An administrative county was an administrative division in England and Wales and Ireland from 1888 to 1974, used for the purposes of local government. They are now abolished, although in Northern Ireland their former areas are used as the basis for lieutenancy.
The term was introduced for England and Wales by the Local Government Act 1888, which created county councils for various areas, and called them 'administrative counties' to distinguish them from the continuing statutory counties.
In England and Wales the legislation was repealed in 1974, and entities called 'metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties' in England and 'counties' in Wales were introduced in their place. Though strictly inaccurate, these are often called 'administrative counties' to distinguish them from both the historic counties, and the ceremonial counties.
In Scotland they were never established as separate entities as they were in England and Wales. For local government purposes Scottish counties were replaced in 1975 with a system of regions and island council areas.
The Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 created administrative counties in Ireland on the same model that had been used in England and Wales.
In Northern Ireland the administrative counties were replaced by a system of 26 districts on 1 October 1973. Section 131 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 stated that "every county and every county borough shall cease to be an administrative area for local government purposes".
The areas of the former administrative counties (and county boroughs) remain in use for Lieutenancy purposes, being defined as the areas used "for local government purposes immediately before 1 October 1973, subject to any subsequent definition of their boundaries...".
The administrative counties that did not share the names of previous counties:
|Cambridgeshire||Isle of Ely|
|Hampshire||Isle of Wight|
|Lincolnshire||Holland, Kesteven, Lindsey|
|Northamptonshire||Soke of Peterborough|
|Suffolk||East Suffolk, West Suffolk|
|Sussex||East Sussex, West Sussex|
|Yorkshire||East Riding, North Riding, West Riding|
Republic of Ireland