A district is a type of that, in some countries, is managed by the . Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning s or , several , subdivisions of municipalities, , or .

By country/region


In , a district ( ps, ولسوالۍ ''Wuleswali'') is a subdivision of a province. There are almost 400 districts in the country.


Electoral districts are used in state elections. Districts were also used in several states as units for land titles. Some were used as districts. had several different types of districts used in the 21st century.


In , the word ''Bezirk'' is used with different meanings in three different contexts: * Some of the tasks of the administrative branch of the national and regional governments are fulfilled by the 95 (''Bezirkshauptmannschaften''). The area a district administrative office is responsible for is often, although informally, called a district (''Bezirk''). A number of , currently 15, are not served by any district administrative office. Their respective municipal bureaucracies handle the tasks normally performed by the district administrative office. * The cities of and are divided into municipal districts (''Stadtbezirke''), assisting the respective municipal governments. In Vienna, the constituents of each district elect a district council (''Bezirksvertretung''); the district council in turn elects a district chairperson (''Bezirksvorsteher''). Although the city vests its districts with a limited amount of budgetary autonomy, district councils and chairpersons have little real responsibility. In particular, they do not legislate. Most of the were independent municipalities at some point; district councils and chairpersons symbolize the town councils and mayors they used to have. * From the point of view of the , the country is subdivided into 115 judicial districts (''Gerichtsbezirke''), each corresponding to one of the country's 115 lowest-level trial courts.


is administratively divided into the following subdivisions: *59 districts (rayonlar; sing.– rayon), *11 cities (şəhərlər; sing.– şəhər), *1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika), which itself contains: **7 districts **1 city The rayons are further divided into municipalities (Bələdiyyə). Additionally, Azerbaijan is subdivided into 9 (economic) regions (İqtisadi Rayonlar; sing.– İqtisadi Rayon). This is not an administrative division. Each region contains a number of districts. The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic forms a separate, 10th economic region. 1. Absheron 2. Ganja-Qazakh 3. Shaki-Zaqatala 4. Lankaran 5. Quba-Khachmaz 6. Aran 7. Upper Karabakh 8. Kalbajar-Lachin 9. Daglig-Shirvan 10. Nakhchivan


i districts are local administrative units. In all, there are 64 districts in Bangladesh. Originally, there were 21 greater districts with several subdivisions in each district. In 1984, the government made all these subdivisions into districts. Each district has several sub-districts called in Bengali with a total 493 Upzillas.


In municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, on the initiative of the local council, sub-municipal administrative entities with elected councils may be created. As such, only , having over 460,000 inhabitants, became subdivided into ( nl, districten). The Belgian s (also in French as well as in ), an administrative level between province (or the capital region) and municipality, or the lowest judicial level, are in English, sometimes called districts as well.


(') are local administrative units consisting of village blocks called '. Some have subdistricts called '.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a district is a self-governing administrative unit.

Brčko District

in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina is formally part of both the and the . The Assembly of the has 29 seats.


ian are subdivided into districts. Small municipalities usually have only one urban district, which contains the city itself, consisting of the seat of the local government, where the municipality's ' and ' (City Hall and City Council, respectively, the Executive and local bodies) are located. The rural districts and groups of urban districts (mainly in large cities) may also present a sub local Executive body, named '.


A district is known locally as ''daerah'' and it is the first-level administrative division of Brunei. There are four districts in the country, namely , , and . Each district is administered by a ''Jabatan Daerah'' (District Office), which is headed by a ''Pegawai Daerah'' (District Officer). All district offices are government departments under the Ministry of Home Affairs ().



In , the and are types of . They are recognized as by , which form parts of .

In the province of British Columbia, there are several kinds of administrative districts by that name. The usual usage is a reference to ', which are a class of municipality in the same hierarchy as city, town, or village. Most are styled, e.g., "" or , though some are styled, e.g., or "". Within the area of municipal powers, ' – which are somewhat analogous to counties in other jurisdictions, a number of municipalities, and unincorporated areas – are always referred to as "regional districts" to distinguish them from district municipalities and other kinds of district. Other kinds of districts in British Columbia are: *Electoral districts (some early ridings, as electoral districts are commonly known, included "district" in their title, e.g. ) *, which are a set of administrative regions of the *, which are the underlying cadastral survey system for the province and are the primary locational reference used in government databases and references. The primary use of "district" in combinations such as the Lillooet District or New Westminster District was a reference to the land district, though sometimes to mining divisions. *, also often referred to simply as "districts", when in context. *Other types of regional subdivision, according to the ministry or agency, are generally styled "region" or "area". These include as , , and regional management planning areas such as the .

