 people living in it. However, due to the good climate it is a nice place for tourism, and so there are many people coming in. The Four Seasons Resort is there to take care of visitors, and to provide income for the residents.
The resort is the economic dynamo of this small town; it can be described as a company town, even though not officially.
10. Fordwich, England
Population – 381
Fordwich is the smallest town in England with a population of 381. The town has a market, a parish, and there are some small businesses in the area as well such as drinking pubs, retail outlets, and schools. There is also a town hall.
Fordwich is a nice and cool place, although for sometime there was no Mayor in this town. Many people like to visit because they have heard of the smallest town in England.
The smallest towns in the world share one thing in common. The young people are the first to leave because they cannot afford to stay in places with no economic prospects. When the young people leave, the businesses soon follow, until there are only one or two elderly residents left.