Spatial Information and Geocoding
Country Codes (ISO-3)
In the EM-DAT Public Table, the
ISO column indicates a 3-letter (alpha-3) code representing a specific country, e.g., “BEL” for Belgium. This code is presented according to the international standard ISO-3166 determined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Due to historical changes in the countries’ denomination or boundaries, you may find country codes that are not found in the current ISO 3166 alpha-3 country codes. These extensions are listed in the table below.
DisclaimerThe extensions to the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 norm are the results of historical changes in the norms used. Please note that CRED aims to deliver data within an accurate spatiotemporal context. The way the EM-DAT data is presented and documented on this website does not reflect any geopolitical views held by the CRED, or the views of our partners, including the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.
Country codes are particularly useful to link the EM-DAT tabular data to a spatial layer using a Geographic Information System (GIS), spatial database, or geoprocessing programming library.
United Nations M49 Standard Country or Area Codes
The UN M49, also known as the Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use (Series M, No. 49), is a set of area codes formulated by the United Nations for data analytics. This standard is curated and upheld by the United Nations Statistics Division. The UN M49 alpha-3 codes largely overlaps with the ISO-3166 alpha-3 norm.
From September 2023 onward, the EM-DAT Public Table refers to the
Subregion names as found in the UN M49 standard. Codes used for the EM-DAT extensions to the ISO alpha-3 codes and UNM49 are listed in the table below.
|Alpha-3 Code||Country Name||Region||Subregion|
|ANT||Netherlands Antilles||Americas||Latin America and the Caribbean|
|AZO||Azores Islands||Europe||Southern Europe|
|CHA||Channel Islands||Europe||Western Europe|
|DDR||German Democratic Republic||Europe||Western Europe|
|DFR||Germany Federal Republic||Europe||Western Europe|
|SCG||Serbia Montenegro||Europe||Southern Europe|
|SPI||Canary Islands||Africa||Northern Africa|
|SUN||Soviet Union||Europe||Eastern Europe|
|YMD||People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen||Asia||Western Asia|
|YMN||Yemen Arab Republic||Asia||Western Asia|
|TWN||Taiwan (Province of China)||Asia||Eastern Asia|
GAUL Index and Admin Levels
Since 2014, EM-DAT has relied on the Global Administrative Unit Layers (GAUL) implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). EM-DAT provides loss statistics at the country level, which corresponds to GAUL Admin-0 level. In addition, the EM-DAT Public Table mentions in the
Admin Units column which region is affected by the disaster up to the Admin-2 level (e.g., districts). The mapping of EM-DAT disaster events at this higher level of geographical precision has only been completed for data since 2000. Nevertheless, the Admin-0 human and economic impact variables at the country level are not disaggregated between regions at the Admin-1 or Admin-2 level. Hence, only the occurrence is available at a more precise administrative level, and the impact variables remain representative of the country level.
Since 1990, GAUL has provided the most reliable spatial information on Administrative Units for all countries in the world down to the second administrative level (e.g., districts). However, it has no longer been maintained since its last version was released in 2015. In the future, EM-DAT may depend on alternative datasets such as the GADM Database of Global Administrative Areas or a global geospatial standard dataset resulting from the ongoing UN Second Administrative Level Boundaries (SLAB) program.
For disaster loss dataset mapping EM-DAT with GADM, you may refer to:
Rosvold, E. L. and Buhaug, H.: GDIS, a global dataset of geocoded disaster locations, Sci Data, 8, 61, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-021-00846-6, 2021.