Situated across the and , the traditional country of the organizes itself into historically 7 or 8 districts. These districts are & , Eske'kewa'ki, Kespe'kewa'ki, Kespukwitk, Sikniktewa'ki, their central fire or capital district , and . Although Canada and the provinces hardly recognize the legitimacy of , the nation remains and still retains functions as a .

New Brunswick has numerous , 7 , 10 and 55 .

In western and northern Canada, the federal government created as subdivisions of the 1870–1905, partly on the model of the districts created in the . The first district created was the in 1876 followed by four more districts in 1882. Gradually, these districts became separate territories (such as ), separate provinces (such as and ) or were absorbed into other provinces.


In , a district is a statutory subdivision of the province, but, unlike a county, a district is not incorporated. Most districts are composed of unincorporated lands, mostly . Originally present-day (then part of the and after 1791, ) was divided into districts in 178

Districts continued to operation until 1849 when they were replaced by counties by the . The current Ontario districts such as and were first created by the Province of Canada in 1858 prior to for the delivery of judicial and provincial government services to sparsely populated areas from the (e.g. ). Some districts may have , which are designed to provide certain social services. The boundaries of a federal may correspond to those of a district.

In Quebec, districts are municipal electoral subdivisions of , which are subdivisions of cities. They function in a similar manner to what is elsewhere known as a .


Mainland China

In , the () is a subdivision of any of various city administrative units, including , , and . Districts have status. Modern districts are a recent innovation. In the context of , the English translation "district" is typically associated with ''xian'' (), another Chinese administrative division. The ''xian'' is translated as "" in the context of modern China.


In Colombia, a district is one of ten special administrative units:
* * * * * Tunja * Popayán * Turbo * Tumaco * Cúcuta * Buenaventura

Czech Republic

A "district" in the is an ' (plural ''okresy''). After a reform in 2002, the districts lost administrative power to regions (''e'') and selected towns (''pověřené obce'') and became statistical zones.


districts were the first subdivision of the s from the 4 March 1790 to the ''28 an VIII'' (17 February 1800). Then, in the 20th century, districts were a type of intercommunity, they've been replaced by ' and ' after 1999.


* In , a district (''"Kreis"'') is an administrative unit between the ''"Länder"'' () and the local / municipal levels (). As of 2011, most of the 402 German districts are ''"Landkreise"'', rural districts. 107 larger cities (usually with more than 100,000 inhabitants) that do not belong to a district are considered as urban districts (''"Kreisfreie Städte"'' or ''"Stadtkreise"''). ** A local subdistrict is called a ', and is mostly a smaller rural area (with similar concepts in Austria and Switzerland). A ''Gemarkung'' is usually associated with and named after a central town or village. Areas in such subdistricts and their usage are documented in central registries (German: ''Kataster'') and have been historically used for taxation. * In some states, there is additional level of administration between the ''Länder'' and the ''Landkreise'' called (''government district''). * District (''Bezirk'') was also an administrative subdivision of the from 1952. ''See '' * City district (' or ''Ortsbezirk'') is the primary subdivision category of many ''Kreisfreie Städte''.

