Separatists around the world

September 19, 2014

Scottish voters rejected independence yesterday by a surprisingly decisive margin of 55-45. But while the United Kingdom remains united, secession movements elsewhere are still going strong. The number of UN member states has increased almost fourfold, from 51 to 193, since the organization’s founding in 1945, though growth in the number of countries overall has been much slower in the post-Soviet era. A peaceful, fairly decided election in Scotland may give breakaway regions a new precedent to point to.

In particular, the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain is getting ready to make breakaway moves. Despite the “no” vote in Scotland, the Catalan regional government has promised that it will push ahead with its own independence referendum on November 9. That’s not going to be easy: the central government in Madrid has said that even a non-binding vote would violate the Spanish constitution. Catalan regional leader Artur Mas responded to the Scottish vote by saying, “What happened in Scotland is not a setback for us, because what we really want in Catalonia is to have the chance to vote.”

The Catalan independence movement has counterparts in Eastern Ukraine’s pro-Russian separatists, Tibet’s independence activists and Canada’s Quebec. Even in the U.S. a new poll brought the surprise news that as many as a quarter of Americans wouldn’t object to their state seceding from the union.

Here is a map highlighting the countries where breaking away remains on the political agenda.

Reuters Independence graphic.jpeg


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

where is the the Kurds?

Posted by Kurds | Report as abusive

This map doesn’t show all separatist. Type in google: separatist with the continent you live in, you will find at least 50 more regions. Especially in Asia! Also you can visit the UNPO (unrecognized nations and ppl’s organisation) website; however the last doesn’t show the regions with use guns in order to get their freedom. ps. I really don’t get why indonesia and india/pakistan are not on the map, half of their countries want to separate!!

Posted by Cashmere22 | Report as abusive