The following list shows the countries of the world, according to international standard ISO 3166-1. Selected standard codes for the countries are shown. There is also an indication of which entities are or are not independent countries.
|Åland||1242||358||Part of FI|
|American Samoa||5||1-684||Territory of US|
|Anguilla||9||1-264||Territory of GB|
|Antigua and Barbuda||11||1-268||Yes|
|Aruba||14||297||Part of NL|
|Bermuda||30||1-441||Territory of GB|
|Bonaire, Sint Eustatius|
|176||599||Part of NL|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||34||387||Yes|
|Bouvet Island||36||47||Territory of NO|
|British Indian Ocean|
|38||246||Territory of GB|
|Cayman Islands||48||1-345||Territory of GB|
|Central African Republic||49||236||Yes|
|Christmas Island||54||61||Territory of AU|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands||56||61||Territory of AU|
|Cook Islands||60||682||Associated with NZ|
|Curaçao||599||Part of NL|
|Falkland Islands||81||500||Territory of GB|
|Faroe Islands||82||298||Part of DK|
|French Guiana||86||594||Part of FR|
|French Polynesia||87||689||Territory of FR|
|French Southern Lands||88||262||Territory of FR|
|Gibraltar||95||350||Territory of GB|
|Greenland||98||299||Part of DK|
|Guadeloupe||100||590||Part of FR|
|Guam||101||1-671||Territory of US|
|Guernsey||104||44||Crown dependency of GB|
|Heard and McDonald Islands||109||672||Territory of AU|
|Hong Kong||33364||852||Part of CN|
|Isle of Man||120||44||Crown dependency of GB|
|Jersey||128||44||Crown dependency of GB|
|Macau||149||853||Part of CN|
|Martinique||158||596||Part of FR|
|Mayotte||161||262||Part of FR|
|Montserrat||168||1-664||Territory of GB|
|New Caledonia||178||687||Territory of FR|
|Niue||183||683||Associated with NZ|
|Norfolk Island||184||672||Territory of AU|
|Northern Mariana Islands||185||1-670||Commonwealth of US|
|Papua New Guinea||192||675||Yes|
|Pitcairn||197||870||Territory of GB|
|Puerto Rico||200||1||Commonwealth of US|
|Reunion||206||262||Part of FR|
|Saint Barthélemy||590||Part of FR|
|Saint Helena||207||290 n||Territory of GB|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||208||1-869||Yes|
|Saint Martin (French part)||590||Part of FR|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||210||508||Part of FR|
|Saint Vincent and the|
|Sao Tome and Principe||214||239||Yes|
|Sint Maarten||1-721||Part of NL|
|South Georgia and South|
|228||500||Territory of GB|
|Svalbard and Jan Mayen|
|234||47||Territory of NO|
|Tokelau||244||690||Territory of NZ|
|Trinidad and Tobago||246||1-868||Yes|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||251||1-649||Territory of GB|
|United Arab Emirates||255||971||Yes|
|United States Minor|
|a||Territories of US|
|United States of America||259||1||Yes|
|Virgin Islands, British||39||1-284||Territory of GB|
|Virgin Islands, U.S.||258||1-340||Territory of US|
|Wallis and Futuna Islands||266||681||Territory of FR|
|Western Sahara||268||212||In contention|
ISO - The Maintenance Agency for ISO standard 3166 is supported directly by the central secretariat of the ISO in Geneva. It maintains an authoritative list of ISO Alpha-2 Codes . Its list is coordinated with a list of countries used by the United Nations Statistics Division for reporting purposes. If I understand correctly, the organization that defines ISO Alpha-3 and Numeric Codes is actually the U.N. Statistics Division . Here are the changes since 1982 for those codes. See the changes in ISO 3166-1 page for the change history. I have also written a page about using ISO 3166-1 in software.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) administers top-level domain names (.com, .edu, .org, and so on). The majority of top-level domain names are referred to as ccTLD, or country-code Top Level Domains. They include .fr, .in, etc. URLs with .fr as their top-level domain are supposed to be assigned to French individuals, organizations, and companies by a French administrative body. IANA has chosen to use ISO 3166 as a basis for the ccTLDs (see their list ), and sticks to it very closely. It does, however, use .uk as well as .gb for the United Kingdom. It also allows .ac for Ascension Island (properly part of Saint Helena).