Hong Kong

is divided into eighteen districts, each with a .


were established on January 1, 2013. The existing are subdivided into 6–18 districts per county. The capital city of does not belong to any counties and is already divided to 23 districts.


are local administrative units inherited from the . They generally form the tier of local government immediately below that of 's . Where warranted, districts may further be grouped into administrative divisions, which form an intermediate level between the district and the (or ). A district is headed by a / Collector, who is responsible for the overall administration and the maintenance of law and order. The district collector may belong to IAS (). Other key responsibilities include the collection of , and criminal prosecution in the . Usually, the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector is granted magisterial powers under section 20 of Criminal Procedure Code, and designated as the . The official designations are "Collector and District Magistrate" or "Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate". Districts are most frequently further sub-divided into smaller administrative units, called either ''s'' or ''s'' or ''mavattam''s, depending on the region. These units have specific local responsibilities, including in particular coordinating revenue collection. An intermediate level (the sub-division) between district and tehsil/taluka may be formed by grouping these units under the oversight of s or sub-collectors. Each district includes one or two cities (or large towns), a few smaller towns and dozens of villages. Most of the Indian districts have the same name as their main town or city. As of April 2016, the of the , lists a total of 664 districts in India, more than the number of parliamentary constituencies (545). This number went up to a total of 723 districts in 2019.

District revenue administration in A.P.

#District headed by collector #A district is composed of four or five revenue divisions administered by R.D.O./sub collector, #Revenue Divisions divided into taluks/mandals headed by tahsildars, #Mandals composed of a ten or more villages administered by village revenue officers and village servants. In Uttar Pradesh Districts and tahsils are defined in U.P. Land Revenue Act, 1901.

Tiers of administration #Grama panchayath: sarpanch #Village clusters: M.P.T.C. #Mandal/Taluk: M.P.P./Z.P.T.C. #District: Z.P. Chairperson.


In and , two of the 34 provinces of Indonesia, a ''distrik'' is a subdivision of a regency or a city. Formerly it was called a ''kecamatan''. In translations of most official documents, ''kecamatan'' itself is translated into English as "district", but some other documents (especially from older era) translated it to "subdistrict", which is equivalent to a ' in recent translations. This translation ambiguity has caused confusions among foreigners. ''Distrik'' or ''kecamatan'' do not have legal autonomy to govern themselves, because they are only administrative extensions of a regency or a city.


is subdivided into thirty one (: استان ''Ostān''), each governed from a local center, usually the largest local city, which is called the capital (: ') of that province. The provinces of Iran further subdivided into called shahrestan ( fa, شهرستان ''shahrestān''), an area inside an ostan, and consists of a city center, few ( fa, بخش ''bakhsh'') and many villages around them. There are usually a few cities ( fa, شهر ''shahr'') and rural agglomerations ( fa, دهستان ''dehestān'') in each county. Rural agglomerations are a collection of a number of villages. One of the cities of the county is appointed as the capital of the county. The world Shahrestan comes from the Persian words ' and ''ostan'', which mean ''city'' (or ''town'') and ''province'', respectively. The nearest equivalent of ''Shahrestan'' in English would be sub-province or county. Each Shahrestan has a governmental office known as which coordinates different events and governmental offices. The , or the head of Farmandari, is the governor of the Shahrestan which is the highest governmental authority in the division.


In Iraq, they use the word for districts. There are over a hundred districts, each district being within one of 18 , sometimes known as provinces. The district generally (but not always) bears the name of a city within that district, usually the capital of that district.


A is a local administrative unit comprising s and s but not . See for a more complete description. In 1923, its administrative role was abolished although it is still in use for addressing purposes. "District" is also a translation of ''chiku'', defined by Japan's planning law.


In , a district (') is a subdivision of a and is headed by a (DO).

South Korea

A district (''gu'') is a subdivision of larger cities in South Korea. Smaller cities have no districts, whereas districts in and six are treated as a city in their own right.



is divided into 28 districts within three regions. Each District is headed by a District Commissioner.


The Districts of the are the second-order s after the . Mauritius is divided into nine districts which consist of , the capital is . The island of used to be the tenth district of Mauritius but it gained autonomous status in 2002.


A district is known as ' in . A district governed directly by the federal government is known as a , and they are , , and . In , a district is a division of a . A ' is a subdivision of a district. The mukim, is however, of less importance with respect to the administration of local government. In , a district is a subdivision within a of a state. For example, is a district within the of . A district is usually named after the main town or its administrative capital, for example, town is the capital of the district of Sandakan, as well the capital of . (Note: Sandakan district is a sub-division of Sandakan Division.) In Malaysia, each district will have a District Office, headed by a district officer, and is administered by a local government either being a District Council, Municipal Council, or a City Council. In some highly urbanized districts, there may be further subdivisions. For example, the district of in is administered by 3 local governments: , , and . Another example is the district of in , which has 3 subdivisions: , , and . Conversely, there may be one local government administering more than one district, for example, administers the districts of , , and . An administrative district border and an border () transcend each other and do not correspond with each other in most instances.


