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Countries with Constitutions 2024

A constitution is a legal document that outlines the government’s structure and the basic principles of ruling and governing a nation. Many countries have some sort of guidelines that function this way and can be in the form of a written or unwritten constitution. Without this set of rules, a state can’t function properly, and there would be anarchy. While the constitution doesn't cover every issue, it’s mandatory to address fundamental matters like the distribution and the use of power.

Matters Addressed in a Constitution

A constitution addresses the legal, political, and social dimensions of a country. The legal dimension deals with the legislative process, the independence of the judiciary, the protection of human rights of citizens, the power of the Supreme court to invalidate legislation, and how to change the constitution. The document also addresses the political aspects relating to its governance, division, and separation of power between the three arms of government, the election process, and the relationship between the central, local, and provincial state entities. When it comes to the social dimension, the constitution declares certain ideals that are typical for its citizens.

Types of Constitution

A constitution can be codified or uncodified. A codified constitution is written in a single document and is often a product of drastic political change. Its legitimacy is tied to the process used to adopt it, and many countries with codified constitutions experience a high constitutional turnover. However, they give the constitution supremacy over ordinary statute law. This means if there’s a conflict between the codified constitution and a legal statute, all or part of the statute can be declared unconstitutional by the court.

On the other hand, an uncodified constitution is one where the fundamental rules take the form of customs, precedent, usage, and a variety of legal instruments and statutes. An understanding of this kind of constitution is obtained by the government, the judiciary, legal experts, or the government committees. Uncodified constitution is more adaptable, flexible, and resilient because all its elements may be (or maybe not) recognized by legislators and the courts as binding upon the government. It is this framework that’s sometimes referred to as an unwritten constitution. However, all the elements of an uncodified constitution are written in different official documents though not codified in one document.

  • The adoption of a constitution does not automatically transform a territory into a sovereign country. The territories Abkhazia, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, Somaliland, South Ossetia, Taiwan, Transnistria, and Western Sahara all have constitutions, but none are recognized as sovereign by the United Nations.
  • While the month and year of Western Sahara's constitution have been confirmed, the day is not. The first day of the month is listed as placeholder.

