The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of independent and equal sovereign states.
The member governments of the Commonwealth have agreed to pursue shared goals such as development, democracy and peace. These values and principles are expressed in the Commonwealth Charter.
The Commonwealth spans the globe, including both advanced economies and developing countries, in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe and the Pacific.
The combined population of the Commonwealth is 2.4 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged under 30. Thirty-one members are small states, with a population under two million, and 25 are island nations.
The Commonwealth celebrates diversity and is made up of many faiths, races, languages, cultures and traditions. Most countries have similar legal and governance systems and, in English, a shared language.