Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Afghanistan19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
Albania28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)
Algeria5 July 1962 (from France)
American Samoanone (territory of the US)
Andorra1278 (formed under the joint suzerainty of the French Count of Foix and the Spanish Bishop of Urgel)
Angola11 November 1975 (from Portugal)
Anguillanone (overseas territory of the UK)
Antigua and Barbuda1 November 1981 (from UK)
Argentina9 July 1816 (from Spain)
Armenia21 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Arubanone (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Australia1 January 1901 (federation of UK colonies)
Austria976 (Margravate of Austria established); 17 September 1156 (Duchy of Austria founded); 11 August 1804 (Austrian Empire proclaimed); 12 November 1918 (republic proclaimed)
Azerbaijan30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Bahamas, The10 July 1973 (from UK)
Bahrain15 August 1971 (from UK)
Bangladesh16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is known as Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh
Barbados30 November 1966 (from UK)
Belarus25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Belgium4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the throne)
Belize21 September 1981 (from UK)
Benin1 August 1960 (from France)
Bermudanone (overseas territory of the UK)
Bhutan1907 (became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king)
Bolivia6 August 1825 (from Spain)
Bosnia and Herzegovina1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia; referendum for independence completed 1 March 1992; independence declared 3 March 1992)
Botswana30 September 1966 (from UK)
Brazil7 September 1822 (from Portugal)
British Virgin Islandsnone (overseas territory of the UK)
Brunei1 January 1984 (from UK)
Bulgaria3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)
Burkina Faso5 August 1960 (from France)
Burma4 January 1948 (from UK)
Burundi1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
Cambodia9 November 1953 (from France)
Cameroon1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
Canada1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (recognized by UK)
Cape Verde5 July 1975 (from Portugal)
Cayman Islandsnone (overseas territory of the UK)
Central African Republic13 August 1960 (from France)
Chad11 August 1960 (from France)
Chile18 September 1810 (from Spain)
China221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Manchu Dynasty replaced by a Republic); 1 October 1949 (People's Republic established)
Christmas Islandnone (territory of Australia)
Cocos (Keeling) Islandsnone (territory of Australia)
Colombia20 July 1810 (from Spain)
Comoros6 July 1975 (from France)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the30 June 1960 (from Belgium)
Congo, Republic of the15 August 1960 (from France)
Cook Islandsnone (became self-governing in free association with New Zealand on 4 August 1965 and has the right at any time to move to full independence by unilateral action)
Costa Rica15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Cote d'Ivoire7 August 1960 (from France)
Croatia25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Cuba20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902); not acknowledged by the Cuban Government as a day of independence
Cyprus16 August 1960 (from UK); note - Turkish Cypriots proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975 and independence in 1983, but these proclamations are only recognized by Turkey
Czech Republic1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Denmarkfirst organized as a unified state in 10th century; in 1849 became a constitutional monarchy
Djibouti27 June 1977 (from France)
Dominica3 November 1978 (from UK)
Dominican Republic27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
Ecuador24 May 1822 (from Spain)
Egypt28 February 1922 (from UK)
El Salvador15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Equatorial Guinea12 October 1968 (from Spain)
Eritrea24 May 1993 (from Ethiopia)
Estonia20 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Ethiopiaoldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years
European Union7 February 1992 (Maastricht Treaty signed establishing the EU); 1 November 1993 (Maastricht Treaty entered into force)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
Faroe Islandsnone (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
Fiji10 October 1970 (from UK)
Finland6 December 1917 (from Russia)
France486 (Frankish tribes unified); 843 (Western Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire)
French Polynesianone (overseas lands of France)
Gabon17 August 1960 (from France)
Gambia, The18 February 1965 (from UK)
Georgia9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Germany18 January 1871 (German Empire unification); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and later, France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; unification of West Germany and East Germany took place 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights 15 March 1991
Ghana6 March 1957 (from UK)
Gibraltarnone (overseas territory of the UK)
Greece1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)
Greenlandnone (extensive self-rule as part of the Kingdom of Denmark; foreign affairs is the responsibility of Denmark, but Greenland actively participates in international agreements relating to Greenland)
Grenada7 February 1974 (from UK)
Guamnone (territory of the US)
