The classification of countries is used for classifying the nationalities of people in population statistics, for example.
The code system of countries includes 249 regional units. In addition to independent countries, it includes non-independent countries that according to the standard, are colonies or other geopolitically significant areas.
The Finnish Standards Association confirms the national standard SFS-ISO 3166 (Standard SFS-ISO 3166. Codes for names of countries. Finnish Standards Association, 1998). The code system includes three-digit, two-character and three-character codes for countries.
The three-digit code issued by the United Nations Statistical Division is primarily recommended to be used in statistical systems. The two-character code is meant for general use. The three-character code can be used to make it easier to identify the area and increase clarity. The character codes are mainly based on the English names of countries.
The short form is used for the names of countries (cf. Finland, Republic of Finland). The Finnish names are based on the SFS-ISO 3166 standard and the guidelines of the Institute for the Languages of Finland. The Swedish names are based on the guidelines of the Institute for the Languages of Finland and the English names on the ISO 3166 standard and the guidelines of the Institute for the Languages of Finland.
The classification of countries is a public administration standard (JHS 186).
22 April 2022
The following changes have been made to the English names of the countries:
- The English name of Kazakstan (398) was replaced by the name Kazakhstan
- The English name of Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) (180) was replaced by Congo, The Democratic Republic of
- The English name of Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (434) was replaced by Libya
- The English name of Macau (446) was replaced by Macao
- The English name of Venezuela (862) was replaced by Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
- The name of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (654) was changed to Saint Helena
- Saint Martin (French Part) (663), the explanatory text has been added to the Swedish and the English name of the country
- The incorrect Swedish name of Saint Martin (Dutch Part) (534) was replaced by Sint Maarten (Dutch Part)
7 September 2020
The name of Swasiland (748) was changed to Eswatini.
17 May 2019 Great Britain was changed to the standardised format United Kingdom.
15 February 2019 The name of Macedonia was changed to North Macedonia.
28 September 2016 The English name of the Czech Republic was replaced by the name Czechia.
25 October 2013 The English name of Cape Verde (132) was replaced by the name Cabo Verde.
12 March 2013 Saint Helena was replaced by the name Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
6 February 2013 The name of Palestine changed into the form the State of Palestine.
1 January 2012 New codes: 531, CW, CUW Curaçao 534, SX, SMX Sint Maarten (Dutch part) 535, BQ, BES Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba 728, SS, SSD South Sudan 729, SD, SDN Sudan Abolished codes: 530 AN ANT Netherlands Antilles 736 SD SDN Sudan
21.9.2007 Saint Barthélemy (652, BL, BLM) and Saint Martin (663, MF, MAF) received codes of their own.
22 January 2007 The Finnish language updated standard was confirmed. The name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (180, CD, COD) changed into Congo. As a result of this change, the standard now has two countries whose short name is Congo. They are here separated from each other as follows: 178, CG, COG Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) 180, CD, COD Congo (Congo-Kinshasa)
The codes of countries are based on the international ISO 3166 standard (International Standard ISO 3166-1. Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions. Fifth edition. 1997.).