ITU - A number of Web pages say that the ITU country codes are being used, mostly to identify radio transmitter
locations. The ITU Web
site has the list. These should not be confused with several other ITU codes, mostly
numeric, which are used as dialing prefixes (e.g., ITU-T
Recommendation E.164 ). The ITU code for Serbia and Montenegro recently changed from
SCG. See also "Dialing codes", below.
FIPS - The FIPS 10-4 page has an official U.S. government listing of codes. I have been told that the Departments of State and Defense use these FIPS codes, while government agencies dealing with international trade and cooperation use the ISO Alpha-2 codes (which are also designated FIPS 104-1, to add to the confusion). Both sets of codes are so entrenched that it's impractical for the U.S. to standardize on just one set. See the changes in FIPS PUB 10 page for the change history. Eric Muller has created a website that keeps track of changes in the FIPS codes for primary subdivisions.
The FIPS 10-4 country list differs from ISO 3166 in many minor and sometimes surprising ways. It has assigned separate codes to Bassas da India (BS), Europa Island (EU), Glorioso Islands (GO), Juan de Nova Island (JU), and Tromelin Island (TE), tiny and mostly uninhabited Indian Ocean islands administered with the French Southern Territories; also, Ashmore and Cartier Islands (AT) and Coral Sea Islands (CR), Australian territories; and Clipperton Island (IP), which is administered from French Polynesia. It splits Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands into two countries (JN and SV). a It shows United States Minor Outlying Islands as nine countries: Baker Island (FQ), Howland Island (HQ), Jarvis Island (DQ), Johnston Atoll (JQ), Kingman Reef (KQ), Midway Islands (MQ), Navassa Island (BQ), Palmyra Atoll (LQ), and Wake Island (WQ). It treats Palestine as the Gaza Strip (GZ) plus the West Bank (WE); also, a code is assigned to No Man's Land (NM), a small and winding band of neutral territory near Jerusalem. Since Kosovo declared independence, it has treated Serbia as Serbia proper (RI) plus Kosovo (KV). The 2004 edition of the CIA World Factbook explains why it has added country listings for Akrotiri and Dhekelia, two British military bases in Cyprus. They were assigned the FIPS codes AX and DX, respectively, by FIPS Change Notice 12, dated 2007-06-11. At the same time, codes were added for the Southern Kuril Islands (a.k.a. Hoppo Ryodo) (PJ) and areas of undesignated sovereignty (UU), which overlaps with some other codes. The UU code was revoked in 2010-04 with the changeover to Geopolitical Entities and Codes. Finally, FIPS allocates codes to the Paracel (PF) and Spratly (PG) Islands, two island groups in the South China Sea that are claimed by every country within shooting distance; ISO 3166 is noncommittal about the Paracels and Spratlys.
When ISO split Åland from Finland, FIPS did not, so that is one more point of difference between them.
IOC - The International Olympics Committee code for Yugoslavia changed from YUG to SCG at about the same time as the ISO Alpha-3 code. Faroe Islands didn't compete in the 2004 Olympics, but in the Paralympic Games they were identified by FRO rather than the former code, FAR.
FIFA - The FIFA (soccer) codes are taken from the
website , with supplemental codes as shown in
Wikipedia . There are a
couple of discrepancies between the two sources. Notes: 1 The United Kingdom is covered
by several codes:
NIR (Northern Ireland),
SCO (Scotland), and
WAL (Wales). 2 Represents Tahiti. 3
Represents Ross Dependency.
