USMA logo

Adoption of the Decimal Metric System of Weights and Measures by Country

Adoption of the Decimal Metric System of Weights and Measures by Country

Hector Vera

(Source: Hector Vera, "The Social Life of Measures: Metrication in the United States and Mexico, 1789-2004", PhD dissertation, Sociology and Historical Studies, New School for Social Research, 2011, pp. 494-497).

This table shows the 196 existing countries according to the grid of national states in 2010 and their respective year of official adoption of the decimal metric system as the compulsory and exclusive system of measurement.

When countries are followed by a C indicates that the metric system was introduced when that country was a colony; if it is followed by an S means that the metric system was introduced when that country was part of a larger political entity from which it seceded. Both of these cases are considered non-voluntary adoptions.

The column Opt. indicates, when appropriate, the year when the use of the metric system became optional in that country.

The column Vicinity indicates-for those countries that adopted the metric system voluntarily-the number of years before or after one of the country's neighbors adopted the metric system.

The countries marked with an N/M at the end of the table are non-metric countries.

COUNTRYADOPT.OPT.VICINITY
France1795-21
Belgium18160
Luxembourg18160
Netherlands18160
AlgeriaC1840
SenegalC1840
Spain184954
Portugal18523
Monaco185353
Colombia1853-9
Mexico1857-53
Venezuela18574
CubaC1858
Italy186166
Brazil18620
Peru18620
Uruguay18620
Romania1864-5
Chile186518483
Ecuador18653
Dominican Republic186714
Germany186875
Bolivia18683
Turkey18695
SurinameC1871
CroatiaS1871
Czech RepublicS1871
LiechtensteinS1871
MontenegroS1871
SlovakiaS1871
SloveniaS1871
Austria18713
Serbia18732
Hungary18744
Sweden18746
Switzerland187518684
MauritiusC1876
Argentina187718639
SeychellesC1878
Bosnia and HerzegovinaS18781910
Costa Rica1881-12
Norway188218758
BeninC1884
ChadC1884
Congo, Republic of theC18841960
Côte d'IvoireC1884
MauritaniaC1884
NigerC1884
El Salvador1885-10
Finland18864
MacedoniaS1888
Bulgaria188815
Sao Tome and PrincipeC1891
TunisiaC1893
Nicaragua18938
Honduras18952
DjiboutiC1898
Puerto RicoC1899
Paraguay189922
Equatorial GuineaC1900
Iceland190018
GuineaC19011959
Guinea-BissauC1905
AngolaC1905
Cape VerdeC1905
MozambiqueC1905
PhilippinesC1906
Denmark19077
San Marino190738
Congo, Democratic Rep.C1910
BurundiC1910
RwandaC1910
MaltaC1910
BelizeS1910
Guatemala1910189415
VietnamC1911
Thailand19121
China1913-3
ComorosC1914
Panama191534
Mongolia19163
Russia191818992
Poland19191
Haiti192053
CambodiaC1922
MoroccoC1922
Western SaharaC1922
KazakhstanS1922
KyrgyzstanS1922
TajikistanS1922
TurkmenistanS1922
UzbekistanS1922
ArmeniaS1922
AzerbaijanS1922
BelarusS1922
EstoniaS1922
GeorgiaS1922
LatviaS1922
LithuaniaS1922
MoldovaS1922
UkraineS1922
LibyaC1923
IndonesiaC1923
Afghanistan19231
TogoC1924
Iran19274
Iraq19303
SyriaC1934
Andorra193485
Lebanon19340
Israel194713
Albania194860
Korea, North194830
Korea, South19491
Egypt195118733
Japan19512
Bhutan1951-3
TaiwanS1952
Jordan19525
India195419203
Sudan195431
Timor-LesteC1957
MacauC1957
Greece195718369
Madagascar195743
Maldives19595
Mali19600
Burkina Faso19600
Central African Rep19606
Gabon19601
Somalia1960195062
Cameroon19611
Kuwait196131
United Arab Emirates196134
EritreaS1962
Ethiopia19622
Nigeria19621
Nepal19639
Laos196341
Saudi Arabia19643
United Kingdom1965186458
NamibiaS1967
Ireland196718972
South Africa196762
Pakistan196713
Tanzania19670
Uganda196719500
Kenya196719530
Singapore196845
Australia19690
New Zealand196919250
Bahamas, The19694
Zimbabwe19690
Botswana19690
Swaziland19691
Bahrain19693
Grenada19690
Dominica1969112
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines19690
Saint Kitts and Nevis1969-4
Canada19701871*
Sri Lanka197011
Trinidad and Tobago19701
Zambia197019371
Lesotho19703
Papua New Guinea19700
Solomon Islands19700
Malaysia19713
Guyana1971100
Ghana197212
Cyprus197215
Fiji19723
Qatar19723
Jamaica197353
Barbados19733
Nauru1973-9
Oman19747
Antigua and Barbuda19745
Tonga19753
Sierra Leone197675
Malawi19766
Gambia, The197671
Tuvalu19786
Yemen19817
Bangladesh198228
Kiribati19846
Brunei198514
Vanuatu198816
Saint Lucia200027
SamoaN/M
Myanmar (Burma)N/M1920
Marshall IslandsN/M1986
Micronesia, Federated States ofN/M1986
PalauN/M1994
LiberiaN/M
United StatesN/M1866

(Contact: Hector Vera, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. hhvera@hotmail.com)

Copyright © 2012, U.S. Metric Association (USMA), Inc. All rights reserved.
Web hosting courtesy of Colorado State University.
Website maintained by USMA Webmaster.
Updated: 2012-09-07