Guatemala15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Guernseynone (British crown dependency)
Guinea2 October 1958 (from France)
Guinea-Bissau24 September 1973 (declared); 10 September 1974 (recognized by Portugal)
Guyana26 May 1966 (from UK)
Haiti1 January 1804 (from France)
Holy See (Vatican City)11 February 1929 (from Italy); note - the three treaties signed with Italy on 11 February 1929 acknowledged, among other things, the full sovereignty of the Vatican and established its territorial extent; however, the origin of the Papal States, which over the years have varied considerably in extent, may be traced back to the 8th century
Honduras15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Hong Kongnone (special administrative region of China)
Hungary25 December 1000 (crowning of King STEPHEN I, traditional founding date)
Iceland1 December 1918 (became a sovereign state under the Danish Crown); 17 June 1944 (from Denmark)
India15 August 1947 (from UK)
Indonesia17 August 1945 (declared)
note: recognized by the Netherlands on 27 December 1949; in August 2005, the Netherlands announced it recognized de facto Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945
Iran1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)
Iraq3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration); note - on 28 June 2004 the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi-controlled Government
Ireland6 December 1921 (from UK by treaty)
Isle of Mannone (British crown dependency)
Israel14 May 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
Italy17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)
Jamaica6 August 1962 (from UK)
Japan660 B.C. (traditional founding by Emperor JIMMU)
Jerseynone (British crown dependency)
Jordan25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
Kazakhstan16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Kenya12 December 1963 (from UK)
Kiribati12 July 1979 (from UK)
Korea, North15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Korea, South15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Kuwait19 June 1961 (from UK)
Kyrgyzstan31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Laos19 July 1949 (from France)
Latvia18 November 1918 (from Soviet Russia)
Lebanon22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
Lesotho4 October 1966 (from UK)
Liberia26 July 1847
Libya24 December 1951 (from UN trusteeship)
Liechtenstein23 January 1719 (Principality of Liechtenstein established); 12 July 1806 (independence from the Holy Roman Empire)
Lithuania11 March 1990 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by Soviet Union)
Luxembourg1839 (from the Netherlands)
Macaunone (special administrative region of China)
Macedonia8 September 1991 (referendum by registered voters endorsed independence from Yugoslavia)
Madagascar26 June 1960 (from France)
Malawi6 July 1964 (from UK)
Malaysia31 August 1957 (from UK)
Maldives26 July 1965 (from UK)
Mali22 September 1960 (from France)
Malta21 September 1964 (from UK)
Marshall Islands21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
Mauritania28 November 1960 (from France)
Mauritius12 March 1968 (from UK)
Mayottenone (territorial overseas collectivity of France)
Mexico16 September 1810 (declared); 27 September 1821 (recognized by Spain)
Micronesia, Federated States of3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
Moldova27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Monaco1419 (beginning of rule by the House of Grimaldi)
Mongolia11 July 1921 (from China)
Montenegro3 June 2006 (from Serbia and Montenegro)
Montserratnone (overseas territory of the UK)
Morocco2 March 1956 (from France)
Mozambique25 June 1975 (from Portugal)
Namibia21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
Nauru31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, NZ-, and UK-administered UN trusteeship)
Nepal1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan SHAH)
Netherlands23 January 1579 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries conclude the Union of Utrecht breaking with Spain; on 26 July 1581 they formally declared their independence with an Act of Abjuration; however, it was not until 30 January 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia that Spain recognized this independence)
Netherlands Antillesnone (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
New Caledonianone (overseas territory of France); note - a referendum on independence was held in 1998 but did not pass; a new referendum is scheduled for 2014
New Zealand26 September 1907 (from UK)
Nicaragua15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Niger3 August 1960 (from France)
Nigeria1 October 1960 (from UK)
Niueon 19 October 1974, Niue became a self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand
Norfolk Islandnone (territory of Australia)
Northern Mariana Islandsnone (commonwealth in political union with the US)
Norway7 June 1905 (Norway declared the union with Sweden dissolved); 26 October 1905 (Sweden agreed to the repeal of the union)
Oman1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
Pakistan14 August 1947 (from British India)
Palau1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
Panama3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)
Papua New Guinea16 September 1975 (from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship)
Paraguay14 May 1811 (from Spain)
Peru28 July 1821 (from Spain)
Philippines12 June 1898 (independence proclaimed from Spain); 4 July 1946 (from the US)
Pitcairn Islandsnone (overseas territory of the UK)
Poland11 November 1918 (republic proclaimed)
