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Independence

This page shows the value of the Independence information field for all countries in the Country Guide.

Notes on this field are available at the Information Field Notes page.

Afghanistan

19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)

Albania

28 November 1912 (from Ottoman Empire)

Algeria

5 July 1962 (from France)

American Samoa

none (territory of the US)

Andorra

1278 (was formed under the joint suzerainty of France and Spain)

Angola

11 November 1975 (from Portugal)

Anguilla

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Antigua and Barbuda

1 November 1981 (from UK)

Argentina

9 July 1816 (from Spain)

Armenia

28 May 1918-2 December 1920 (First Armenian Republic); 23 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Aruba

none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; in 1990, Aruba requested and received from the Netherlands cancellation of the agreement to automatically give independence to the island in 1996)

Australia

1 January 1901 (federation of UK colonies)

Austria

1156 (from Bavaria)

Azerbaijan

30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Bahamas, The

10 July 1973 (from UK)

Bahrain

15 August 1971 (from UK)

Bangladesh

16 December 1971 (from Pakistan)

Barbados

30 November 1966 (from UK)

Belarus

25 August 1991 (Belarusian Supreme Soviet declaration of independence from the Soviet Union)

Belgium

4 October 1830 (from the Netherlands)

Belize

21 September 1981 (from UK)

Benin

1 August 1960 (from France)

Bermuda

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Bhutan

8 August 1949 (from India)

Bolivia

6 August 1825 (from Spain)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

NA April 1992 (from Yugoslavia)

Botswana

30 September 1966 (from UK)

Brazil

7 September 1822 (from Portugal)

British Virgin Islands

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Brunei

1 January 1984 (from UK)

Bulgaria

22 September 1908 (from Ottoman Empire)

Burkina Faso

5 August 1960 (from France)

Burundi

1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)

Cambodia

9 November 1953 (from France)

Cameroon

1 January 1960 (from UN trusteeship under French administration), 1 October 1961 (for areas ruled by Britain under UN trusteeship)

Canada

1 July 1867 (from UK)

Cape Verde

5 July 1975 (from Portugal)

Cayman Islands

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Central African Republic

13 August 1960 (from France)

Chad

11 August 1960 (from France)

Chile

18 September 1810 (from Spain)

China

221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty 221 BC; Qing or Ch'ing Dynasty replaced by the Republic on 12 February 1912; People's Republic established 1 October 1949)

Christmas Island

none (territory of Australia)

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

none (territory of Australia)

Colombia

20 July 1810 (from Spain)

Comoros

6 July 1975 (from France)

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

30 June 1960 (from Belgium)

Congo, Republic of the

15 August 1960 (from France)

Cook Islands

none (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 Rica

15 September 1821 (from Spain)

Cote d'Ivoire

7 August (1960) (from France)

Croatia

25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)

Cuba

20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902)

Cyprus

16 August 1960 (from UK) (Note: Turkish Cypriot area proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975 from Republic of Cyprus)

Czech Republic

1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech and Slovak Republics)

Denmark

first organized as a unified state in 10th century; in 1849 became a constitutional monarchy

Djibouti

27 June 1977 (from France)

Dominica

3 November 1978 (from UK)

Dominican Republic

27 February 1844 (from Haiti)

Ecuador

24 May 1822 (from Spain)

Egypt

28 February 1922 (from UK)

El Salvador

15 September 1821 (from Spain)

Equatorial Guinea

12 October 1968 (from Spain)

Eritrea

23-25 April 1993 referendum was held with vote for independence as the outcome; 24 May 1993 (from Ethiopia; formerly the Eritrea Autonomous Region)

Estonia

6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Ethiopia

oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

Faroe Islands

none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

Fiji

10 October 1970 (from UK)

Finland

6 December 1917 (from Russia)

France

486 (unified by Clovis)

French Guiana

none (overseas department of France)

French Polynesia

none (overseas territory of France)

