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Name Changes by Country 2024

Changing the name of a country isn’t easy, but there are times when it is necessary. Several countries have officially changed their names in recent years. These include The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Eswatini, Czechia, Cabo Verde, and Sri Lanka.

The Netherlands

The Dutch government is making a transition from using the name Holland for its country to using The Netherlands as its official name. This is in order to help the country expand its tourism reach beyond the Holland region.

North Macedonia

The Republic of Macedonia officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia after the country signed the Prespa Accord with Greece in June 2018. Prior to this singing, the two countries had had a dispute for decades over Macedonia’s name.

Eswatini

The Kingdom of Swaziland was officially renamed the Kingdom of Eswatini in April of 2018. This change reflected on the 50th anniversary of Swazi independence, as the name means “land of the Swazis.” Part of the reason for the name change was to avoid confusion between Swaziland and Switzerland.

Czechia

Czechia has gone by two names, Czechi and the Czech Republic, since 2013. Czechia was considered a shortened form of the name. The country has officially taken on the shorter form as of the country’s name as of 2016, and now, the Czech Republic is only used in official government documents.

Cabo Verde

In October of 2013 the Republic of Cape Verde officially changed its name to the Republic of Cabo Verde. The country officially requested the name change with the United Nations.

Sri Lanka

The country now known as Sri Lanka has had several name changes. First, in the 1970s it was known as Ceylon. In 1972 it officially changed its name to the Republic of Sri Lanka. Just a few years later, in 1978, it changed it again to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. This is the official name it holds today.

  • The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is not listed because the USSR did not change its name to the Russian Federation. The USSR disintegrated into 15 countries in 1991. Although one of the 15 resulting countries named itself the Russian Federation, made Moscow its capital, and was allowed by the International Olympic Committee to adopt the USSR's medal history as its own, it is a wholly separate country from the USSR. However, both countries are commonly referred to as Russia, which adds to the confusion.

Download Table Data

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Country
Previous Name
New Name
Year Changed
Additional Details
BangladeshEast PakistanBangladesh1971
In 1971, the war between West Pakistan and East Pakistan ended and the region of East Pakistan becam...
Cape VerdeCape VerdeRepublic of Cabo Verde2013
In 2013, this island registered its name with the UN using the full Portuguese spelling, and honorin...
Czech RepublicCzech RepublicCzechia2016
In 2016, the Czech government officially adopted the name Czechia, in part to make the name easier f...
EswatiniSwazilandeSwatini2018
In 2018, Swaziland's King Mswati III officially changed the name of the small South African country ...
IranPersiaIraq1935
Up until March 1935, the Middle Eastern nation Iran was known as Persia. The name change was initiat...
MyanmarBurmaMyanmar1989
The ruling Junta military changed the name of the country from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, ostensibly ...
Sri LankaCeylonSri Lanka1972
Although it initially regained its independence in 1948, the former British Colony of Ceylon did not...
ThailandSiamThailand1948
In 1938, military leader Luang Phibunsongkhram (typically abbreviated Phibun) ascended to the positi...
TurkeyTurkeyTürkiye2022
Although the "land of the Turks" had been known internationally as Turkey since 1923, Turkish Presid...
ZimbabweRhodesiaZimbabwe1980
The British colony Rhodesia's name was a reference to the British businessman and politician Cecil R...

Which countries have most recently changed names?

Several modern countries have recently changed their names, including The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Eswatini, Czechia, Cabo Verde, and Sri Lanka

Frequently Asked Questions

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