List of countries that have gained independence from the United Kingdom

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This is a list of countries and territories formerly ruled or administered by the United Kingdom or part of the British Empire, with their independence days. Some countries did not gain their independence on a single date, therefore the latest day of independence is shown with a break down of dates further down the page.

As there is no list of countries and territories that have not gained, or have rejected independence from the United Kingdom, it should be noted that a Scottish Independence Referendum took place on Thursday, 18 September 2014. The question asked on the ballot sheet was 'Should Scotland be an independent country?'. The offer of independence was rejected by a majority of 55.3% of voters. The ratio of countries that have gained / rejected independence from the UK is 60:1, with Scotland being the only recognised rejector.

Territories excluding Dominions[edit]

Country Date Year of Independence Notes
 Antigua and Barbuda 1 November 1981
 Australia 1 January 1986 Australia Act 1986
 Bahamas 10 July 1973
 Bahrain 16 December 1971 15 August 1971
 Barbados 30 November 1966 Barbados Independence Act 1966
 Belize 21 September 1981 September Celebrations of Belize
 Botswana 30 September 1966
 Brunei 1 January 1984
 Canada 1 July 1982 Canada Act 1982
 Cyprus 1 October 1960 16 August 1960, but Cyprus Independence Day is commonly celebrated on 1 October.[1]
 Dominica 3 November 1978
 Egypt 28 February 1922
 Fiji 10 October 1970
 The Gambia 18 February 1965
 Ghana 6 March 1957
 Grenada 7 February 1974 Independence Day (Grenada)
 Guyana 26 May 1966
 India 15 August 1947
 Israel 14 May 1948
 Iraq 3 October 1932


 Ireland 24 April (Easter Monday) 1922 Proclamation of the Irish Republic commencing the Easter Rising on 24 April 1916 led to a civil war which resulted in the formation of the Irish Free State. Only country to ever secede from the United Kingdom proper.
 Jamaica 6 August 1962
 Jordan 25 May 1946
 Kenya 12 December 1963
 Kiribati 12 July 1979
 Kuwait 25 February 1961
 Lesotho 4 October 1966
 Malawi 6 July 1964
 Malaysia 31 August 1957 Hari Merdeka
 Maldives 26 July 1965
 Malta 21 September 1964
 Mauritius 12 March 1968
 Myanmar 4 January 1948
 Nauru 31 January 1968 Independence from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand on 31 January 1968.
 New Zealand 6 February 1986 Constitution Act 1986
 Nigeria 1 October 1960
 Pakistan 14 August 1947 Yaum e Azadi. Independence from the United Kingdom on 27 Ramadan ul Mubarik, 14 August 1947
 Papua New Guinea 16 September 1975 Independence gained from Australia the administering power.
 Qatar 3 September 1971 Qatar National Day
 Saint Lucia 22 February 1979
 Samoa 1 January 1962 Independence granted by New Zealand the administrative country.
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 19 September 1983
 Seychelles 29 June 1976
 Sierra Leone 27 April 1961
 Solomon Islands 7 July 1978
 South Africa 11 December 1961 1931 adoption of Statute of Westminster. Not a public holiday. Union of South Africa formed on 31 May 1910 and Republic declared on 31 May 1961 and left the British Commonwealth on the same day.
 Sri Lanka 4 February 1948 4 February 1948, Sri Lanka had their independence. After nearly 150 years of the UK ruling the country. Gained independence as the Dominion of Ceylon
Somalia Somaliland 26 June 1960 Gained Independence as part of Somalia. Unrecognised independent state declared in 1991 during the crisis in Somalia covering the same territory as British Somaliland as the SomalilandRepublic of Somaliland.
 Sudan 1 January 1956  South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011.
 Swaziland 6 September 1968
 Tanzania 9 December 1961
 Trinidad and Tobago 31 August 1962
 Tuvalu 1 October 1978
 Uganda 9 October 1962
 United Arab Emirates 2 December 1971 National Day (United Arab Emirates)
 United States 3 September 1783 Fourth of July. Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776. Independence achieved de facto 1781, and de jure 1783.
 Vanuatu 30 July 1980 Independence from United Kingdom and France in 1980
 Yemen 30 November 1967 South Yemen 1967
 Zambia 24 October 1964
 Zimbabwe 18 April 1980

Evolution of Dominions to Independence[edit]

Country Date of Dominion Status Date of adoption of the Statute of Westminster Date of final relinquish of British powers Final Event in question. Other important Dates
 Australia 1 January 1901 9 October 1942 (effective from 1931) 3 March 1986 Australia Act 1986
 Canada 1 July 1867 11 December 1931 17 April 1982 Canada Act 1982 Canada Day
 Ireland 6 December 1922 11 December 1931 29 December 1937 Constitution of Ireland 1937 Republic of Ireland Act 1948 came into force on 16 April 1949 with Ireland leaving the British Commonwealth.
 South Africa 31 May 1910 11 December 1931 21 May 1961 South African Constitution of 1961
 New Zealand 26 September 1907 25 November 1947 13 December 1986 Constitution Act 1986 Declaration of Independence of New Zealand 1835, Treaty of Waitangi 1840

Countries or territories that have rejected independence[edit]

Country Date Year of rejection Notes
 Scotland 19 September 2014 In the Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 voters rejected the offer of independence from the United Kingdom, making Scotland the only known country to reject the chance of independence. While many countries and territories have made great sacrifices in the pursuit of independence, Scotland was offered the chance of independence through a peaceful and democratic process, but chose to remain a part of the Union.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United Nations Member States". Un.org. Retrieved 4 November 2008.