Country codes are short alphabetic or numeric codes developed to represent countries and dependent areas, for use in data processing and communications. Several different systems have been developed to do this.
- The most famous of these is ISO 3166-1.
- This standard defines for most of the countries and dependent areas in the world:
- two letter country codes: see ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 for current ones and ISO 3166-3 for obsolete ones,
- three-letter country codes,
- three-digit numeric codes.
- The two-letter codes are used as the basis for:
Country codes other than ISO 3166 include:
The following can represent countries:
- The initial digits of International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) are group identifiers for countries, areas, or language regions.
- The first three digits of EAN-UCC article numbers, e.g. in barcodes, designate (national) numbering agencies.
The developers of ISO 3166 intended that in time it would replace other coding systems in existence.
Data codes for Switzerland presents a sample set for a country.
See also: language codes, numbering scheme.