2. PITCAIRN ISLAND
With only 56 inhabitants, Pitcairn is officially classified as the least populous national jurisdiction in the world. Like Tristan da Cunha, Pitcairn’s population descends from a small founding population — in Pitcairn’s case, four families composed of nine Bounty mutineers and the Tahitians who accompanied them. (The wreck is still visible under the waters off the island.)
In the years after the 1790 mutiny, most of the mutineers and Polynesian men succumbed to alcoholism, murder, and disease, leading to a religious revival and eventual conversion to Seventh-Day Adventism. Religion brought with it a strict moral code, barring dancing, public affection, smoking, and a six-month license to purchase, import, and consume alcohol, which has only relaxed in recent decades.
Pitcairn became a British colony in 1838 and was one of the first territories to grant women the right to vote. The islanders speak an English-based creole, Pitkern, dating from the 18th century. And with only 56 people, any celebration inevitably involves the entire island. Despite lacking air service and a port capable of holding large vessels, the island’s main source of income is adventure tourism. The arrival of a ship brings out the whole island for a public feast in the main square.