National Anthems of Every Country Mapped

If you’re from the U.S., you may be familiar with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” What was once a poem written in 1814 is now synonymous with the land of the free and the home of the brave—and for good reason: it’s the country’s national anthem.

But the U.S. isn’t the only one with an associated hymn sung at events. Many countries have chosen songs to represent them. Of the 195 countries on the map, the oldest anthems date back to the 1700s while the newest was adopted as recently as 2021.

Plus, some have multilingual anthems, with multiple lyricists and composers or artists working to create a version that can be sung in all national languages of a country. It’s a lot to digest in list form, which is why we’ve plotted it on the map below.

View List of national anthems mapped in a full screen map

Switzerland and Other Multilingual National Anthems

With 195 countries on the map, there are nearly 200 national anthems to cover. And that’s not including national hymns in multiple languages. Seven countries’ national anthems are multilingual, as noted on the list below.

  • Switzerland’s Schweizerpsalm (“Swiss Psalm”) – in 4 languages
  • Cameroon’s O Cameroun, Berceau de nos Ancêtres (“O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers”) – 2
  • Canada’s Ô Canada (“O Canada”) – 2
  • Finland’s Maamme / Vårt Land (“Our Land”) – 2
  • Ireland’s Amhrán na bhFiann (“The Soldier’s Song”) – 2
  • New Zealand’s God Defend New Zealand – 2
  • Sri Lanka’s Sri Lanka Matha (“Mother Sri Lanka”) – 2

The national anthem of Switzerland, “Schweizerpsalm” or “Swiss Psalm”, has the most official versions. The hymn is written and sung in German, French, Italian, and Romansch—all of the country’s official languages.

“Swiss Pslam” has been officially translated into more languages than any other country. But Switzerland isn’t even close to being the country to have adopted the most official languages. That’s Benin (21 official languages), whose national hymn, “L’Aube Nouvelle” or “The Dawn of a New Day” is ironically only listed as being in a single language.

To see the languages of the six other countries’ anthems listed above, group the map by the “Number of multilingual versions”. Now let’s move on from language to take a look at the oldest national anthems in the world.

Oldest of the World’s National Anthems

Some of the world’s oldest anthems were adopted no more recently than 1847. But the absolute oldest may have been adopted in the 1700s, as you’ll see on the table below.

Country National anthem Date adopted (de jure)
United Kingdom God Save the King 1745
Spain La Marcha Real (“The Royal March”) 1770
France La Marseillaise  (“The Marseillaise”) 1795
Argentina Himno Nacional Argentino  (“Argentine National Anthem”) 1813
Peru Himno Nacional del Perú  (“National Anthem of Peru”) 1821
Belgium La Brabançonne  (“The Brabantian”) 1830
Brazil Hino Nacional Brasileiro  (“Brazilian National Anthem”) 1831
Uruguay Himno Nacional (“National Anthem”) 1833
Denmark Der er et yndigt land  (“There is a lovely country”) 1835
Chile Himno Nacional de Chile  (“National Anthem of Chile”) 1847
Liberia All Hail, Liberia, Hail! 1847

The U.K.’s “God Save the King” was adopted as the royal anthem officially in 1745, making it the oldest anthem on the map—though it’s not officially a national anthem. Due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III’s ascension, the song has reverted to its original title and lyrics of “King,” as it changes depending on who sits on the throne.

On that technicality, it would appear Spain’s “La Marcha Real” or (“The Royal March”) might just be the oldest national anthem. However, the tune has faced some upheaval, much like its home country. First declared official in 1770, it was then abolished from 1820-1823, adopted again from 1833-1868, co-official during 1873-1874, and once again abolished from 1931-1939 until its final reintroduction in 1939.

“The Royal March” is also currently one of only three national anthems in the world (along with those of Bosnia and Herzegovina and San Marino, which you can find on the map) with no official lyrics. Although it had lyrics in the past, they are no longer used.

Many of the other oldest anthems are dubbed “{Country} National Anthem” or similar variations. On the other hand, one of the newest national hymns was adopted as recently as 2021.

Newest National Anthems

The countries with the ten newest anthem additions adopted them between 2006 to as recently as 2021. Let’s take a look:

  • Afghanistan’s Dā də bātorāno kor (“This is the Home of the Brave”) – 2021
  • Norway’s Ja, vi elsker dette landet (“Yes, We Love This Country”) – 2019
  • Mauritania’s Bilada-l ubati-l hudati-l kiram (“Country of the Proud, Guiding Noblemen”) – 2017
  • Somalia’s Qolobaa Calankeed (“Praise to the Flag”) – 2012
  • Libya’s Libya, Libya, Libya – 2011
  • South Sudan’s South Sudan Oyee! – 2011
  • Turkmenistan’s Garaşsyz, Bitarap Türkmenistanyň Döwlet Gimni (“The State Anthem of Independent and Neutral Turkmenistan”) – 2008
  • Nepal’s Sayaun Thunga Phulka (“Made of Hundreds of Flowers”) – 2007
  • Serbia’s Bože pravde (“God of Justice”) – 2006
  • Kazakhstan’s Meniñ Qazaqstanım (“My Kazakhstan”) – 2006

Afghanistan’s “Dā də bātorāno kor” (“This is the Home of the Brave”) is, of course, the newest national anthem on the map. The a cappella song doesn’t contain any musical instruments, because instruments aren’t allowed for religious purposes in Afghanistan.

While “Ja, vi elsker dette landet” (“Yes, We Love This Country”) was performed as early as 1864, at the time, “Sønner av Norge” (“Norwegian National Song”) was still the official national anthem. It wasn’t until December 2019 that “Yes, We Love This Country” became the new Norwegian anthem.

Other than Afghanistan and Norway, many more recent anthems are no surprise as they are that of newly established countries. South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011 and as such, their national anthem is relatively new. The same can be said for Serbia, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan’s national anthems, as these countries were established in 2000, 1992, and 1992, respectively.

For more national statistics, be sure not to miss our map of the National Animals of Every Country.