spread of the metric system

 

Country Date signed Treaty of Meter Date of law, decree, etc. Use permitted,
effective date
Use compulsory,
effective date
Albania       19 April 1951
Algeria     1843
Argentina 1877   1863 1 January 1887
Australia 1947      
Austria 1875 Article 5 of the law of 23 July 1871.  For land measures, ΒΆ22 of the law of 12 July 1898. 1 January 1873 1 January 1876. For land, 1898.
Bangladesh   July 1982   July 1982
Belgian Congo       17 August 1910
Belgium 1875     1 January 1820, at first with older units revalued [1836?]
Bolivia     1871 1893
Brazil 1921     26 June 1862 [1872, compulsory?]
Bulgaria 1911     1 January 1892
Burma     1920  
Cambodia       1914
Cameroon 1970      
Canada 1907   1871  
Chile 1908     1848 [1865?]
China 1977   1903  
  29 August 1908  
    1929, wholesale trade, official transactions;
     
    1959
Cochin China       1911
Colombia       1854 [> 7?}, compulsory; another says 1853
Costa Rica   by convention with Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Salvador 1855 1 January 1912.
Croatia 2008      
Cuba       1858; others say 17 July 1849
Cyprus       1986
Czech Republic 1922      
Czechoslovakia       1876
Denmark 1875   1 April 1910 1 April 1912
Dom. Republic 1954     August 1, 1913
Ecuador       1865
Egypt 1962   1873 Compulsory for gov’t use, 1891. legal, 1976; 1951, feddan retained.
El Salvador       1 January 1886
Eritrea        
Ethiopia       1963, compulsory
Finland 1923  [?1886] 1887 1 January 1892 
France 1875      
Germany 1875     1 January 1872
Great Britain 1884   1864  
Greece 2001 28 September 1836 1836 1922 [introduced 1898; compulsory since 1959]
Guatemala   by convention with Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Salvador   1 January 1912 
Guinea       1910
Haiti       1921
Honduras       April 1, 1897 Statesman’s Yearbook>/1912 UN1966
by convention with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Salvador   1 January 1912
Hungary 1875 (as Austria-Hungary);
1925 (as Hungary)
    1 January 1876
Iceland       1907 [30 December 1909, compulsory]
India 1957   1920,1947 April 1963
Indonesia 1960     1949
Iran 1975     8 January 1933
Iraq        
Ireland 1925   1864 December 31, 1994
Israel 1985     1928 (from Palestine)
Italy 1875   Adopted as early as 1803 in Milan. 26 July 1861
Japan 1885   1 January 1893 March 1921
Jordan       1953
Kazakhstan 2008      
Kenya 2010      
Latvia       1920
Lebanon       22 August 1935.
Lithuania       1920
Luxembourg       1 January 1820
Malaysia 2001      
Malta       1921, compulsory only for customs ICT says 1914
Mauritius       1878 (some say 1876)
Mexico 1890   1857 [1862] compulsory after 16 September 1896
Netherlands 1929   1 January 1820
Netherlands
Antilles
      1 July 1876
Nicaragua       7 January 1893
by convention with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Salvador   1 January 1912
Nigeria     1962  
Northern Ireland     1864  
North Korea 1982      
Norway 1875   1879 1 July 1882
Pakistan 1973      
Paraguay     4 July 1899 1 January 1901
Persia        
Peru 1875     10 March 1869
Phillipines       1860 [1869, general use since 1916]
Poland 1925     1919
Portugal 1876 14 December 1852   [introduced 1860–63;] compulsory 1872
others say 1 January 1870
Portuguese colonies       25 September 1905
Puerto Rico   1864;
18 March 1899
  1 Jan 1888;
1860
Romania 1884     1 January 1884
Russia 1875   1 January 1900  
Salvador   by convention with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua   1 January 1912
Saudi Arabia 2011     3 December 1964
Serbia 1879;
2011
    1863 others say 1 Jan 1883
Siam 1912      
Singapore 1994     1971
Slovakia 1922      
South Africa 1964      
South Korea 1959      
Spain 1875 19 July 1849   1 January 1859, in some areas, 1853
Sweden 1875 1878    1883
Switzerland 1875 1835   1837: 12 cantons base traditional units on metric.
    1 January 1877, (some say 1873)
Syria       22 August 1935
Thailand 1912     17 December 1947, compulsory but others say 1923
Tunisia 2012      
Turkey 1875  1881   1882, enforced only for grain
    26 March 1931
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics       1918, Soviet Russia; 1 January 1927
United Arab Republic       1961
United Kingdom 1884 1896: Weights and Measures (Metric System) Act 1896 Weights and Measures Act 1986 removes from statutes the furlong, chain, rood, square mile, cubic yard, cubic foot, cubic inch, bushel, peck, fluid drachm, minim, grain, pennyweight, stone, hundredweight, cental, quintal, dram, apothecaries ounce, drachm, scruple and metric ton.
1973: UK joins EEC, has 5 years to metrify 1 Oct 1995: inch, foot, yard, fathom, mile, fluid ounce, gill, pint, quart, gallon, therm, acre, troy ounce, avoirdupois ounce and pound abandoned.
1995: metric required on packaged goods
1978: first compulsory orders 2000: metric required for goods sold loose
 

as of 1 Jan 2000, the only remaining imperial units are,

  • for road signs and speedometers, the mile and subdivisions
  • the pint for draft beer and cider, and for milk in returnable containers
  • troy ounce for precious metals
  • acre for land registration, not sales
United States
of America
1875   1866: legal for trade.

1893: traditional units based on metric prototypes.

 
Uruguay 1908   1864 2 October 1894 [1962?]
Venezuela 1879   1857  
Vietnam       late 18th c
Yugoslavia       1883. 1919
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