The are the only subdivisions of the whole state.


is divided into 77 districts. Each district acts as an independent administrative unit. A district consists of two types of units like and Municipalities. Official documents like citizenship cards and passports are issued by the Chief of District Office (CDO). Constituencies for elections are also constructed according to the population distribution within the district.

New Zealand

A district in New Zealand is a territorial authority (second-tier local government unit) that has not gained the distinction of being proclaimed a city. Districts tend to be less urbanized, tend to cover more than one population center and a larger amount of rural area, and tend to have a smaller population than cities. While cities and districts are generally considered to be two different types of territorial authority, the area covered by a city is often known as its district—for example the term ''district plan'' is used equally in districts and cities. The is neither a district nor a city. A district is not always a simple division of a : several districts lie within two regions, and the lies in four.

Northern Cyprus



's districts are local administrative units inherited from the . Districts were generally grouped into administrative divisions, which in turn formed . Pakistan has 130 districts (including ten in ). They comprise villages, towns, and cities. A district is headed by a district nazim (mayor), who is an elected official and the local controller of the district level officers of all the departments under provincial government, while is the executive head of the District usually Grade-18 officer from . Deputy Commissioner is entrusted with overall responsibility of law & order, implementation of government schemes and is also authorised to hear revenue cases pertaining to the district. The district mayor(nazim) heads an elected district council composed of councilors, who represent various district-level constituencies. The councils have a constitutional requirement to be composed of a minimum of 33% women; there is no upper limit, so women can comprise 100% of these councils but men cannot.



The usage of the term 'district' (''distrito'') in the Philippines has similarities to that in the United States.


= A constituency with a representative in the lower house of is a . However, the term has become synonymous in local parlance with 'representative district,' because, just like in the US, the word 'congress' (''konggreso'') has come to refer specifically to the lower house (the ). A legislative district, which has an average population of about 250,000 to 500,000, may be composed of: (a.) an entire province, (b.) within a province, a group of municipalities and cities (sometimes even including independent and highly urbanized cities geographically located in the province), (c.) a single city, (d.) a group of geographically adjacent independent cities and independent municipalities (currently the only example is the , or (e.) a group of s within a city. Each province is guaranteed at least one representative to the lower house, even though it may not come close to having the same population as other legislative districts. Only voters within each district are allowed to vote in the election for the member of the House of Representatives from that district. From 1916 to 1935, the Philippines were divided into 12 senatorial districts, of which 11 elected two members each, for a total of 22 out of the 24 members of the upper house of Congress (the ). Since 1935 senators have been elected at large.


= In addition, each congressional district that falls under the jurisdiction of the (a total of 8) elects three members each to the country's only subnational .


= There are provincial districts for the purpose of electing ' (Provincial Council) members, which follow the congressional district arrangement, except that independent and highly urbanized cities whose charters prevent them from electing provincial officials are excluded. Also, provinces that comprise a lone congressional district are divided into at least two provincial districts.


= There are also city councilor districts for the purpose of electing ' (City Council) members, which follow the congressional district arrangement. In cases where the city does not form two or more congressional districts by itself, it is divided into at least two city council districts.


= Districts exist as administrative entities only in local government, with limited powers or responsibilities. Certain cities, such as , and , for administrative purposes, formally divide their jurisdictions into city districts composed of several s, but the extent of these district-level administrative powers vary. Several barangays (the lowest level of government) also have the word 'district' in their names – examples are those in and . However, this is solely for the purpose of nomenclature, and does not imply a higher level of local government.


= During Spanish and early American colonial rule, certain areas of the Philippines were designated as 'districts,' mainly those that had not been formally organized into provinces or incorporated into existing ones. In the American era, cities and municipalities were divided into city and municipal districts, which served as the lowest level of government before the creation of the .

Special-purpose districts

Special-purpose districts also exist in the Philippines, created for government departments and agencies. Examples are school districts for the (DepEd), engineering districts for the (DPWH), an
coast guard districts
for the (PCG).

