Renamed countries

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Some renamed countries are well known in the West:

Others may have escaped all but the best geography students

Middle East

Former name Current name Year of change
Muscat & Oman Oman 1970
Transjordan Jordan 1949
Trucial States United Arab Emirates 1971


Former name Current name Year of change
Abyssinia Ethiopia
Basutoland Lesotho 1966
Bechuanaland Botswana 1966
Belgian Congo Zaire 1960
Congo Free State Belgian Congo 1908
Dahomey Benin 1975
German East Africa (part) Tanganyika
German East Africa (part) Ruanda-Urundi 1923
Malgasy Republic Madagascar 1960
Northern Rhodesia Zambia
Nyasaland Malawi
Rhodesia & Southern Rhodesia Zimbabwe 1980 (Rhodesia 1965)
Ruanda-Urundi (part) Burundi 1961
Ruanda-Urundi (part) Rwanda 1961
South West Africa Namibia 1990
Spanish Sahara Western Sahara
Tanganyika & Zanzibar Tanzania
Upper Volta Burkina Faso
Zaire Democratic Republic of Congo


Former name Current name Year of change
Burma Myanmar 1989
Ceylon Sri Lanka 1972
Dutch East Indies Indonesia 1949
East Pakistan Bangladesh 1971
Siam Thailand 1939-45 and again in 1949
French Indochina Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam 1953
Malaya Malaysia 1963
Malaysia (part) Singapore 1965
Kampuchea (1975) Cambodia 1991


Former name Current name Year of change
Gilbert and Ellice Islands Tuvalu & Kiribati 1978 & 1979
New Hebrides Vanuatu 1980