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ISO country, subdivision, language, currency and script definitions and their translations

Project description


pycountry provides the ISO databases for the standards:

The package includes a copy from Debian’s pkg-isocodes and makes the data accessible through a Python API.

Translation files for the various strings are included as well.

Data update policy

No changes to the data will be accepted into pycountry. This is a pure wrapper around the ISO standard using the pkg-isocodes database from Debian as is. If you need changes to the political situation in the world, please talk to the ISO or Debian people, not me.

Donations / Monetary Support

This is a small project that I maintain in my personal time. I am not interested in personal financial gain. However, if you would like to support the project then I would love if you would donate to Feminist Frequency instead. Also, let the world know you did so, so that others can follow your path.


The code lives in a git repository on GitHub, and issues must be reported in there as well.

Countries (ISO 3166)

Countries are accessible through a database object that is already configured upon import of pycountry and works as an iterable:

>>> import pycountry
>>> len(pycountry.countries)
>>> list(pycountry.countries)[0]
Country(alpha_2='AF', alpha_3='AFG', name='Afghanistan', numeric='004', official_name='Islamic Republic of Afghanistan')

Specific countries can be looked up by their various codes and provide the information included in the standard as attributes:

>>> germany = pycountry.countries.get(alpha_2='DE')
>>> germany
Country(alpha_2='DE', alpha_3='DEU', name='Germany', numeric='276', official_name='Federal Republic of Germany')
>>> germany.alpha_2
>>> germany.alpha_3
>>> germany.numeric
>>> germany.official_name
'Federal Republic of Germany'

The historic_countries database contains former countries that have been removed from the standard and are now included in ISO 3166-3, excluding existing ones:

>>> ussr = pycountry.historic_countries.get(alpha_3='SUN')
>>> ussr
Country(alpha_3='SUN', alpha_4='SUHH', withdrawal_date='1992-08-30', name='USSR, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics', numeric='810')
>>> ussr.alpha_4
>>> ussr.alpha_3
'USSR, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics'
>>> ussr.withdrawal_date

There’s also a “fuzzy” search to help people discover “proper” countries for names that might only actually be subdivisions. The fuzziness also includes normalizing unicode accents. There’s also a bit of prioritization included to prefer matches on country names before subdivision names and have countries with more matches be listed before ones with fewer matches:

>>> pycountry.countries.search_fuzzy('England')
[Country(alpha_2='GB', alpha_3='GBR', name='United Kingdom', numeric='826', official_name='United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland')]

>>> pycountry.countries.search_fuzzy('Cote')
[Country(alpha_2='CI', alpha_3='CIV', name="Côte d'Ivoire", numeric='384', official_name="Republic of Côte d'Ivoire"),
 Country(alpha_2='FR', alpha_3='FRA', name='France', numeric='250', official_name='French Republic'),
 Country(alpha_2='HN', alpha_3='HND', name='Honduras', numeric='340', official_name='Republic of Honduras')]

Country subdivisions (ISO 3166-2)

The country subdivisions are a little more complex than the countries itself because they provide a nested and typed structure.

All subdivisons can be accessed directly:

>>> len(pycountry.subdivisions)
>>> list(pycountry.subdivisions)[0]
Subdivision(code='AD-07', country_code='AD', name='Andorra la Vella', parent_code=None, type='Parish')

Subdivisions can be accessed using their unique code and provide at least their code, name and type:

>>> de_st = pycountry.subdivisions.get(code='DE-ST')
>>> de_st.code
>>> de_st.type
Country(alpha_2='DE', alpha_3='DEU', name='Germany', numeric='276', official_name='Federal Republic of Germany')

Some subdivisions specify another subdivision as a parent:

>>> al_br = pycountry.subdivisions.get(code='AL-BU')
>>> al_br.code
>>> al_br.type
>>> al_br.parent_code
>>> al_br.parent
Subdivision(code='AL-09', country_code='AL', name='Dib\xebr', parent_code=None, type='County')

The divisions of a single country can be queried using the country_code index:

>>> len(pycountry.subdivisions.get(country_code='DE'))

>>> len(pycountry.subdivisions.get(country_code='US'))

Scripts (ISO 15924)

Scripts are available from a database similar to the countries:

