New nations don't start every day, but they do come about more regularly than perhaps one would think.
South Sudan is the newest, having joined the family of nations on July 9. After a 22-year civil war between the northern and southern halves of Sudan, southern residents voted for independence earlier this year.
"After so much struggle by the people of South Sudan, the United States of America welcomes the birth of a new nation," President Obama said. "Today is a reminder that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible."
Below are several of the most recent new nations recognized by the United States ...
... and the nations' locations on the map.
View New Nations in a larger map