ISO 3166-1, is part of the ISO 3166 standard. It gives a code for the names of countries and dependent territories, and is published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The official name of the standard is Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions – Part 1: Country codes. There are three sets of country codes:
- ISO 3166-1 alpha-2, a two-letter system, used in many applications, for example internet country code top-level domains (ccTLDs).
- ISO 3166-1 alpha-3, uses three letters, and makes it easier to work out the country name and code.
- ISO 3166-1 numeric, uses three digits. Using numbers is useful in countries that do not use the Latin alphabet. This is identical to codes defined by the United Nations Statistics Division.
ISO 3166-1 is not the only standard for country codes. Many international organizations use their own country codes, where some of them closely correspond to the ISO 3166-1 codes. For examples, see country codes.
Rules for inclusion[change | change source]
Currently, 244 countries and territories have official ISO 3166-1 codes. The only way to enter a new country name into ISO 3166-1 is to have it registered in one of the following two sources:
- United Nations Terminology Bulletin Country Names, or
- Country and Region Codes for Statistical Use of the UN Statistics Division.
To be listed in the bulletin Country Names, a country or territory must be any of the following:
- a member country of the United Nations,
- a member of one of its specialized agencies, or
- a party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice.
Once a country name or territory name appears in either of these two sources, it will be added to ISO 3166-1 by default.
Officially assigned code elements[change | change source]
The following is a complete ISO 3166-1 encoding code list in alphabetical order by the English short country names officially used by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA), which uses country names from United Nations sources. The table includes officially assigned codes only.
Reserved and user-assigned code elements[change | change source]
Besides the officially assigned codes, code elements may be expanded by using either reserved codes or user-assigned codes.
Reserved code elements are codes which, while not ISO 3166-1 codes, are in use for some applications in conjunction with the ISO 3166 codes. They are reserved to add flexibility to the coding system. Usually, obsolete codes may be kept as reserved, while some overseas territories, international organizations, and special nationality status have reserved codes of their own. See the corresponding sections in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 and ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 for their respective reserved codes (ISO 3166-1 numeric does not have reserved codes).
User-assigned code elements are codes at the disposal of users who need to add further names of countries, territories or other geographical entities to their in-house application of ISO 3166-1, and the ISO 3166/MA will never use them in the updating process of the standard. See the corresponding sections in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2, ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 and ISO 3166-1 numeric for their respective user-assigned codes.
Changes[change | change source]
A country or territory may get new codes if it changes its name or its territorial boundaries. A country generally gets new alphabetical codes if its name changes, whereas a new numeric code is associated with a change of boundaries. Changes to ISO 3166-1 are announced in periodic newsletters, of which 12 have been released since the first edition of ISO 3166-1 was published in 1997:
- Newsletter V-1 – Published 1998-02-05: change of official name of Samoa
- Newsletter V-2 – Published 1999-10-01: new entries for Palestinian Territory, Occupied
- Newsletter V-3 – Published 2002-02-01: change of alpha-3 code element for Romania
- Newsletter V-4 – Published 2002-05-20: name changes for various countries
- Newsletter V-5 – Published 2002-05-20: change of names and alphabetical code elements for East Timor
- Newsletter V-6 – Published 2002-11-15: change of names for East Timor (to Timor-Leste)
- Newsletter V-7 – Published 2002-11-15: change of official name of Comoros
- Newsletter V-8 – Published 2003-07-23: deletion of Yugoslavia, new entry for Serbia and Montenegro
- Newsletter V-9 – Published 2004-02-13: new entry for Åland Islands
- Newsletter V-10 – Published 2004-04-26: name changes for Afghanistan and Åland Islands
- Newsletter V-11 – Published 2006-03-29: new entries for Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey
- Newsletter V-12 – Published 2006-09-26: deletion of Serbia and Montenegro, new entries for Montenegro and Serbia
The second edition of ISO 3166-1 was published in 2007, which comprises a consolidation of all changes to the lists as published in the newsletters above.
Related pages[change | change source]
- ISO 3166-2
- List of IOC country codes, slightly different codes from ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes, used by the International Olympic Committee
- List of FIFA country codes, slightly different codes from ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes, used by FIFA
- Comparison of IOC, FIFA, and ISO 3166 country codes
- Federal Information Processing Standard
References[change | change source]
- See also the table in § Naming and disputes above.
Information on reserved codes taken from "Reserved code elements under ISO 3166-1" published by Secretariat of ISO/TC 46, ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency, 2001-02-13, available on request from ISO 3166/MA.
Other websites[change | change source]
- ISO 3166/MA – ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency at the International Organization for Standardization – includes up-to-date lists of two-letter codes.
- United Nations Statistics Division – Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use – includes three-letter and numeric codes.
- CIA World Factbook – Cross-Reference List of Country Data Codes (public domain)
- a list of ISO 3166-1 codes (including three-letter and numeric codes), and includes information about changes that have been made over the years.
- an xml document containing country codes and country names in 7 languages.
- A page detailing all the ISO 3166-1 "2 digit codes" from FlagsInformation.com.