Informal districts

Some cities and municipalities also extend the usage of the word 'district' to refer to certain areas, even without having any formal administrative purposes. Examples are the central business districts in , and .


The second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland, equivalent to a county, district or prefecture () in other countries is called a '. As of 2008, there are 379 powiat-level entities in Poland: 314 land counties and 65 city counties. For a complete alphabetical listing, see .


Districts (''distritos'') are administrative divisions of . They were mainly used as the jurisdiction areas for the civil governors, the government officials that represented locally the . However, in 2011, the role of the civil governor was ''de facto'' extinct (although not ''de jure''), with the decision taken by the Government not to appoint new civil governors and to transfer its functions to other bodies. The district areas are now only used as the regional jurisdiction areas of some public bodies (like the district commands) and some private entities (like the district associations and championships of football).


In , districts are administrative and municipal divisions of the , as well as administrative divisions of larger cities ("city districts") which are commonly referenced as s (russian: links=no, Районы) and s (russian: links=no, Округа) respectively. The term "district" is also used to refer to the type of administrative division of the —''ulus'' (russian: links=no, улус; sah, улуус). The Sakha Republic is administratively divided into five cities under the Republic's jurisdiction and 33 ''uluses''. The law of the Sakha Republic establishes that the terms "''ulus''" and "district" are equivalent.Law Z#77-I of 6 July 1995 "On Administrative and Territorial Structure of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic", with amendments In historical context (for the ), the term "district" is often used to refer to ''s''.


is divided into twenty-nine (') and the city of , each of which is further divided into municipalities (')


In Slovakia, a district (') is a local administrative unit.


South Africa

In South Africa, the forms the layer of government below the . A district municipality is in turn divided into several . This structure varies in the eight largest urban areas: # (seat of the ), # (), # (seat of the ), # / (seat of the ), # (seat of the ), # (), # incl. (seat of the ) and # (seat of the ), where a replaces both a district and a local municipality.

Sri Lanka

For purposes of local government, the country of is divided into nine : , , , , , , , , and . (The Northern and Eastern Provinces have however, technically been jointly administered since 1988.) Each of the districts is divided into divisions. These were originally based on the feudal counties, the ''korale''s and ''rata''s. They were formerly known as 'D.R.O. Divisions' after the 'Divisional Revenue Officer'. Later the D.R.O.s became 'Assistant Government Agents' and the Divisions were known as 'A.G.A. Divisions'. Currently, the Divisions are administered by a 'Divisional Secretary', and are known as a 'D.S. Divisions'. Rural D.S. Divisions are also administered by a '' (Sinhala for 'Regional Council'), which is elected.


In , some s organize themselves into districts, while others dispense with districts and govern themselves at the ( or electoral district) level.


Some municipalities in the have divided their territory into smaller areas, which often are assigned an administrative board responsible for certain elements of municipal governance within their district. These areas take a variety of different Swedish names; however, "district" is usually the official English term for them. The term "borough" is sometimes used in unofficial contexts.


In the on , the district () is the 3rd level of the administrative division. It is a division of and of . Currently, there are 157 districts in total from 5 special municipalities and 3 provincial cities.


A district ("") is a subdivision of a ' ("changwat") in . Some provinces also contain minor districts (), which are smaller than the average district.


In , a district ( tr, ilçe) is an administrative subdivision of a province ( tr, il). They are governed by a district governor/official () appointed by the Ministry of the Interior, and a by the local population elected Mayor. See also .



In , districts (s) second level of administrative division of Ukraine and are primarily the most common division of Ukrainian regions, as well as administrative divisions of larger cities ("city districts").

United Kingdom

Districts are the most recognizable form of local government in large parts of England. For those areas that retain two-tier local government, districts usually form the lower tier of that arrangement, with forming the upper tier. Districts tend to have responsibility for a number of areas including: *Tax collection ( and ) *Leisure Services *Refuse collection *Housing *Planning *Arts & Entertainment *Environmental Health Each district raises taxes from residents on behalf of itself, and the upper tier authority through the . It also raises income from business through the system, which is coordinated nationally.

