Changes in Countries and Capital

Caitlin Dempsey


Listed here are more recently formed countries and capitals that have moved and well as some geography news items about some countries.

Burundi is Moving its Capital

January 9, 2019

The landlocked African country Burundi is moving its capital from Bujumbura to Gitega this past December.  The move fulfills a decade-old promise to move the capital from the north-eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika to the more central location.  

Gitega is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Bujumbura in the East Africa country’s highlands.   Bujumbura will continue to function as the financial capital of Burundi.

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Swaziland is Now eSwatini

April 22, 2018

For the country’s 50th anniversary of its independence, Swaziland’s absolute monarch declared a name change.  The country is now to be known as eSwatini, which means “place of the Swazi” in the Swazi language.  One justification for the name change that King Mswati III offered is the confusion with Switzerland, “Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland.”

Bordered by Mozambique to its northeast and by South Africa to its north, the country is landlocked.  With an area of 17,364 km2(6,704 sq mi), eSwatini is one of the smallest countries in Africa.

Map and locator map of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland.  Maps: CIA World Factbook.
Map and locator map of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland. Maps: CIA World Factbook.

Liechtenstein has grown

December 26, 2008.

Liechtenstein, the sixth smallest country in the world, has gained a smidge more in geographic area thanks to revised calculations from surveyors.   

Times Online reports that the Office of Economic Affairs has announced this increase in the size of Liechtenstein to 160.475 km.  

The gain in land mass wasn’t enough to bump up the ranking of this small European country.

Generalized map of Liechtenstein.
Generalized map of Liechtenstein. Map: CIA, public domain. 


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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.