Top 10 Smallest Villages In The World (2023)

The smallest villages in the world are places with the lowest populations. However, there is still the issue of how to classify a place with a large land area, perhaps also containing an abundance of buildings, but having only a very few people living there. Whether such empty cities should now be classified as towns or villages is an argument for another day. What remains constant is the fact that you need people to make up any community.

Whether for economic reasons or otherwise, the following places have become noteworthy due to the very low number of people living there. If you are interested in reading about empty villages, then you have to see these.

Smallest Villages In The World

1. Buford, Wyoming

Population – 0

Buford is located in Wyoming, USA. It can be described as the smallest village in the world by population because nobody lives there. It is a Ghost Town located in the Laramie Mountains, between the towns of Cheyenne and Laramie.

The town was established in 1866 as an outpost of the military, and at its height it had a population of 2000. The village started to decline when the military fort was taken to Laramie- it just dwindled because people just shifted their focus to Laramie, leaving Buford to wither.

The decline was slow rather than sudden; by 1999 there was still a post office there. Hopeful of development, one of the officers at the Post Office; Don Sammons bought a parcel of land measuring about 10 acres; and he ran a small shop and a gas station there with his wife and son.

However, his wife died in 1995, and then his son moved away in 2008 to live a normal life. Don Sammons therefore lived alone in Buford until 2012 when he left to live with his son in the city.

2. Monowi, Nebraska

Population – 1

Monowi is a small village in Nebraska, USA. This village was established in 1903, following the construction of a railroad to the area. The village once had a population of 150 people at its height; and had a small post office, saloon, sheriff’s office, and so on.

However, the village never really blossomed into a town; there was nothing to sustain the economy; and what little jobs the town offered didn’t pay well, so the younger generation started moving to nearby cities in search of jobs, with the result that only one person lives there now.

Nevertheless, Monowi is a tourist attraction; thousands of people come in from all over the continent to see this famous ghost town. To cater to these visitors, a single resident called Elsie M. Eiler lives in the village; where she operates the only tavern in the place.

3. Cass, New Zealand

Population – 1

Cass is a town located in the South Island of New Zealand. The town was founded in 1910 following the construction of a railroad which stopped there for a time. The town’s residents were mostly the railroad workers as well as business people such as tavern owners, and people who offered such services.

However, when the railroad was extended beyond that point, the same people who had founded the town simply packed their bags and left. Presently, there is a report of only one person living there.

The rail station is a relic of the town’s past; people still stop there on sightseeing missions, but they zoom of immediately after.

4. Swett, South Dakota, USA

Population – 2

Swett is a tiny village in South Dakota, USA which came into being in 1931. Though described as a Ghost Town, it never really attracted many people to begin with; there were only around 40 residents at the highest point. Nevertheless, it was somewhat standard; a post office, a grocery store, and tavern listed among its amenities.

Realizing that this village was never going to grow, many residents just started selling off their properties until one person owned everything, and the whole village became one big estate passed from one person to another, and even foreclosed by a bank.

5. Betoota, Queensland, Australia

Population – 3

Betoota came into existence in 1887. It is a town or village in Queensland, Australia which had only one permanent resident at a time. As at the time of the town’s founding, there was rapid growth. Some investments in the town, which are now relics of the past include a phone box, a hotel, racetrack, airstrip, a cricket field and a petrol pump. The hotel is of particular interest because it was the sole attraction to this town for a long time.

The hotel operated until 1997, when the owner, Sigmund (Simon) Remienko retired. He lived at the hotel, and was the only person living in the town for a long time. He died in 2004.

The Betoota Hotel has been bought by a man named Robert Haken who lives there now, although it does not appear that he can run the hotel by himself.

6. Brewster, Florida

Population – 3

Brewster is a town in Florida, USA. It was established as a mining town in 1910; it was a company town for the workers in American Cyanamid; which was company that mined phosphate. The town is now described as a ghost town which curious because it has such nice weather.

This now empty town had a post office, schools, a movie theater, a medical clinic, and even a public swimming pool. There are just 3 people living in this town, although the town frequently has visitors.

7. Cooladdi, Queensland

Population – 3

Cooladdi is a ghost town in Queensland, Australia. It has been in existence at least since 1913; and was established with the construction a rail line. At its height this town had about 270 residents, and they even had their own school, post office, and police station.

Cooladdi fell into decline when the rail road extended further to the west; most of the people just moved on with the rail line, leaving the whole village empty. Thankfully, there are 3 people living there now.

8. Valley City, Illinois, United States

Population – 12

Valley City is a village in Pike County, which is in the US state of Illinois. This beautiful and peaceful village has only three families living there; and the population fluctuates between 12 and 14, depending on the time of the year, and who you ask.

Nevertheless, many people come in to see this famous empty city; may be some of them may decide to stay permanently.

9. Manele, Hawaii

Population – 29

Manele is a tiny village on the island of Lanai, in Hawaii. There are only 29 people living in this village, but it is an important place for tourism; The Four Seasons Resort is located there, and receives a large number of visitors every year. This is basically the livelihood of the residents of the village.

10. Hum, Croatia

Population- 30

Hum is located in Croatia; and it has always been a small village with few residents, but it is rich in history. The village’s history goes back to 1102, and even the buildings are built with stone like in the ancient times. The village even has defensive walls, and a church bell to warn residents about invaders.

There is plenty of Roman influence in the town; it must have been part of a larger Roman settlement. Presently there are about 30 people in the village.



Most of the smallest villages in the world actually had larger populations in the past; they simply lost their populations and their shine to other towns and cities which had better economic prospects to offer. Thankfully, many of these places are starting to get noticed again; meaning that they can be revived for tourism.