A simple collection of geographic names and abbreviations for Rails apps (includes replacements for country_select and state_select)
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Carmen- A simple collection of geographic names and abbreviations for Ruby

This library will work as a drop in replacement for the official Rails country_select and its various forks. The idea is to provide a single library for all geographic naming concerns, and unify them under a consistent API.

States are supported for the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Ukraine, and United States.

API documentation is available.


gem install carmen

If you're in Rails 2.3 or earlier, place this in your environment.rb:

config.gem 'carmen'

If you're in Rails 3, put this in your Gemfile:

gem "carmen"

Get a list of all countries

Carmen.countries => […, ['Germany', 'DE'], …, ['United States', 'US'], …]
Carmen.countries(:locale => 'de') => […, ['Deutschland', 'DE'], …, ['Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika', 'US'], …]

State list retrieval

Carmen::states('US') => [['Alabama', 'AL'], ['Arkansas', 'AR'], ... ]
Carmen::states => [['Alabama', 'AL'], ['Arkansas', 'AR'], ... ] # uses default country
Carmen::state_names('US') => ['Alabama', 'Arkansas', ... ]
Carmen::state_codes('US') => ['AL', 'AR', ... ]

Abbreviation handling

Carmen::country_name('US') => 'United States'
Carmen::country_code('Canada') => 'CA'
Carmen::state_code('Illinois') => 'IL'
Carmen::state_code('Manitoba', 'CA') => 'MB'
Carmen::state_name('AZ') => 'Arizona'

Default Country

Methods that take a country code argument will use the default country if none is provided. The default default country is 'US'. You can change it to any country code:

Carmen.default_country = 'CA'

Adding country and state exclusion to Carmen

This fork lets you exclude specific countries and/or states from Carmen. Simply set the appropriate class variables and the exclusion will take effect.

Excluding Countries

Countries to exclude are specified as an array of country codes:

Carmen.excluded_countries = [ 'AF', 'ST', 'ZW', ... ]

Excluding States

States to exclude are specified via a hash, with keys being the country's code, and values being the states to exclude from that country:

Carmen.excluded_states = { 'US' => [ 'AA', 'AP', 'PW', ... ], 'DE' => [ 'BW', 'TH' ], ... }

Adding Priority Countries

It can be useful to show a few countries first in the list, before any others. This can be done like so:

Carmen.priority_countries = %w(US CA)


You can switch between different localizations of the countries list, by setting the locale value (default is :en):

Carmen.default_locale = :de

Methods that return country names also take an optional options hash as the last argument, which can be use to override the default locale for a single call:

Carmen::country_name('US') => 'United States'
Carmen::country_name('US', :locale => :de) => 'Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika'

Currently included localizations are: English (:en), German (:de), Hindi (:hi), Netherlands (:nl)

Rails view helpers

Carmen ships with replacements for state_select and country_select. Usage is simple:

<%= form_for @address do |f| %>
  <%= f.label :country, "Country" %> <%= f.country_select(:country, "US") %>
  <%= submit_tag "Create" %>
<% end %>


  • Many countries, such as Spain, have additional levels beneath 'state' that we would ideally support. Thanks to Alberto Molpeceres for bringing this to my attention.

  • Split the Rails-specific view helpers out into a separate gem (carmen-rails)

  • Move regex matching into an optional module.



  • Add Saint Barthelemy (BL) and Saint Martin (French Part) (MF) (nengxu)

  • Add Japanese countries localization (bonsaiben)

  • Prevent Carmen::state_name('NO','NO') from crashing (mhourahine)

  • Change “Taiwan, Province of China” to “Taiwan” (camilleroux)

  • Add spanish translation for countries (federomero)


  • Use a shorter name for US Armed Forces States (cgs)

  • Added Gujarat to the list of states in India (swaroopch)

  • Added American Samoa to the list of US States

  • Added Dutch country translations (Arie)

  • Added Kosovo to German Translation (Christopher Thorpe)

  • Added the ability to list countries at the top of the list (jjthrash)

  • Added country names in Hindi (sukeerthiadiga)


  • Fix a gemspec disaster.

0.2.6 (pulled)

  • Suppress a deprecation warning in Rails 3 (anupamc)

  • Remove init.rb altogether and use requires under Rails

  • Added Indian states and union territories (orthodoc)


  • Data corrections (mikepinde)


  • Fixed autoloading under Rails 3


  • Added state and country exclusion (kalafut)


  • Added regions for New Zealand (yehezkielbs)


  • Merge in Maximilian Schulz's locale fork, refactor internals to better support locales, and update documentation.

  • Remove Carmen::STATES and Carmen::COUNTRIES constants in favor of module instance variables and proper accessors.

  • Add a test_helper and remove dependency on RubyGems.


  • DEPRECATE Carmen::COUNTRIES in favor of Carmen.countries

Development notes

The plugin does not require rubygems anywhere in the test or libraries, so if you are having trouble with load errors running the tests, prepend your command with RUBYOPT=rubygems. More info.


These fine characters have contributed state lists, or patches:

  • Jose Angel Cortinas (jacortinas)

  • Domizio Demichelis (ddnexus)

  • Thiago Jackiw (railsfreaks)

  • Russ Johnson (russjohnson)

  • Henrik Hodne (dvyjones)

  • Yuval Kordov (uberllama)

  • Alberto Molpeceres (molpe)

  • Dimas Priyanto (dimaspriyanto)

  • Wojtek Ogrodowczyk (sharnik)

  • Tobias Schmidt (grobie)

  • Maximilian Schulz (namxam)

  • Mani Tadayon (bowsersenior)

  • Andriy Tyurnikov (andriytyurnikov)

  • Anupam Choudhury (anupamc)

  • Biswajit Dutta Baruah (orthodoc)

  • Chris Sepic (cgs)

  • Swaroop C H (swaroopch)

  • Gerhard Lazu (gerhard)

  • Arie (Arie)

  • Christopher Thorpe (ChristopherThorpe)

  • Jimmy Thrasher (jjthrash)

  • Sukeerthi Adiga (sukeerthiadiga)

  • Camille Roux (camilleroux)

  • Federico Romero (federomero)

  • Mike Hourahine (mhourahine)

  • Benjamin Sullivan (bonsaiben)

  • lonestarsoftware

  • mikepinde

  • kalafut

  • yehezkielbs

  • nengxu

If I missed your name in this list, please let me know and I will add it. I tried to find everyone that has sent in patches or found bugs, but I may have missed a few folks.