Electrical Socket/Plug Map of The World

Have you ever wondered how many different types of electrical sockets/plugs are in use in the world? According to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), an international standards organization, there are 14 plug-and-socket systems in operation throughout the world. Some of these are compatible with each other and hence in some countries more than one type is used. Similarly numerous national standards for voltage and frequency exist.

When traveling to a foreign country, you may be confronted with the problem of trying to plug your razor or mobile device charger into a socket with an unsuitable configuration - like pounding a square peg into a round hole.

With this problem in mind, the IEC created a plug and socket map that is both informative and practical. It explains why things are as they are today and how they might be improved. It also provides information on the plugs, sockets and voltage used around the world, along with illustrations of the various plugs and sockets available.

Click on the link below to access the interactive world plugs & sockets map.


http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/map.htm#


Here's another map by Mark Lakata, that was first published in National Geographic.

  • The ‘American’ model (yellow), consisting of two vertical rectangular openings, side by side.
  • The ‘subcontinental’ model (dark green), a triangle of circular openings.
  • The ‘antipodean’ model (light blue), made up of three rectangles arranged to look like the mask from the Scream movies, is used in only four countries, all in the Southern Hemisphere: Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.
  • The ‘imperial’ model (dark blue), two flat rectangles below, one upright on top, quite clearly is a remnant of the British Empire, as it is used not only in the UK and Ireland, but also in that swathe of Africa with which Cecil Rhodes had once sought to connect ‘the Cape and Cairo’.
  • The ‘European’ model (light green), which looks a bit like Wall-E.



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