^The government recognised Queen Elizabeth II as the official Head of State from 1965 to 1970. The highest official of Rhodesia held the title "Officer Administering the Government" (OAtG) as he acted in lieu of the official Governor, who remained at his post but was ignored. After Rhodesia became a republic in March 1970, the President replaced the OAtG as the highest official and the Governor returned to London.
Rhodesia's largest cities were its capital, Salisbury, and Bulawayo. The white population, which grew to nearly 300,000, dominated the country's politics and economy, though they never made up more than 8% of the total population. Rhodesia developed an economy largely dependent on agriculture, manufacturing, and mining. Its largest exports were chromium, tobacco, and steel. International sanctions put increasing pressure on the country as time went on. The Parliament of Rhodesia, which included the lower House of Assembly and later a senate, was predominantly white, with minority of seats reserved for blacks. After 1970, the country used a semi-presidential system, with a president, prime minister, and cabinet.
The official name of the country, according to the constitution adopted concurrently with the UDI in 1965, was Rhodesia. This was not the case under British law, however, which considered the territory's legal name to be Southern Rhodesia, the name given to the country in 1898 during the British South Africa Company's administration of the Rhodesias, and retained by the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia after the end of company rule in 1923.
This naming dispute dated back to October 1964, when Northern Rhodesia became independent from the UK and concurrently changed its name to Zambia. The Southern Rhodesian colonial government in Salisbury felt that in the absence of a "Northern" Rhodesia, the continued use of "Southern" was superfluous. It passed legislation to become simply Rhodesia, but the British government refused to approve this on the grounds that the country's name was defined by British legislation, so could not be altered by the colonial government. Salisbury went on using the shortened name in an official manner nevertheless, while the British government continued referring to the country as Southern Rhodesia. This situation continued throughout the UDI period. The shortened name was used by many people including the British government in the House of Commons.
The British government maintained this stance regarding the June–December 1979 successor state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, and when Zimbabwe Rhodesia returned to colonial status from December 1979 to April 1980, it was as Southern Rhodesia. Southern Rhodesia subsequently achieved internationally recognised independence in April 1980, when it became the Republic of Zimbabwe.