Do countries really change names?

You finally published a beautiful and static drop down list with the names of all the countries worldwide. You even manage dto use a sensible label like “Territory” or “Country/Region” to avoid any controversy for partially recognized countries or disputed territories.

But where did you retrieve the values for your list? How up to date is the list? Do countries really change names?

Geographical renaming, the changing of the name of a geographical feature or area, can occasionally affect countries too. Macedonia, now North Macedonia, is a famous recent case.

Swaziland, now Eswatini, is a less known recent and interesting one.

As you can for example in the timeline of country name changes provided by the UK government, there are many more. Some less dramatic and controversials.

Make sure you keep your Country/Region drop down list is up to date and you source the values from a reputable list or you might face unexpected challenges with some of your audience.

They might be trivial issues for most of your users but the fixes are low hanging fruits. And a stale page never looks good, a couple of not up to date examples below.

Need a place to source your data? A reliable repository on GitHub is for example annexare/Countries

Cover photo by Dimitar Stevcev on Unsplash