State System Membership (v2016)

This data set records the fluctuating composition of the state system since 1816. It also identifies countries corresponding to the standard Correlates of War country codes.

State System Membership


This data set contains the list of states in the international system as updated and distributed by the Correlates of War Project. These data sets identify states, their standard Correlates of War “country code” or state number (used throughout the Correlates of War project data sets), state abbreviations, and dates of membership as states and major powers in the international system. Version 2016 extends the temporal domain of the collection through December 2016.

The Correlates of War project includes a state in the international system from 1816-2016 for the following criteria. Prior to 1920, the entity must have had a population greater than 500,000 and have had diplomatic missions at or above the rank of charge d’affaires with Britain and France. After 1920, the entity must be a member of the League of Nations or the United Nations, or have a population greater than 500,000 and receive diplomatic missions from two major powers.


We ask users of the data set to cite this data set as follows:

Correlates of War Project. 2017. “State System Membership List, v2016.” Online,

Data Set

The files associated with the interstate system membership data set can be obtained either individually in .csv (comma-delimited) format. In this format, values are separated by commas, with string values (e.g. state names) in quotations. The first line of each data file is a header record containing the variable names.

Questions and Feedback

This data set is hosted by Volker Krause, Eastern Michigan University; Phil Schafer, University of Michigan; Karen Ruth Adams, University of Montana. Questions about this data set may be emailed to Volker Krause at

State System v2016 Codebook

Describes the content and formate of the data, and provides details of the operational criteria for state system membership.

State System Membership Codebook V2016.pdf — PDF document, 91 KB (93891 bytes)

State System v2016 FAQ

Contains answers to some FAQs about the state system membership datasets

State FAQ.pdf — PDF document, 90 KB (92385 bytes)


Provides the entry and exit dates of states, country codes, and abbreviations.

states2016.csv — text/comma-separated-values, 10 KB (10845 bytes)


Provides the entry and exit dates for states to be designated as major powers

majors2016.csv — text/comma-separated-values, 1 KB


Gives the composition of the state system year by year (providing a blank country-year dataset)

system2016.csv — text/comma-separated-values, 293 KB (300836 bytes)