List of all UN M49 area codes
The UN M49 standard is a coding system developed by the United Nations for the representation of areas, countries, and regions for statistical purposes. It classifies geographical locations based on a set of unique three-digit codes. In the context of software localization, these codes can be used to tailor applications and content to specific regions, ensuring that software is both culturally and linguistically appropriate for its intended audience.
The area code table is shown below.
*North America, identified by the numerical code
003, consists of Northern America (
021), the Caribbean (
029), and Central America (
The UN M49 was not designed with software localization in mind, but it has carved a place for itself in that sector. It excels in highlighting areas larger than what ISO 3166-1 codes denote. A prime example is the use of the
es-419 locale code, streamlining Spanish localization for Latin America and the Caribbean by reducing redundant translation files that would occur if another standard is used.
Both UN M49 and ISO 3166 serve as standards for categorizing geographic entities. Although they have different primary objectives, they intersect in some cases. For example,
840 (UN M49) and
USA (ISO 3166-1 alpha-3) both represent the United States of America, albeit with different codes. In the realm of software localization, ISO 3166 is more commonly used due to its precise country naming system. Yet, for broader regional distinctions like Latin America and the Caribbean, UN M49 is preferable as it simplifies the localization process (e.g., targeting Spanish in Latin America and the Caribbean).
Tired of manually editing translation files?
Our platform streamlines software localization for you.