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Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and its
17 autonomous communities
17 autonomous communities
are subdivided into 50 provinces ( es, provincias, ; sing. ''provincia'').In other
languages of Spain The languages of Spain ( es, lenguas de España), or Spanish languages ( es, lenguas españolas, link=no), are the languages spoken in Spain. Most languages spoken in Spain belong to the Romance languages, Romance language family, of which Sp ...

languages of Spain
: *
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
(, sing. ''probintzia''. *
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
(), sing. ''província''. *
GalicianGalician may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Galicia (Spain) ** Galician language ** Galician people ** Gallaeci, a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia (currently Galicia (Spain) * Something of, from, or related to ...
(), sing. ''provincia''.
Spain's provincial system was recognized in its 1978 Constitution but its origin dates back to
1833 Events January–March * – in the South Atlantic. * – His Royal Highness Prince Otto Friedrich Ludwig of Bavaria assumes the title . * – is for his second term as President of the United States. April–June * – General is ...
with a similar predecessor from
1822 Events January–March * January 1 – The Greek Constitution of 1822 The Greek Constitution of 1822 was a document adopted by the First National Assembly of Epidaurus on January 1, 1822. Formally it was the Provisional Regime of Greec ...
(during the
Trienio Liberal #REDIRECT Trienio Liberal The ''Trienio Liberal'' (, "Liberal Triennium") is a period of three years in the modern history of Spain between 1820 and 1823, when a liberal government ruled Spain after a military uprising in January 1820 by the lieu ...
).
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
,
Melilla Melilla ( , ; ; ber, Mrich / Mlilt; ar, مليلية ) is an of located on the northwest coast of Africa, sharing with . It has an area of . One of two Spanish autonomous cities in mainland Africa together with , it was part of the until ...

Melilla
, and the
plazas de soberanía The ''plazas de soberanía'' (, lit. "strongholds of sovereignty") is a term describing a series of unincorporated Spanish overseas minor territories scattered along the Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlant ...
are not part of any provinces.


Provincial organization

The layout of Spain's provinces closely follows the pattern of the territorial division of the country carried out in 1833. The only major change of provincial borders since that time has been the subdivision of the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island ...
into two provinces rather than one. Historically, the provinces served mainly as transmission belts for policies enacted in Madrid, as Spain was a highly centralised state for most of its modern history. The importance of the provinces has declined since the adoption of the system of autonomous communities in the period of the
Spanish transition to democracy The Spanish transition to democracy, known in Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map ...
. They nevertheless remain
electoral An election is a formal group decision-makingGroup decision-making (also known as collaborative decision-making or collective decision-making) is a situation faced when individuals collectively make a choice from the alternatives before them. ...

electoral
districts for national elections and as geographical references: for instance in
postal
postal
addresses and telephone codes. National media will also frequently use the province to disambiguate small towns or communities whose names occur frequently throughout Spain. A small town would normally be identified as being in, say,
Valladolid province , population_note = 1.11% of Spain , blank_name_sec2 = Parliament , blank_info_sec2 = Cortes Generales , blank1_name_sec2 = Congress of Deputies (Spain), Congress seats , blank1_info_sec2 = , blank2_name_se ...
rather than the
autonomous community In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Spanish constitution of 1978, with the ...
of
Castile and León Castile and León (, ; es, Castilla y León ) (Leonese dialect Leonese (Leonese: ''Llionés'', ast, Lleonés) is a set of vernacular Romance languages, Romance language varieties currently spoken in northern and western portions of the ...
. The provinces were the "building-blocks" from which the autonomous communities were created. Consequently, no province is divided between more than one of these communities. Most of the provinces—with the exceptions of
Álava Álava ( in Spanish language, Spanish) or Araba ( in Basque language, Basque, dialectal: ), officially Araba/Álava, is a Provinces of Spain, province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country (autonomous community), Basque Cou ...
,
Asturias Asturias (, ; ast, Asturies ), officially the Principality of Asturias ( es, Principado de Asturias; ast, Principáu d'Asturies; Galician-Asturian Galician–Asturian or Eonavian (autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by ...

