How many countries are younger than you?

Here’s a fun little game I thought of. Try to think of all the independent countries that are younger than you. That is, your birth predates their date of independence.

For me, it would be:

  • Palau
  • East Timor
  • Serbia
  • Montenegro
  • Kosovo
  • South Sudan
  • Abkhazia
  • South Ossetia

Abkhazia and South Ossetia aren’t recognized countries.
They are disputed territories which have no national currencies and limited contacts outside of their regions.

I’m 47 and since I was born the following have become nation:

[li]Belize[/li][li]The Czech Republic[/li][li]Slovakia[/li][li]Belarus[/li][li]Djibouti[/li][li]Guyana[/li][li]Macedonia[/li][/ol]

Among others.


If you’re 47, you’ve left a quite few out, there were a lot of small countries that became independent of Britain in the 70s.

This will help:

I just wanted to point out that when East Timor had it’s independence referendum violence broke out, and I was part of a peacekeeping force sent to the new country. In a way, I had a very tiny part in the birth of a country.

All the 'stans except Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Burkina Fasso (or was it just re-named?)

I was born in 1948: so, lots and lots. I’m too lazy to try and tot them up.

annnnd South Sudan.

Since this is a listing of things based on time and there’s a similar thread in Cafe Society about songs that list things, I’m singing this to We Didn’t Start the Fire.

But those countries were still countries, even if Britain was in charge. They weren’t part of the UK.

It was a handful by the 70s anyway, not a lot.

I was born after Sierra Leone’s independence and before Tanzania’s.

All the former Soviet republics.
All the former Yugoslav republics.
Both of the former Czechoslovakian republics.
Most of the former European colonies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.


Burkina Faso was a French colony named Haute Volta, known to the English speaking world as Upper Volta. It was renamed by one of its presidents after becoming an independent nation. I’ve always liked the name of its capital, Ouagadougou (oo-ah-ga-doo’-goo, more or less).

  1. Every country in Africa except Liberia, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Egypt.
  2. All the former Soviet republics.
  3. Belize, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, Bahamas, and other Caribbean countries except Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
  4. Malta, Cyprus, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic,
  5. All the island nations of the Pacific.
  6. Timor-Leste, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia
  7. United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain

I’m probably missing a few.

Hell, I can’t even list all the countries in Europe that have become independent, much less the rest of the world.

That’s why I finished with “among others.”
Or did you miss that?

Using that list I make it 87 countries that have had their first acquisition of sovereignty since I was born. I must say, I am surprised it is so many. Furthermore, that’s not counting many places such as the Baltic states and some of the components of former Yugoslavia that were originally sovereign long ago, then conquered or absorbed as part of some lager sovereign entity, and then, more recently, within my lifetime, became independent and sovereign again. There must be quite a few of those too (especially as I see things on that Wiki list such as Iraq having regained sovereignty from the USA in 2004). I am not going to list either group.

Doesn’t anyone remember poor little Bangladesh? Until 1971, it was the other half of Pakistan.

Pakistan was one weird country - sitting in 2 pieces with a sworn enemy between them (India).

Practically the entire planet. I was born in 1945.

According to that link, by date of “last subordination”, I am older than 45% (88) of the world’s 195 countries. I had no idea there were that many!