There is no official use of the word ''district'' in Wales. The country is broken up into 22 . However, ''district'' may be used informally for a whole or unofficial part of a in a city.

Districts of were local government areas between 1975 and 1996. Between 1930 and 1975, districts were subdivisions of , formed under the . See . Scotland, since 1996, has been divided in 32 unitary council areas, and districts are no longer used. Scotland has had other kinds of administrative areas which might be described as districts: * , until 1975 * , councils or unitary authorities, from 1996, pursuant to the *, from 1996, within larger unitary authorities

is divided into 11 districts for local government purposes. The councils do not carry out the same range of functions as those in the rest of the United Kingdom; for example, they have no responsibility for education, road-building or housing (although they do nominate members to the advisory Northern Ireland Housing Council). Their functions do include waste and services, and community services, and local economic and cultural development. They are not planning authorities, but are consulted on some planning applications. Collection of rates (local tax) is handled by the .

United States

There are several types of districts in the United States.

Federal District

The is the only part of the United States, excluding , that is not located within any of the fifty states.

Legislative constituencies

A constituency with a representative in is a . Each state is organized into one or more such districts; the exact number within each state is based on the . Only voters within each district are allowed to vote in the election for the member of the from that district. Overall, there are 435 congressional districts in the United States; each has roughly 630,000 people, with some variance. A constituency with a representative in a state legislature is a '; the territory over which a federal court has jurisdiction is a . that are not elected may have constituencies called districts or wards.

Single Purpose Districts

The United States also has many types of s with limited powers of local government. s are the most common, but other types of districts include s, hospital districts, utility districts, irrigation districts, port districts, and public transit districts. Many cities in the late 20th century adopted names for non-governmental districts as a way of increasing the recognition and identity of these distinct areas and neighborhoods. Perhaps most apparently in , various areas and neighborhoods within the city are specified as districts. For instance, is a district of Los Angeles, whereas and are independent , with their own governments and police departments. This can be confusing, as the difference between districts and neighboring cities is usually not readily apparent, for they all make up the . Typically, districts may or may not be distinguished at the boundary of the district with a "district sign" with the city's insignia; whereas at a city boundary, a would usually be placed on the street with the city's name and population, at a minimum, but also often includes its . The important distinction is that areas classified as districts are still part of the parent city and governed by the laws and ordinances of that city. Various federal, regional, and local agencies such as the recognized s.


From the late 18th century until the in 1854, districts were politically independent made up of densely populated neighborhoods adjacent to but outside the legal boundaries of the . , , and were among the ten largest municipalities by population in the United States.

Municipal utility district

A municipal utility district is a or other that provides services (such as , , , /, , ) to district residents. Local residents may vote to establish a municipal utility district, which is represented by a board of directors elected by constituents. As governmental bodies, they are usually nonprofit. In the US, public utility districts (PUD) have similar functions to Municipal utility districts, but are created by a local government body such as a city or county, and have no authority to levy taxes. They provide to the residents of that district. PUDs are created by a body, such as a , , or service area (two or more communities joining together for public utility purposes). Normally the districts are .Slechta, Alfred F., and Gordon L. Culp. "Water reclamation studies at the South Tahoe public utility district." Journal (Water Pollution Control Federation) (1967): 787-814. PUDs are often governed by a , which may be appointed or .


The term district in Vietnam refers to the second level administrative unit, below provinces (tỉnh) and municipalities (thành phố trực thuộc trung ương). This second level unit is called a "huyện" (counties) in rural areas, while in urban areas districts are either "quận" (subdivisions of municipalities), "Thành phố trực thuộc tỉnh" (provincial cities) or "thị xã" (towns). As of 22 April 2020, Vietnam had 707 "districts" including 77 provincial cities, 52 towns, 49 urban subdivisions, and 529 rural districts/counties (including 12 island districts/counties). Vietnamese districts vary significantly in both population and area. Excluding the island districts, the most populous is Biên Hoà (provincial city) with 1,099,943 people; the least populous is the town of Mường Lay (12,125). Similarly, the largest district is Tương Dương (2,812.07 km2) while the smallest is Cồn Cỏ with an area of only 2.3 km2.

See also

* *


{{Terms for types of administrative territorial entities Types of administrative division