Quiz on countries born in the 20th century

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on October 23, 2020

Animal story: A family of African elephants watches a grey heron on Luangwa River in Zambia   -  REUTERS/ ANGIE SCOTT

On October 24, 1964, Northern Rhodesia gained independence from the UK and became known as Zambia. This is a quiz about countries born in the 20th century.

Country song

1 If Northern Rhodesia became Zambia, what name did Southern Rhodesia adopt when it became independent in 1980, almost 16 years after Zambia?

2 Cambodia has changed its name several times. It was the Kingdom of Cambodia between 1953 and 1970, then took a new name between 1970 and 1975, then changed to Democratic Kampuchea and the State of Cambodia before arriving back to the original name. What was it known as between 1970 and 1975?

3 This African country was a British protectorate from 1903 till it became independent in 1968. In 2018, it formally called itself the kingdom of Eswatini. What was it known as before that?

4 In the 1970s, only four countries had the title of emperor for their head of State. Three of those were Iran, Japan and the Ethiopia. Which African country was the fourth?

5 In 1974, a referendum was held and the British colonies of the Gilbert and Ellice islands were split up. Both became independent countries. One of them became Kiribati. Name the other.

6 What name did the landlocked African country, Republic of Upper Volta, adopt in 1984, 24 years after gaining independence from France?

7 This country on the north-east Atlantic coast of South America was formerly a Dutch colony and has provided the Dutch national football team with some of its greatest stars, including Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Virgil Van Dijk. Name the country which was granted independence on November 25, 1975?

8 In the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this country proclaimed sovereignty in July 1990. It is regarded as Europe’s last dictatorship and so far has had only one president since independence. Name either the country or its president.

9 Formerly a Spanish colony, this Asian country became a part of the US after Spain’s defeat in the Spanish-American War. It was finally recognised as an independent nation on July 4, 1946, and since then has moved its official Independence Day to June 12. Name the country.

10 Thanks to its strategic location, Britain wanted to integrate this former colony within the UK, but a referendum in 1964 finally created the new nation as an independent monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of State. Name this country, the headquarters of the legendary Knights Hospitaller.


1 Zimbabwe.

2 The Khmer Republic.

3 The Kingdom of Swaziland.

4 The Central African Republic under Jean-Bédel Bokassa.

5 Tuvalu, briefly popular among internet users for its domain name .tv.

6 Burkina Faso.

7 The Republic of Suriname.

8 Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko.

9 The Philippines.

10 Malta.


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on October 22, 2020

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