Guidance

Country names

Spellings of country names as recommended by the Permanent Committee on Geographical Names (PCGN).

Documents

Details

PCGN works in conjunction with the The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to determine the list of country names and official state titles for use by all government departments. Country names usually reflect current British usage. The official state title, (ie. the form used in formal, legal or diplomatic contexts), where different, is shown and reflects the name used by the state itself. It is translated into English where necessary.

The list is arranged alphabetically by country name.

This information is also contained in the FCDO’s geographical names index and Country register.

Published 1 July 2014
Last updated 5 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added Timeline of country name changes in HMG use: 1919 to 2020.

  2. Added Timeline of country name changes in the past 50 years: 1969 to 2019.

  3. Changed Burma to Myanmar (Burma)

  4. Updated the Country names list for 2019.

  5. Updated the detail text and attachment items.

  6. Added updated versions of Country name documents.

  7. Updated the Country names list which is now provided in 2 formats PDF and XLS.

  8. First published.