Gabon

17 August 1960 (from France)

Gambia, The

18 February 1965 (from UK); note - The Gambia and Senegal signed an agreement on 12 December 1981 that called for the creation of a loose confederation to be known as Senegambia, but the agreement was dissolved on 30 September 1989

Georgia

9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Germany

18 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

Ghana

6 March 1957 (from UK)

Gibraltar

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Greece

1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)

Greenland

none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1979)

Grenada

7 February 1974 (from UK)

Guadeloupe

none (overseas department of France)

Guam

none (territory of the US)

Guatemala

15 September 1821 (from Spain)

Guernsey

none (British crown dependency)

Guinea

2 October 1958 (from France)

Guinea-Bissau

24 September 1973 (unilaterally declared by Guinea-Bissau); 10 September 1974 (recognized by Portugal)

Guyana

26 May 1966 (from UK)

Haiti

1 January 1804 (from France)

Holy See (Vatican City)

11 February 1929 (from Italy)

Honduras

15 September 1821 (from Spain)

Hong Kong

none (special administrative region of China)

Hungary

1001 (unification by King Stephen I)

Iceland

17 June 1944 (from Denmark)

India

15 August 1947 (from UK)

Indonesia

17 August 1945 (proclaimed independence; on 27 December 1949, Indonesia became legally independent from the Netherlands)

Iran

1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)

Iraq

3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

Ireland

6 December 1921 (from UK by treaty)

Israel

14 May 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

Italy

17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)

Jamaica

6 August 1962 (from UK)

Japan

660 BC (traditional founding by Emperor Jimmu)

Jersey

none (British crown dependency)

Jordan

25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

Kazakhstan

16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

Kenya

12 December 1963 (from UK)

Kiribati

12 July 1979 (from UK)

Korea, North

9 September 1948, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Foundation Day (Note: 15 August 1945, date of independence from the Japanese and celebrated in North Korea as National Liberation Day)

Korea, South

15 August 1945, date of liberation from Japanese colonial rule

Kuwait

19 June 1961 (from UK)

Kyrgyzstan

31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Laos

19 July 1949 (from France)

Latvia

6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Lebanon

22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)

Lesotho

4 October 1966 (from UK)

Liberia

26 July 1847

Libya

24 December 1951 (from Italy)

Liechtenstein

23 January 1719 Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein established; 12 July 1806 established independence from the Holy Roman Empire

Lithuania

6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Luxembourg

1839 (from the Netherlands)

Macau

none (special administrative region of China)

Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of

17 September 1991 (from Yugoslavia)

Madagascar

26 June 1960 (from France)

Malawi

6 July 1964 (from UK)

Malaysia

31 August 1957 (from UK)

Maldives

26 July 1965 (from UK)

Mali

22 September 1960 (from France)

Malta

21 September 1964 (from UK)

Man, Isle of

none (British crown dependency)

Marshall Islands

21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)

Martinique

none (overseas department of France)

Mauritania

28 November 1960 (from France)

Mauritius

12 March 1968 (from UK)

Mayotte

none (territorial collectivity of France)

Mexico

16 September 1810 (from Spain)

Micronesia, Federated States of

3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)

Moldova

27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Monaco

1419 (beginning of the rule by the House of Grimaldi)

Mongolia

13 March 1921 (from China)

Montserrat

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Morocco

2 March 1956 (from France)

Mozambique

25 June 1975 (from Portugal)

Myanmar

4 January 1948 (from UK)

Namibia

21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)

Nauru

31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, New Zealand-, and UK-administered UN trusteeship)

Nepal

1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan Shah)

Netherlands

1579 (from Spain)

Netherlands Antilles

none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

New Caledonia

none (overseas territory of France); note - a referendum on independence was held in 1998 but did not pass

New Zealand

26 September 1907 (from UK)

Nicaragua

15 September 1821 (from Spain)

Niger

3 August 1960 (from France)

Nigeria

1 October 1960 (from UK)

Niue

on 19 October 1974, Niue became a self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand

