Lists of Countries and Regions

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From time to time, Mozilla products or websites need to include lists of "countries". This page outlines agreed best practice when doing so.

The standard Mozilla list of country and region names is the GENC list, maintained by the US Government. (Note that unfortunately that website uses a security certificate from the US Government's hierarchy, which Firefox does not trust. Therefore, you can expect to see a certificate error. It is bypassable but, if you do so, do not share sensitive information with the site.) There are several good reasons for choosing this list, which was chosen after careful consideration in a discussion on the mozilla.governance Forum. There is no perfect list, but using someone else's was considered much preferable to maintaining our own, and it was judged that this one makes acceptable decisions in most of the controversial cases.

So there are just two things you have to do to minimise the amount of geopolitical angst your product or website might cause:

  1. Never label a field "Country", always label it "Country or Region" (or equivalent in another language).
  2. Use the GENC list entirely, completely and without making any changes whatsoever.

There are JSON versions of the list, in a large number of languages, on the product-details website. The in-product version is regionNames.properties. Where possible, you should use one of those copies rather than rolling your own, as they will be kept current.

If your product or website needs to display maps with country/region boundaries marked on, or translate the position of a dropped pin into an address which includes a country or region name, or in any other way make a determination about which bit of land belongs to which country or region, please consult Legal before deployment.