The World's Newest Countries Since 1990

Discover the 34 Latest Countries Created

Mount Ararat and Yerevan viewed from Cascade at sunrise, Yerevan, Armenia, Central Asia, Asia
Armenia. G&M Therin-Weise/Getty Images

Since the year 1990, 34 new countries have been created. The dissolution of the USSR and Yugoslavia in the early 1990s lead to the creation of most of the newly independent states. You probably know about many of these changes, but a few of these new countries seem to slip by almost unnoticed. This comprehensive listing will update you about the countries that have formed since.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Fifteen new countries became independent with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Most of these countries declared independence a few months preceding the fall of the Soviet Union in late 1991:

  1. Armenia
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Belarus
  4. Estonia
  5. Georgia
  6. Kazakhstan
  7. Kyrgyzstan
  8. Latvia
  9. Lithuania
  10. Moldova
  11. Russia
  12. Tajikistan
  13. Turkmenistan
  14. Ukraine
  15. Uzbekistan

Former Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia dissolved in the early 1990s into five independent countries:

  • June 25, 1991: Croatia and Slovenia
  • September 8, 1991: Macedonia (officially The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) declared independence on this date, but wasn't recognized by the United Nations until 1993 and the United States and Russia in February of 1994.
  • February 29, 1992: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • April 17, 1992: Serbia and Montenegro, also known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. See below for separate Serbia and Montenegro entries.

Other New Countries

Thirteen other countries became independent through a variety of circumstances:

  • March 21, 1990: Namibia became independent of South Africa. Previously, Namibia was known as South West Africa when it was a German territory.
  • May 22, 1990: North and South Yemen merged to form a unified Yemen.
  • October 3, 1990: East Germany and West Germany merged to form a unified Germany after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
  • September 17, 1991: The Marshall Islands was part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (administered by the United States) and gained independence as a former colony. On this date, Micronesia, previously known as the Caroline Islands, also became independent from the United States.
  • January 1, 1993: The Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent nations when Czechoslovakia dissolved.
  • May 25, 1993: Eritrea was a part of Ethiopia but seceded and gained independence.
  • October 1, 1994: Palau was part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (administered by the United States) and gained independence as a former colony.
  • May 20, 2002: East Timor (Timor-Leste) declared independence from Portugal in 1975 but did not become independent from Indonesia until 2002.
  • June 3, 2006: Montenegro was part of Serbia and Montenegro (also known as Yugoslavia) but gained independence after a referendum. Two days later, Serbia became its own entity after Montenegro split.
  • February 17, 2008: Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. The representatives of the Kosovo people unanimously agreed the country would be independent of​ Serbia despite eleven of the Serbia minority boycotting this. 
  • July 9, 2011: South Sudan peacefully seceded from Sudan following a January 2011 referendum. Sudan itself was the first to recognize South Sudan and did so one day early.