Norfolk Island

none (territory of Australia)

Northern Mariana Islands

none (commonwealth in political union with the US)

Norway

7 June 1905 Norway declared the union with Sweden dissolved; 26 October 1905 Sweden agreed to the repeal of the union

Oman

1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)

Pakistan

14 August 1947 (from UK)

Palau

1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)

Panama

3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)

Papua New Guinea

16 September 1975 (from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship)

Paraguay

14 May 1811 (from Spain)

Peru

28 July 1821 (from Spain)

Philippines

4 July 1946 (from US)

Pitcairn Islands

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Poland

11 November 1918 (independent republic proclaimed)

Portugal

1140 (independent republic proclaimed 5 October 1910)

Puerto Rico

none (commonwealth associated with the US)

Qatar

3 September 1971 (from UK)

Reunion

none (overseas department of France)

Romania

1881 (from Turkey; republic proclaimed 30 December 1947)

Russia

24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Rwanda

1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)

Saint Helena

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Saint Kitts and Nevis

19 September 1983 (from UK)

Saint Lucia

22 February 1979 (from UK)

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

none (territorial collectivity of France; has been under French control since 1763)

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

27 October 1979 (from UK)

Samoa

1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)

San Marino

301 (by tradition)

Sao Tome and Principe

12 July 1975 (from Portugal)

Saudi Arabia

23 September 1932 (unification)

Senegal

4 April 1960 from France; complete independence was achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960 (The Gambia and Senegal signed an agreement on 12 December 1981 (constituted February 1982) that called for the creation of a loose confederation to be known as Senegambia, but the agreement was dissolved on 30 September 1989)

Serbia and Montenegro

11 April 1992 (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or FRY formed as self-proclaimed successor to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or SFRY)

Seychelles

29 June 1976 (from UK)

Sierra Leone

27 April 1961 (from UK)

Singapore

9 August 1965 (from Malaysia)

Slovakia

1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech and Slovak Republics)

Slovenia

25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)

Solomon Islands

7 July 1978 (from UK)

Somalia

1 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 Africa

31 May 1910 (from UK)

Spain

1492 (expulsion of the Moors and unification)

Sri Lanka

4 February 1948 (from UK)

Sudan

1 January 1956 (from Egypt and UK)

Suriname

25 November 1975 (from Netherlands)

Svalbard

none (territory of Norway)

Swaziland

6 September 1968 (from UK)

Sweden

6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king)

Switzerland

1 August 1291

Syria

17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)

Tajikistan

9 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Tanzania

26 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

Thailand

1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)

Togo

27 April 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)

Tokelau

none (territory of New Zealand)

Tonga

4 June 1970 (emancipation from UK protectorate)

Trinidad and Tobago

31 August 1962 (from UK)

Tunisia

20 March 1956 (from France)

Turkey

29 October 1923 (successor state to the Ottoman Empire)

Turkmenistan

27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

Turks and Caicos Islands

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Tuvalu

1 October 1978 (from UK)

Uganda

9 October 1962 (from UK)

Ukraine

1 December 1991 (from Soviet Union, by voter approval)

United Arab Emirates

2 December 1971 (from UK)

United Kingdom

England has existed as a unified entity since the 10th century; the union between England and Wales was enacted under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284; in the Act of Union of 1707, England and Scotland agreed to permanent union 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 States

4 July 1776 (from Great Britain)

Uruguay

25 August 1825 (from Brazil)

Uzbekistan

31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Vanuatu

30 July 1980 (from France and UK)

Venezuela

5 July 1811 (from Spain)

Vietnam

2 September 1945 (from France)

Wallis and Futuna

none (overseas territory of France)

Yemen

22 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]; previously North Yemen had become independent on NA November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and South Yemen had become independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)

Zambia

24 October 1964 (from UK)

Zimbabwe

18 April 1980 (from UK)
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