Download Table Data

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Country
Date Ratified
Word Count (words)
Zambia2016
Eswatini200548.6K
Republic of the Congo200110K
Sierra Leone199644.6K
Cambodia19938.9K
Lesotho199345.5K
Seychelles199339.7K
Cape Verde199232.1K
Gabon199111.8K
Grenada199133.7K
Tuvalu198634.8K
Kiribati197926.1K
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines1979
Marshall Islands197921.4K
Saint Lucia197838.3K
Dominica197836.1K
Bahamas197341.8K
Brunei195913.9K
Peru12-31-199319.2K
Ireland12-29-193716K
North Korea12-25-19727.4K
Comoros12-23-20016.2K
Slovenia12-23-199111.4K
Croatia12-22-199010.9K
Italy12-22-194711.7K
Mozambique12-21-200424.2K
Venezuela12-20-199937.3K
El Salvador12-20-198322.8K
Monaco12-17-19623.8K
Czech Republic12-16-199214.6K
Bosnia and Herzegovina12-14-19955.5K
Morocco12-14-196215.9K
Russia12-12-199312.9K
Uzbekistan12-08-19927.9K
Spain12-06-197817.6K
China12-04-198211K
Iran12-03-197916.2K
Benin12-02-199011.4K
United Arab Emirates12-02-197111.6K
Barbados11-30-196634.1K
Vietnam11-28-201311.3K
Albania11-28-199813.8K
Vatican City11-26-2000
India11-26-1949146.4K
Niger11-25-201014.8K
Romania11-21-199114.7K
North Macedonia11-17-199113.5K
Equatorial Guinea11-17-19915.6K
Madagascar11-14-201015.8K
Azerbaijan11-12-199517.4K
Kuwait11-11-19628.2K
Ivory Coast11-08-20167.9K
Serbia11-08-200619.9K
Turkey11-07-198229.7K
Costa Rica11-07-194916.7K
Latvia11-07-19224.9K
Oman11-06-19967.2K
Tajikistan11-06-19947.9K
Sao Tome and Principe11-05-19758K
Bangladesh11-04-197227.6K
Tonga11-04-187510.2K
Antigua and Barbuda10-31-198138.5K
Samoa10-28-196019.6K
Lithuania10-25-199212.2K
Ecuador10-20-200854.6K
Montenegro10-19-200711.6K
Niue10-19-1974
American Samoa10-17-1960
Turks and Caicos Islands10-15-2012
Iraq10-15-200511.6K
Togo10-14-199210.3K
Panama10-11-197226.1K
Sint Maarten10-10-2010
Uganda10-08-199549.4K
Guyana10-06-198046.2K
Brazil10-05-198864.5K
Liechtenstein10-05-19219.5K
France10-04-195810.2K
Slovakia10-01-199218.4K
Micronesia10-01-19785.3K
Afghanistan10-01-1964
Austria10-01-192041.4K
Suriname09-30-198712.5K
Botswana09-30-196630.7K
Belize09-21-198139.6K
Malta09-21-196431.8K
Nepal09-20-201532.8K
Papua New Guinea09-16-197558.5K
Djibouti09-15-19926.7K
Chile09-11-198025.8K
Algeria09-08-196310K
Sri Lanka09-07-197840.1K
Fiji09-06-201340.8K
Kazakhstan08-30-199513.5K
Kenya08-27-201048.8K
Malaysia08-27-195764.1K
Georgia08-24-199511.5K
Netherlands08-24-18158.7K
Ethiopia08-21-199513.6K
Indonesia08-18-19455.9K
Cyprus08-16-196037K
Laos08-14-19914.8K
Pakistan08-14-197356.2K
Singapore08-09-196540.1K
Maldives08-07-200824K
Libya08-03-2011
Somalia08-01-201219.8K
Western Sahara08-01-1976
Vanuatu07-30-19808.4K
Moldova07-29-199412.8K
Puerto Rico07-25-1952
Bhutan07-18-200813.6K
Uruguay07-18-183029.9K
South Korea07-17-19489.1K
Bulgaria07-12-199113.6K
Mauritania07-12-19917K
South Sudan07-09-201127.2K
Sudan07-09-200526.6K
Palau07-09-1980
Armenia07-05-199513.8K
Colombia07-04-199146.9K
Ukraine06-28-199619.3K
Estonia06-28-199211.3K
Kyrgyzstan06-27-201014.3K
Saint Kitts and Nevis06-23-198349.6K
United States06-21-17887.8K
Haiti06-20-201218.5K
Paraguay06-20-199225.5K
Iceland06-17-19444.1K
British Virgin Islands06-15-2007
Burkina Faso06-11-199110K
Greece06-11-197527K
Denmark06-05-19536.2K
Solomon Islands05-31-197831.8K
Myanmar05-29-200840.5K
Nigeria05-29-199966.3K
Palestine05-28-1964
Rwanda05-26-200316.9K
Eritrea05-23-19976.8K
Lebanon05-23-19266.3K
Turkmenistan05-18-19925.7K
Norway05-17-18147.3K
Malawi05-16-199433.4K
Yemen05-16-1991
Zimbabwe05-09-201355.9K
Germany05-08-194927.4K
Guinea05-07-201012.7K
Guinea Bissau05-06-19847.8K
Japan05-03-19475K
Taiwan05-01-1991
Argentina05-01-185312.5K
Ghana04-28-199254K
Tanzania04-25-197735.7K
Portugal04-25-197635.2K
Hungary04-18-201115.2K
Switzerland04-18-199916.5K
Cuba04-10-201912.9K
Qatar04-09-20046.8K
Thailand04-06-20177.7K
Hong Kong04-04-1990
Poland04-02-199719.6K
Chad03-31-199611.8K
Macau03-31-1993
Trinidad and Tobago03-29-197632.6K
Central African Republic03-27-20169.8K
Belarus03-15-199413.3K
Mauritius03-12-196837.3K
Burundi03-09-199217.6K
Finland03-01-200012.6K
Saudi Arabia03-01-19926.3K
Syria02-27-20128.2K
DR Congo02-18-200619.3K
Bahrain02-14-200210.8K
Namibia02-09-199024.2K
Bolivia02-07-200939.4K
Belgium02-07-183116.1K
Mexico02-05-191757.1K
South Africa02-04-199743.1K
Andorra02-02-19938.7K
Philippines02-02-198722K
Nauru01-31-196813.7K
Tunisia01-26-20149.5K
Dominican Republic01-26-201029.7K
Angola01-21-201027.2K
Honduras01-20-198223.4K
Egypt01-18-201422.6K
Cameroon01-18-19968.4K
Gambia01-16-199743.5K
Guatemala01-14-198628.7K
Mongolia01-13-19928.3K
Mali01-12-19927.5K
Jordan01-11-195210.2K
Liberia01-06-198611.7K
Gibraltar01-02-2007
Falkland Islands01-01-2009
Senegal01-01-200110.9K
Nicaragua01-01-198720.5K
Aruba01-01-1986
Jamaica01-01-196238K
Australia01-01-190117.3K
Luxembourg01-01-18425.6K
showing: 201 rows

How many countries have constitutions?

201 countries have adopted constitutions outlining the government's structure and the basic rules governing that country.

Frequently Asked Questions

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