updated 12/29/2006 4:35:31 AM ET 2006-12-29T09:35:31

The tiny principality of Liechtenstein grew by about half a square kilometer, or about 50 football pitches, after officials more accurately defined its borders, the government said on Thursday.

Some of the more remote edges of the Alpine nation, wedged between Switzerland and Austria, were never properly measured until now, it said.

Liechtenstein, with a population of about 35,000, said a survey had shown its border was 1 mile -- or 2 percent -- longer than previously assumed.

The total length of the border is 77.9 kilometers, the government said. The country now measures 160.475 square kilometers. Two-thirds of that are mountains.

Liechtenstein, ruled by Prince Hans-Adam II, gained its independence in 1806.

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