DS - Have you ever wondered about those white oval stickers on cars, with a country code in them? They are provided for by Article 20 of the Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva, 1949). Therein, they are called "distinguishing signs of the place of registration" of vehicles. There's a list of them on this United Nations Economic Commission for Europe page. However, some of the codes reported there are not the ones in actual use, because some countries are lax in reporting their codes to the U.N. Secretary General. Neil Parker, John Weeks, and Reg Wilson (of Europlate), in their book "Registration Plates of the World" (ISBN 0-9502735-6-2 paperback, 0-9502735-7-0 hardback), list the codes actually being used on vehicles. That list (as sent to me by Mr. Parker) is the primary source of the data given in the table above.
In recent years, unauthorized stickers have come on the market to promote various tourist areas. One of the earliest was MV for Martha's Vineyard. Besides, when a code changes (e.g. Faroe Islands changed from FR to FO in the mid-1990s), the old stickers don't disappear in a flash. Consequently, even direct observation may not be sufficient to establish the correct Distinguishing Sign for a country.
A Wikipedia user in Uruguay, MauriManya, says that the Distinguishing Sign for Uruguay has changed to UY "al adoptar el sistema unificado en todo el país" (on the adoption of a unified system throughout the country).
The list of countries by Distinguishing Sign is a bit different from the ISO 3166 country list. Instead of Tanzania, there are Tanganyika (EAT) and Zanzibar (EAZ), dating back to before 1964 when the two countries united. There is even a code for Alderney (GBA), which is a dependency of Guernsey.
GAUL - GAUL is a relatively new initiative from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), a specialized agency of the U.N. It aims to codify all the world's statoids and their changes, from about 1990 on. So far it has developed data for countries, primary, and secondary divisions, including boundary data and entity codes. The entity codes are integers, assigned sequentially, with no duplication between layers; that is, no country has the same code as any primary subdivision, and so on. When an entity splits or merges, its code is dropped and new codes are created. However, the codes for its subdivisions remain the same. Therefore, there is no permanent relationship between the codes for an entity and those for its subdivisions; the system is not hierarchical. A revised set of codes is released annually. Some information about GAUL is at Description , PDF document , Presentation , and List of codes .
MARC - MARC is a standard for encoding bibliographic materials in electronic form. The Library of Congress maintains
the MARC code list for countries .
For background on MARC and a list of country code changes, see the changes in MARC page.
In general, MARC country codes are two letters. For three countries, MARC provides three-letter subdivision codes.
In these cases, the first two letters represent the state or province, and the third letter indicates the country.
If the first two letters are
xx, the code represents a location in an unspecified subdivision of that
country. b There are five MARC codes that represent parts of United States Minor Outlying
ji Johnston Atoll,
xf Midway Islands,
wk Wake Island,
United States Misc. Caribbean Islands, and
up United States Misc. Pacific Islands.
Dialing codes - In most places that allow direct-dialed international calls, you must first dial an international
access code. For that reason, the E.164 country codes are often printed with a plus sign prefixed, as in +44-01632-496123.
In the U.S., the international access code is 011, so you would dial 01144, etc., to reach that number.
n Ascension Island's code is
Kosovo has been given the code
383, to take effect "by 2015".
The digits of a telephone number following the country code often have a geographical significance, and are often called area codes. Some lists of area codes for different countries can be found online. Here are a few such sites. All of these links are to other websites.
Misc. - The Educational Testing Service has a set of three-digit country codes in a PDF file .
The U.S. Census Bureau has a set of four-digit country codes - Schedule C - for use in reporting trade statistics. The (PDF file) AID Geographic Code Book lists region and country codes used by the U.S. Agency for International Development, along with FIPS codes.
There are NATO standards called Stanag (for Standardization Agreement), used to communicate military information among
NATO members. STANAG 1059
is used for countries and other regions. The country codes are based closely on the ISO Alpha-3 codes. The Stanag code
for Macedonia is
FYR instead of
MKD; almost all of the others are the same.
Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union, has modified the ISO 3166-1 standard to create its own Geonomenclature , or GEONOM for short. These codes are intended to be used in compiling external trade statistics for EU countries.
CountryCodes.CO , a website devoted to code lookups, has several codes not listed here.
All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. - Ps. lxxxvi:9.
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