Portugal1143 (Kingdom of Portugal recognized); 5 October 1910 (republic proclaimed)
Puerto Riconone (territory of the US with commonwealth status)
Qatar3 September 1971 (from UK)
Romania9 May 1877 (independence proclaimed from the Ottoman Empire; independence recognized 13 July 1878 by the Treaty of Berlin); 26 March 1881 (kingdom proclaimed); 30 December 1947 (republic proclaimed)
Russia24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Rwanda1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)
Saint Barthelemynone (overseas collectivity of France)
Saint Helenanone (overseas territory of the UK)
Saint Kitts and Nevis19 September 1983 (from UK)
Saint Lucia22 February 1979 (from UK)
Saint Martinnone (overseas collectivity of France)
Saint Pierre and Miquelonnone (territorial collectivity of France; has been under French control since 1763)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines27 October 1979 (from UK)
Samoa1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)
San Marino3 September AD 301
Sao Tome and Principe12 July 1975 (from Portugal)
Saudi Arabia23 September 1932 (unification of the kingdom)
Senegal4 April 1960 (from France); note - complete independence achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960
Serbia5 June 2006 (from Serbia and Montenegro)
Seychelles29 June 1976 (from UK)
Sierra Leone27 April 1961 (from UK)
Singapore9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)
Slovakia1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Slovenia25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Solomon Islands7 July 1978 (from UK)
Somalia1 July 1960 (from a merger of British Somaliland, which became independent from the UK on 26 June 1960, and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered UN trusteeship on 1 July 1960, to form the Somali Republic)
South Africa31 May 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State); 31 May 1961 (republic declared) 27 April 1994 (majority rule)
Spainthe Iberian peninsula was characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to the Muslim occupation that began in the early 8th century A.D. and lasted nearly seven centuries; the small Christian redoubts of the north began the reconquest almost immediately, culminating in the seizure of Granada in 1492; this event completed the unification of several kingdoms and is traditionally considered the forging of present-day Spain
Sri Lanka4 February 1948 (from UK)
Sudan1 January 1956 (from Egypt and UK)
Suriname25 November 1975 (from the Netherlands)
Svalbardnone (territory of Norway)
Swaziland6 September 1968 (from UK)
Sweden6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king)
Switzerland1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
Syria17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
Tajikistan9 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Tanzania26 April 1964; Tanganyika became independent 9 December 1961 (from UK-administered UN trusteeship); Zanzibar became independent 19 December 1963 (from UK); Tanganyika united with Zanzibar 26 April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar; renamed United Republic of Tanzania 29 October 1964
Thailand1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
Timor-Leste28 November 1975 (independence proclaimed from Portugal); note - 20 May 2002 is the official date of international recognition of Timor-Leste's independence from Indonesia
Togo27 April 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
Tokelaunone (territory of New Zealand)
Tonga4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
Trinidad and Tobago31 August 1962 (from UK)
Tunisia20 March 1956 (from France)
Turkey29 October 1923 (successor state to the Ottoman Empire)
Turkmenistan27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Turks and Caicos Islandsnone (overseas territory of the UK)
Tuvalu1 October 1978 (from UK)
Uganda9 October 1962 (from UK)
Ukraine24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
United Arab Emirates2 December 1971 (from UK)
United KingdomEngland has existed as a unified entity since the 10th century; the union between England and Wales, begun in 1284 with the Statute of Rhuddlan, was not formalized until 1536 with an Act of Union; in another Act of Union in 1707, England and Scotland agreed to permanently join as Great Britain; the legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was implemented in 1801, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 formalized a partition of Ireland; six northern Irish counties remained part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland and the current name of the country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted in 1927
United States4 July 1776 (from Great Britain)
Uruguay25 August 1825 (from Brazil)
Uzbekistan1 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Vanuatu30 July 1980 (from France and UK)
Venezuela5 July 1811 (from Spain)
Vietnam2 September 1945 (from France)
Virgin Islandsnone (territory of the US)
Wallis and Futunanone (overseas territory of France)
Yemen22 May 1990 (Republic of Yemen was established with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]); note - previously North Yemen became independent in November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and became a republic with the overthrow of the theocratic Imamate in 1962; South Yemen became independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)
Zambia24 October 1964 (from UK)
Zimbabwe18 April 1980 (from UK)


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