Asturias
,
Biscay Biscay (; eu, Bizkaia ; es, Vizcaya ) is a Provinces of Spain, province of Spain, lying on the south shore of the Bay of Biscay, eponymous bay. The name also refers to a historical territory of the Basque Country (autonomous community), Basque ...
,
Cantabria Cantabria (, also , ) is an autonomous community in northern Spain with Santander, Cantabria, Santander as its capital city. It is recognized as a Nationalities and regions of Spain, historic community and is bordered on the east by the Basque ...
,
Gipuzkoa Gipuzkoa (, , ; es, Guipúzcoa ; french: Guipuscoa) is a Provinces of Spain, province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country (autonomous community), autonomous community of the Basque Country. Its capital city is San Sebasti ...

Gipuzkoa
, the
Balearic Islands The Balearic Islands ( , also , ; ca, Illes Balears ; es, Islas Baleares ) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea contai ...

Balearic Islands
, La Rioja, and
Navarre Navarre (; es, Navarra ; eu, Nafarroa ), officially the Chartered Community of Navarre ( es, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, links=no ; eu, Nafarroako Foru Komunitatea, links=no ), is a Fuero, foral autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous co ...

Navarre
—are named after their principal town. Only two capitals of autonomous communities— Mérida in
Extremadura Extremadura ( , ; ext, Estremaúra; pt, Estremadura; Fala: ''Extremaúra'') is an autonomous community of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Es ...

Extremadura
and
Santiago de Compostela Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in accordance with the S ...

Santiago de Compostela
in
Galicia Galicia may refer to: Geographic regions * Galicia (Spain), a region and autonomous community of northwestern Spain ** Gallaecia, a Roman province ** The post-Roman Kingdom of the Suebi, also called the Kingdom of Gallaecia ** The medieval Kingdom ...
—are not also the capitals of provinces. Seven of the autonomous communities comprise no more than one province each: Asturias, the Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja,
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_ ...
,
Murcia Murcia (, , ) is a city in south-eastern Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map ...
, and Navarre. These are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities. The table below lists the provinces of Spain. For each, the capital city is given, together with an indication of the autonomous community to which it belongs and a link to a list of municipalities in the province. The names of the provinces and their capitals are ordered alphabetically according to the form in which they appear in the main Wikipedia articles describing them. Unless otherwise indicated, their
Spanish-language Spanish () or Castilian (, ) is a Romance language The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin languages) are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth centuries. They are a sub ...

Spanish-language
names are the same; locally valid names in Spain's other co-official languages (
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
,
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
, which is officially called
Valencian Valencian () or Valencian language () is the official, historical and traditional name used in the Valencian Community (Spain), and extra-officially in the Carche, El Carche comarca in Región de Murcia, Murcia (Spain), to refer to the Romance ...
in the
Valencian Community The Valencian Community ( ca-valencia, Comunitat Valenciana, es, Comunidad Valenciana), or simply Valencia ( ca-valencia, València, link=no, es, Valencia, link=no), is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Spain. It is t ...
,
GalicianGalician may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Galicia (Spain) ** Galician language ** Galician people ** Gallaeci, a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia (currently Galicia (Spain) * Something of, from, or related to ...
) are also indicated where they differ.


Provinces


Notes


See also

*
Autonomous communities of Spain eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name = , map = , category = Autonomous administrative ...

Autonomous communities of Spain
*
Comarcas of Spain In Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , i ...
* ISO 3166-2:ES * List of provincial flags of Spain *
List of Spanish provinces by areaThis is a list of the provinces of Spain in order of area. {, class="wikitable sortable" , - ! Rank , , Province , , Area (km²) , , Autonomous community , - , style="text-align:right" , 1 , , Province of Badajoz, Badajoz , style="text-align: ...
*
List of Spanish provinces by population Autonomous communities Provinces This is a list of the provinces of Spain in order of population. Note: Ceuta and Melilla are autonomous cities ("''ciudades autonómas''") as both are located in North Africa and do not belong to an autonomous c ...
*
Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces The Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) is a Spanish association of local entities that groups town councils, provincial councils, insular councils and insular cabildos. Approximately 7,331 entities are represented. The foun ...


General

*
Political divisions of Spain The political division of the Kingdom of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = ...


External links


Maps of the provinces of Spain


from the Spanis
INE
( National Statistics Institute) {{DEFAULTSORT:Provinces of Spain Spain 2
Provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
Provinces, Spain Spain geography-related lists Subdivisions of Spain