Countries That No Longer Exist

The Russian Embassy
The Russian Embassy in Washington, D. C., formerly the Soviet Embassy until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

As countries merge, split, or change their names, the list of countries that no longer exist has grown. The list below is far from comprehensive, but it includes the most notable former countries.

Abyssinia

Also known as the Ethiopian Empire, Abyssinia was a kingdom in northeast Africa. In the early 20th century, it split into the states of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Austria-Hungary

A monarchy established in 1867, Austria-Hungary (also known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire) included not just Austria and Hungary but also parts of the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Romania, and the Balkans. The empire collapsed at the end of World War I.

Bengal

Bengal was an independent kingdom in southern Asia that existed from 1338 to 1539. The area has since been divided into the states of Bangladesh and India.

Burma

Burma officially changed its name to Myanmar in 1989. However, many countries still have not recognized the change.

Catalonia

Catalonia was an autonomous region of Spain. It remained independent from 1932 to 1934 and from 1936 to 1939.

Ceylon

Ceylon was an island country located off the coast of India. In 1972, it changed its name to Sri Lanka.

Corsica

This Mediterranean island was ruled by various nations over the course of its history but had several brief periods of independence. Today, Corsica is a department of France.

Czechoslovakia

Czechoslovakia was a country in eastern Europe. It peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

East Pakistan

This area was a province of Pakistan from 1947 to 1971. It is now the independent state of Bangladesh.

Gran Colombia

Gran Colombia was a South American country that included what is now Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador from 1819 to 1830. Gran Colombia ceased to exist when Venezuela and Ecuador seceded from the union.

Hawaii

Though a kingdom for hundreds of years, Hawaii wasn't recognized as an independent country until the 1840s. The country was annexed to the United States in 1898.

New Granada

This South American country was part of Gran Colombia from 1819 to 1830 and was an independent country from 1830 to 1858. In 1858, the country became known as the Grenadine Confederation, then the United States of New Granada in 1861, the United States of Colombia in 1863, and finally, the Republic of Colombia in 1886.

Newfoundland

From 1907 to 1949, Newfoundland existed as the self-governing Dominion of Newfoundland. In 1949, Newfoundland joined Canada as a province.

North Yemen and South Yemen

Yemen split in 1967 into two countries, North Yemen (a.k.a. the Yemen Arab Republic) and South Yemen (a.k.a. the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen). However, in 1990 the two rejoined to form a unified Yemen.

Ottoman Empire

Also known as the Turkish Empire, this empire began around 1300 and expanded to include parts of contemporary Russia, Turkey, Hungary, the Balkans, northern Africa, and the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire ceased to exist in 1923 when Turkey declared independence from what remained of the empire.

Persia

The Persian Empire extended from the Mediterranean Sea to India. Modern Persia was founded in the 16th century and later became known as Iran.

Prussia

Prussia became a Duchy in 1660 and a kingdom the following century. At its greatest extent, it included the northern two-thirds of modern Germany and western Poland. Prussia, by World War II a federal unit of Germany, was fully dissolved at the end of World War II.

Scotland, Wales, and England

Despite recent advances in autonomy, part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, both Scotland and Wales were independent nations that eventually merged with England to form the United Kingdom.

Sikkim

Sikkim was an independent monarchy from the 17th century until 1975. It is now part of northern India.

South Vietnam

South Vietnam existed from 1954 to 1976 as the anti-communist counterpart to North Vietnam. It is now part of unified Vietnam.

Taiwan

While Taiwan still exists, it is not always considered an independent country. However, it did represent China in the United Nations until 1971.

Texas

The Republic of Texas gained independence from Mexico in 1836. It existed as an independent country until it was annexed to the United States in 1845.

Tibet

A kingdom established in the 7th century, Tibet was invaded by China in 1950. Since then, it has been known as the Xizang Autonomous Region of China.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)

For decades, this country was the most powerful communist nation in the world. In 1991, it broke into 15 new countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldovia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

United Arab Republic

In 1958, non-neighbors Syria and Egypt joined together to form the United Arab Republic. In 1961, Syria abandoned the alliance, but Egypt kept the name United Arab Republic for itself for another decade.