[thelist] official list of countries (that people live in)

kasimir-k evolt at kasimir-k.fi
Fri May 19 03:40:00 CDT 2006

Sarah Adams scribeva in 18/05/2006 20:19:
> I'm looking for an "official" list of countries to use in a web app. I 
> found this list:
> http://schmidt.devlib.org/data/countries.html

This list doesn't seem very official to me, as it includes Soviet Union 
(nobody lives there anymore ;-)

> I'm just not sure if it's exactly what I'm looking for. I recall reading 
> somewhere once that some of these lists include countries that no one 
> actually lives in (besides penguins).

A country being inhabited only by penguins doesn't make it any less of a 
country... And you wouldn't want to exclude the business of your 
Antarctican customers (okey, penguins might not be your most profitable 
clientele, but e.g. persons on a research station might well want to buy 
stuff from your web shop).

> Can someone confirm that the list 
> I found does not include any such countries? If it does, is there a 
> better list that someone can suggest?

Personally, I hate making political statements by defining what is a 
country and what is not (Palestine, West Sahara, East Timor, ...) so I 
let others do the decission for me. I use the ISO 3166-1 [0] but others 
might prefer the UN's list [1] which has pretty much the same countries.


[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1 or
[1] http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49.htm

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