Linking Tables Which Have ISO Codes
Both tables have ISO codes-- Although this is the easiest linkage to deal with--it can be complex. The ISO provides three code options --the ISO three character code, the ISO two character code and the ISO three character numeric code. To deal with this issue a lookup table which links the three different code types is necessary. For example, linking UN data and World Bank data requires linking the numerical code used by the UN to the three character code used by the World Bank-- but even this is complicated. The UN numerical code is a three digit code but in text format--to achieve a consistent three character code the ISO uses leading zeroes --for example "005". Conceptually this is not a problem, but spreadsheets invariably drop the leading zeros when data is downloaded, and depending on the circumstances, can format the result either as a text or a number if the code is formatted as a text the data will appear on the left hand side of the cell and if it is formatted as a number it will be on the left hand side of the cell-- so even when both data sets have ISO codes some trial and error may be involved.

The ISOlink table, which has the following structure, can be used to link two data tables which use different versions of the ISO code.:

To download the table click ISO_LU. The lookup table was updated May 21, 2019.The lookup table includes a few countries with codes that are not part of the ISO standard but which are commonly used by some organizations.

Copyright 1998/2021 GRI    Updated 8 March 2021