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An administrative division, unit, entity, area or region, also referred to as a subnational entity, constituent unit, or country subdivision, is a portion of a country or other region delineated for the purpose of administration. Administrative divisions are granted a certain degree of autonomy and are usually required to manage themselves through their own local governments. Countries are divided up into these smaller units to make managing their land and the affairs of their people easier. A country may be divided into provinces, which, in turn, are divided into counties, which, in turn, may be divided in whole or in part into municipalities. Administrative divisions are conceptually separate from dependent territories, with the former being an integral part of the state and the other being only under some lesser form of control. However, the term "administrative division" can include dependent territories as well as accepted administrative divisions (for example, in geographical databases). For clarity and convenience the standard neutral reference for the largest administrative subdivision of a country is called the "first-level administrative division" or "first administrative level". Next smaller is called "second-level administrative division" or "second administrative level".[1][2]

Contents

1 Examples of administrative divisions

1.1 English terms

1.1.1 List 1.1.2 Urban or rural regions 1.1.3 Indigenous

1.2 Non-English terms

2 Comparison 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Examples of administrative divisions[edit] English terms[edit]

World political divisions

In many of the following terms originating from British cultural influence, areas of relatively low mean population density might bear a title of an entity one would expect to be either larger or smaller. There is no fixed rule, for "all politics is local" as is perhaps well demonstrated by their relative lack of systemic order. In the realm of self-government, any of these can and does occur along a stretch of road—which for the most part is passing through rural unsettled countryside. Since the terms are administrative political subdivisions of the local regional government their exact relationship and definitions are subject to home rule considerations, tradition, as well as state statute law and local governmental (administrative) definition and control. In British cultural legacy, most territorial entities begin with fairly expansive counties which encompass an appreciably large area, but which may evolve over time into a number of smaller entities. Within those entities are the large and small cities or towns, which may or may not be the county seat. Some of the world's larger cities culturally, if not officially, span several counties and those crossing state or provincial boundaries culturally are quite common as well, but are rarely incorporated within the same municipal government. Many sister cities share a water boundary which quite often serves as a border of both cities and counties. For example, Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
appear to the casual traveler as one large city, while locally they each are quite culturally different and occupy different counties. List[edit]

Area Autonomous communities Canton County Country Constituency Department District Division Duchy Dominium Entity Hundred Kingdom Local council Municipality

Rural Regional Regional county

Parish Prefecture Principality Province Public body Region Republic Riding State Special
Special
administrative region Territory Voivodeship

Urban or rural regions[edit]

Borough or alternatively, "boro" Burgh City Shire Town Township Village

Indigenous[edit]

Tribe Indian reservation Indian reserve Band Rancheria

Non-English terms[edit] For a more comprehensive list, see List of terms for administrative divisions. Due to variations in their use worldwide, consistency in the translation of terms from non-English to English is sometimes difficult to maintain. Comparison[edit]

Sovereign state, a national or supra-national division. Country, a national or sub-national division. Empire, a supra-national division.

See also[edit]

GADM, a high-resolution database of country administrative areas. ISO 3166-2, specifically Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions — Part 2. List of administrative division name changes List of etymologies of country subdivision names List of administrative divisions by country

References[edit]

^ "Global Administrative Unit Layers (GAUL)". FAO. Archived from the original on 1 May 2014.  ^ "Core Geo-Database". United Nations Geographic Information Working Group (UNGIWG). Archived from the original on 1 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Country
Country
subdivisions.

United Nations' Second Administrative Level Boundaries (SALB) dataset Statoids, an international convention with standardized two-letter-based multi-level summaries of administrative divisions worldwide (e.g. GH.AH.AS represents Adansi South (AE) in the Accra Home (AH) region of Ghana (GH)).

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Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

English terms

Common English terms1

Area

Insular area Local government
Local government
area Protected area Special
Special
area Statistical area

Combined statistical area Metropolitan statistical area Micropolitan statistical area

Urban area

Canton

Half-canton

Borough

County
County
borough Metropolitan borough

Capital

Federal capital Imperial capital

City

City
City
state Autonomous city Charter city Independent city Incorporated city Imperial city Free imperial city Royal free city

Community

Autonomous community Residential community

County

Administrative county Autonomous county Consolidated city-county Metropolitan county

Non-metropolitan

Viscountcy

Country

Overseas country

Department

Overseas department

District

Capital district City
City
district Congressional district Electoral district Federal district Indian government district Land district Metropolitan district

Non-metropolitan district

Military district Municipal district Police district Regional district Rural district Sanitary district Subdistrict Urban district Special
Special
district

Division

Census division Police division Subdivision

Municipality

City
City
municipality County
County
municipality

Norway Nova Scotia Regional county municipality

Direct-controlled municipality District
District
municipality Mountain resort municipality Neutral municipality Regional municipality Resort municipality Rural municipality Specialized municipality

Prefecture

Autonomous prefecture Subprefecture Super-prefecture Praetorian prefecture

Province

Autonomous province Overseas province Roman province

Region

Administrative region Autonomous region Capital region Development region Economic region Mesoregion Microregion Overseas region Planning region Special
Special
administrative region Statistical region Subregion

