Territorial Change, 1816-2008 (v4.01)


The territorial change dataset is the result of the effort to identify and code all territorial changes involving at least one nation-state (as defined by the Correlates of War project) for the period 1816-2008. The data are restricted to territorial changes that involve at least one recognized (by COW) nation-state. Both the nation states and the non-nation states involved in territorial changes are regarded as political entities. This dataset contains information on the entities involved, the gaining side, the losing side, the territory exchanged, as well as the type and date of the exchange.

On January 13, 2010, we released the fourth version of this data set (that covers 1816-2008 cases). This was an update of the earlier territorial change data set that ended in 2000. In version 4.0, 7 new cases were added for 2001-2008 time period. In addition, some minor changes/corrections were made to existing data points. On April 13, 2010, we released version 4.01, in which two African cases have been corrected and the missing values for the version variable have been filled in. Full details of these modifications are included in the update documentation.


In any papers or publications that utilize this data set, users are asked to give the version number and cite the article of record for the data set, as follows:

Bibliography Entry: Tir, Jaroslav, Philip Schafer, Paul Diehl, and Gary Goertz. 1998. "Territorial Changes, 1816-1996: Procedures and Data" Conflict Mangagement and Peace Science 16(1):89-97.

Data Set

The revised territorial change data - now version 4.01 - is available in .xls format and in .csv format. This memo lists the changes from the last version. An updated main coding manual is available in the .pdf format. All the files are available as a ZIP archive that contains:


tc2008.csv - the data in comma-separated variable ASCII format


tc2008.xls - the data in Microsoft Excel format.


tcmanual.pdf - the main territorial change coding manual. Appendixes A, B and C give details on changes introduced in v3.0, v4.0 and v4.01 respectively.


tcmanual.rtf - the main territorial change coding manual in rich-text format


Entities.pdf - the list of political entities (colonies, dependencies, and possessions)


Questions and Feedback

The territorial change data set is hosted by Paul Diehl, the University of Illinois and Jaroslav Tir, the University of Georgia, under the COW Data Set Hosting Program. In case of questions or concerns concerning the data or coding rules, the hosts may be contacted by email at and at