I'm trying to make a regional map of West Africa at the subnational level. I can't seem to figure out how to distinguish the subnational and national boundaries - right now, they're all black, and I'd like the subnational boundaries to be in a different color than the national boundaries.

Does anyone know how I can do this in QGIS?

1 Answer 1


A simple way would be to have your national borders in a separate file from your subnational borders.

Here is an example if you use the most-detailed border datasets from Natural Earth Data (http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloads/10m-cultural-vectors/). I downloaded both the "Admin 0 - Countries" and "Admin 1- States/Provinces" datasets. They should align perfectly because Natural Earth Data is awesome like that.

I used a simple fill symbol with border for the Admin 1 layer. Style for subnational borders

I then stacked the Admin 0 layer on top using a transparent fill and a different border:

Style for national borders

Because Natural Earth Data borders at the same scale line up perfectly, the national borders hide the subnational borders below them:

enter image description here

Alternatively, If you don't want the country borders to continue along the coastlines, you can download the "Admin 0 - Boundary Lines - land boundaries" layer for national boundaries instead:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.