Asia has produced 16% of the world’s constitutional systems since 1789. The first constitution in the region was drawn up in the Ottoman Empire in 1876, followed by Japan’s Meiji Constitution of 1889. The average constitution over this period has endured 16.4 years.
Browse the timeline below, which is built from the Comparative Constitution Project’s chronology of constitutional events data, or explore the individual countries further to learn more.
Timeline of Constitutions
Data from the Comparative Constitutions Project.
Key to constitutions
This region includes the following countries
- Brunei Darussalam
- China (People’s Republic of)
- Iran (Islamic Republic of)
- Korea (Democratic People's Republic of)
- Korea (Republic of)
- Lao People's Democratic Republic
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
- Syrian Arab Republic
- Taiwan (Republic of China)
- United Arab Emirates
- Viet Nam
For analysis of constitutional lifespans see: Elkins, Zachary, Tom Ginsburg, and James Melton. The Endurance of National Constitutions. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Thanks to Jonathan Corum, who designed the original version of the timeline graphic.