Reserve

Biosphere reserve Ecological reserve Game reserve Indian reserve Nature reserve

State

Federal state Free state Sovereign state

Territory

Capital territory

Federal capital territory

Dependent territory Federal territory Military territory Organized incorporated territory Overseas territory Union territory Unorganized territory

Town

Census town Market town

Township

Charter township Civil township Paper township Survey township Urban township

Unit

Autonomous territorial unit Local administrative unit Municipal unit Regional unit

Zone

Economic zone

Exclusive economic zone Free economic zone Special
Special
economic zone

Free-trade zone Neutral zone Self-administered zone

Other English terms

Current

Alpine resort Bailiwick Banner

Autonomous

Block Cadastre Circle Circuit Colony Commune Condominium Constituency Duchy Eldership Emirate Federal dependency Governorate Hamlet Ilkhanate Indian reservation Manor

Royal

Muftiate Neighbourhood Parish Periphery Precinct Principality Protectorate Quarter Regency Autonomous republic Riding Sector

Autonomous

Shire Sultanate Suzerainty Townland Village

Administrative Summer

Ward

Historical

Agency Barony Burgh Exarchate Hide Hundred Imperial Circle March Monthon Presidency Residency Roman diocese Seat Tenth Tithing

Non-English or loanwords

Current

Amt Bakhsh Barangay Bezirk Regierungsbezirk Comune Frazione Fu Gemeinde Județ Kunta / kommun

Finland Sweden

Län Località Megye Muban Oblast

Autonomous

Okrug Ostān Poblacion Purok Shahrestān Sum Sýsla Tehsil Vingtaine

Historical

Commote Gau Heerlijkheid Köping Maalaiskunta Nome

Egypt Greece

Pagus Pargana Plasă Satrapy Socken Subah Syssel Zhou

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Arabic
Arabic
terms for country subdivisions

First-level

Muhafazah (محافظة governorate) Wilayah (ولاية province) Mintaqah (منطقة region) Mudiriyah (مديرية directorate) Imarah (إمارة emirate) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Shabiyah (شعبية "popularate")

Second / third-level

Mintaqah (منطقة region) Qadaa (قضاء district) Nahiyah (ناحية subdistrict) Markaz (مركز district) Mutamadiyah (معتمدية "delegation") Daerah/Daïra (دائرة circle) Liwa (لواء banner / sanjak)

City / township-level

Amanah (أمانة municipality) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Ḥai (حي neighborhood / quarter) Mahallah (محلة) Qarya (قرية) Sheyakhah (شياخة "neighborhood subdivision")

English translations given are those most commonly used.

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French terms for country subdivisions

arrondissement département préfecture subprefectures

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Greek terms for country subdivisions

Modern

apokentromenes dioikiseis / geniki dioikisis§ / diamerisma§ / periphereia nomos§ / periphereiaki enotita demos / eparchia§ / koinotita§

Historical

archontia/archontaton bandon demos despotaton dioikesis doukaton droungos eparchia exarchaton katepanikion kephalatikion kleisoura meris naukrareia satrapeia strategis thema toparchia tourma

§ signifies a defunct institution

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Portuguese terms for country subdivisions

Regional subdivisions

Estado Distrito federal Província Região Distrito Comarca Capitania

Local subdivisions

Município Concelho Freguesia Comuna Circunscrição

Settlements

Cidade Vila Aldeia Bairro Lugar

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Slavic terms for country subdivisions

Current

dzielnica gmina krai kraj krajina / pokrajina městys obec oblast / oblast' / oblasti / oblys / obwód / voblast' okręg okres okrug opština / općina / občina / obshtina osiedle powiat / povit raion selsoviet / silrada sołectwo voivodeship / vojvodina županija

Historical

darugha gromada guberniya / gubernia jurydyka khutor obshchina okolia opole pogost prowincja sorok srez starostwo / starostva uyezd volost ziemia župa

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Spanish terms for country subdivisions

National, Federal

Comunidad autónoma Departamento Distrito federal Estado Provincia Región

Regional, Metropolitan

Cantón Comarca Comuna Corregimiento Delegación Distrito Mancomunidad Merindad Municipalidad Municipio Parroquia

Ecuador Spain

Urban, Rural

Aldea Alquería Anteiglesia Asentamiento

Asentamiento informal Pueblos jóvenes

Barrio Campamento Caserío Ciudad

Ciudad autónoma

Colonia Lugar Masía Pedanía Población Ranchería Sitio Vereda Villa Village
Village
(Pueblito/Pueblo)

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Turkish terms for country subdivisions

Modern

il (province) ilçe (district) şehir (city) kasaba (town) belediye (municipality) belde (community) köy (village) mahalle (neighbourhood/quarter)

Historical

ağalık (feudal district) bucak (subdistrict) beylerbeylik (province) kadılık (subprovince) kaza (sub-province) hidivlik (viceroyalty) mutasarrıflık (subprovince) nahiye (nahiyah) paşalık (province) reya (Romanian principalities) sancak (prefecture) vilayet (province) voyvodalık (Romanian provinces)

1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics. See also: Census division, Electoral district, Political division, and List of administrative divisions by country

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Lists of administrative country subdivisions

by area by GDP (nominal)

per capita

by population

density

List of administrative divisions by country

Authority control

GND: 42187

.