>>> len(pycountry.scripts)
>>> list(pycountry.scripts)[0]
Script(alpha_4='Afak', name='Afaka', numeric='439')

>>> latin = pycountry.scripts.get(name='Latin')
>>> latin
Script(alpha_4='Latn', name='Latin', numeric='215')
>>> latin.alpha4
>>> latin.numeric

Currencies (ISO 4217)

The currencies database is, again, similar to the ones before:

>>> len(pycountry.currencies)
>>> list(pycountry.currencies)[0]
Currency(alpha_3='AED', name='UAE Dirham', numeric='784')
>>> argentine_peso = pycountry.currencies.get(alpha_3='ARS')
>>> argentine_peso
Currency(alpha_3='ARS', name='Argentine Peso', numeric='032')
>>> argentine_peso.alpha_3
'Argentine Peso'
>>> argentine_peso.numeric

Languages (ISO 639-3)

The languages database is similar too:

>>> len(pycountry.languages)
>>> list(pycountry.languages)[0]
Language(alpha_3='aaa', name='Ghotuo', scope='I', type='L')

>>> aragonese = pycountry.languages.get(alpha_2='an')
>>> aragonese.alpha_2
>>> aragonese.alpha_3

>>> bengali = pycountry.languages.get(alpha_2='bn')
>>> bengali.common_name


Locales are available in the pycountry.LOCALES_DIR subdirectory of this package. The translation domains are called isoXXX according to the standard they provide translations for. The directory is structured in a way compatible to Python’s gettext module.

Here is an example translating language names:

>>> import gettext
>>> german = gettext.translation('iso3166', pycountry.LOCALES_DIR,
...                              languages=['de'])
>>> german.install()
>>> _('Germany')


For each database (countries, languages, scripts, etc.), you can also look up entities case insensitively without knowing which key the value may match. For example:

>>> pycountry.countries.lookup('de')
<pycountry.db.Country object at 0x...>

The search ends with the first match, which is returned.


22.1.10 (2022-01-10)

  • Update to iso-codes 4.8.0. (Thanks to llimeht!)

20.7.3 (2020-07-03)

  • Fix bug #37: (accidental) unconditional pkg_resources import. (thanks, crbunney)

20.7.2 (2020-07-02)

  • Add (auto-generated) __version__ attribute to the main module. (Fixes issue #4)

  • Add fuzzy search to historic countries. (Fixe issue #26)

  • Update to iso-codes 4.5.0.

  • PR 9: Clean up the normalization (lower casing) of values in indexes and searches. See PR for detailed discussion. This also fixed issue #8.

  • Smaller cleanups and build environment version bumps.

  • PR 35: Python 3-only cleanups and updated Python minor version compatibility (thanks, Djailla)

  • PR 33: Remove defunct bugtracker link from README (thanks, jwilk)

  • P3 32: (Somewhat hilarious) Typo (thanks, jwilk)

  • Moved to Git/Github; switched from Bitbucket Pipelines to Travis builds.

19.8.18 (2019-08-18)

  • Fix installation on systems that don’t have UTF-8 as default encoding. (#13422)

  • Remove superfluous print debugging output. (#13424)

19.7.15 (2019-07-15)

  • Update to iso-codes 4.3.

  • Add support for ISO 639-5 (Language Families and Groups).

  • Drop support for Python 2.

  • Add search_fuzzy() function to the countries database. This allows for dealing with user searches that aren’t really aware of ISO 3166 (so, like, actual human beings). A bit of character normalization and prioritizing matches between multiple criteria allows building somewhat reasonable suggestion/autocompletion lists. (#13418)

    Caveat emptor: no attention has been paid to performance in this feature.

18.12.8 (2018-12-08)

WARNING: This release contains a subtle but important API change that may break integrations!

Looking at #13416 I realized that I made a terrible API design choice with respect to how the get function should behave in Python. Probably under the influence of either too little or too much whiskey I went and implemented get so that it raises a KeyError instead of doing the Pythonic thing and returning None and allowing to customize the default. There was a bit of back-and-forth around this code in previous releases (specifically touching edge cases to have the Subdivision API behave “reasonably”, although there doesn’t seem to be one right way there.)

Anyway, when preparing this release and reviewing #13416 and the other related issues and changes from the past I noticed my mistake an decide to fix it going forward.

So, from now on get will behave as expected in Python and yes, this means you will have to update your integration code carefully now checking for None returns instead of expecting KeyErrors. This is work, but I think it’s worthwhile to uphold this convention within the Python community.

  • Switch API from “get + KeyError” to “ get + default=None”. This is a subtle API-breaking change. Please update carefully. (#13416)

  • Update to iso-codes 4.1.

18.5.26 (2018-05-26)

  • Fix #13394: incorrect KeyError shadowing in Subdivisions.get()

  • Fix #13398: make lazy loading thread-safe.

18.5.20 (2018-05-20)

  • Update to iso-codes 3.79.

18.2.23 (2018-02-23)

  • Update to iso-codes 3.78.

17.9.23 (2017-09-23)

  • Update to iso-codes 3.76, which fixes #13398.

17.5.14 (2017-05-14)

  • Update to iso-codes 3.75, which fixes #13389 again. (bad parent codes for GB).

  • Switch from building on (discontinued service) to bitbucket’s Pipelines.

  • Update pytest dependencies to get rid of API warnings.

17.01.08 (2017-01-08)

  • Update to iso-codes 3.73, which fixes #13389 (bad parent codes for CZ).

17.01.02 (2017-01-02)

  • Return empty lists from the subdivision database if the country exists but does not have any subdivisions. Fixes #13374.

  • Some typo fixes. Thanks to @VictorMireyev.

  • Update to iso-codes-3.72. (2016-11-27)

  • 16.11.27 was a brown bag release. I merged the PRs online, but didn’t pull them. Well. This is what 16.11.27 actually should have been.

16.11.27 (2016-11-27)

  • Fix encoding issue on Python 3 (which seems to have been limited to some platforms.) Via PR17, fixes #13386. Thanks to @masroore and @hiaselhans.

  • Documentation fix: iso639_1_code is not a valid key for languages any more. Fixes #13387, thanks to @jmitzka.

  • Update to iso-codes-3.71.

16.11.08 (2016-11-08)

This release was heavily supported by @zware who fixed some of the issues I overlooked in the last releases and a few enhancements.

  • All data objects now have a repr() that includes all values. (@zware)

  • All database objects now have a lookup method that takes a value and returns the first data object that has an attribute that matches the value. Note that searching is halted when the first match is found. (@zware)

  • Clean up historical countries: the deleted flag is gone and there is no database that holds both historical and present countries any longer. The record formats are too different to keep this facade up reasonably well.

  • Fix parent lookup for subdivisions.

  • Update README to correctly show the updated field names.

  • Update pins for the packages we depend on.

  • Reduce Python test coverage to Python 2.7 and 3.5 – I can’t sustain running a bazillion Python versions all the time forever.

  • Fix Python 3 compatibility (@zware)

16.10.23rc3 (2016-10-23)

  • Incorporate some typos and suggested README improvements from @Pander in #13375.

16.10.23rc2 (2016-10-23)

  • Adapt README to the new attributes.

16.10.23rc1 (2016-10-23)

This is a major change. The upstream packages have been revamped from the former XML databases to use JSON. They adapted their schemata a bit and thus made some of the structures in pycountry superfluous (yay!). Memory usage went down when all databases are loaded (32.7 MiB down from 83.6 MiB) and performance has gone up (not measured scientifically, but it’s noticable when loading the DBs in an interactive session).

To mark this major change, I’m also switch from the existing (not useful) SemVer-based version numbers to CalVer-based numbers using YY.MM.DD.micro as the pattern.

To avoid adding more complexity I have removed code that really only was necessary because of the complexity of using the XML databases.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • I updated to iso-codes 3.70 which is a lot fresher than the last release.

  • Attribute names have changed. There is no longer a mapping going on between the sources and the object attributes. Take a look at the JSON files (or inspect the objects) to see which fields are supported.

    You can also inspect the automatically build indexes (db.indices) to see all keys in a database. Not every object supports every attribute - this depends on the quality of the data from pkg-isocodes.

    Attribute names are more coherent now, too. Note that “alpha2”, “alpha4”, etc. are now using an underscore as that’s the pattern in the upstream packages. So it’s “alpha_2” now.

  • HistoricCountries no longer includes countries that still exist. I removed the computed fields that were meant to make it easy to filter.

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