The Info List - National Capital

A capital city (or simply capital) is the municipality exercising primary status in a country, state, province, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of government. A capital is typically a city that physically encompasses the government's offices and meeting places; the status as capital is often designated by its law or constitution. In some jurisdictions, including several countries, the different branches of government are located in different settlements. In some cases, a distinction is made between the official (constitutional) capital and the seat of government, which is in another place. Capital cities that are also the prime economic, cultural, or intellectual centres of a nation or an empire are sometimes referred to as primate cities. Examples are Athens, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Cairo, London, Mexico
City, Paris, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Warsaw. News media will often use the name of a capital city as an alternative name for the country it is the capital of or of the government which is seated there, as a form of metonymy, e.g. "relations between Washington and London" refers to "relations between the United States and the United Kingdom.


1 Terminology 2 Origins 3 Modern capitals 4 Planned capitals 5 Unusual capital city arrangements

5.1 Capitals that are not the seat of government 5.2 Disputed capitals

6 Intergovernmental organizations 7 Capital as symbol 8 Capitals in military strategy 9 See also 10 References

Terminology[edit] The word capital derives from the Latin
caput (genitive capitis), meaning "head". In several English-speaking states, the terms county town and county seat are also used in lower subdivisions. In some unitary states, subnational capitals may be known as "administrative centres". The capital is often the largest city of its constituent, though not always. Origins[edit]

The Roman Forum
Roman Forum
was surrounded by many government buildings as the capital of Ancient Rome.

Historically, the major economic centre of a state or region often becomes the focal point of political power, and becomes a capital through conquest or federation.[1] (The modern capital city has, however, not always existed: in medieval Western Europe, an itinerant (wandering) government was common.)[2] Examples are Ancient Babylon, Abbasid Baghdad, Ancient Athens, Rome, Constantinople, Chang'an, Ancient Cusco, Madrid, Paris, London, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, Vienna, Lisbon
and Berlin. The capital city naturally attracts politically motivated people and those whose skills are needed for efficient administration of national or imperial governments, such as lawyers, political scientists, bankers, journalists, and public policy makers. Some of these cities are or were also religious centres,[3] e.g. Constantinople
(more than one religion), Rome
(the Roman Catholic Church), Jerusalem
(more than one religion), Ancient Babylon, Moscow (the Russian Orthodox Church), Belgrade (the Serbian Orthodox Church), Paris, and Peking. The convergence of political and economic or cultural power is by no means universal. Traditional capitals may be economically eclipsed by provincial rivals, e.g. Nanking
by Shanghai, Quebec City
by Montreal, and numerous US state capitals. The decline of a dynasty or culture could also mean the extinction of its capital city, as occurred at Babylon[4] and Cahokia. Although many capitals are defined by constitution or legislation, many long-time capitals have no legal designation as such: for example Bern, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London, Paris, and Wellington. They are recognised as capitals as a matter of convention, and because all or almost all the country's central political institutions, such as government departments, supreme court, legislature, embassies, etc., are located in or near them. Modern capitals[edit]

Countries whose capital is not their largest city

  Countries whose capital is on the coast   Countries whose capital is not on the coast   Countries without a coast

  Countries that currently have multiple capital cities   Countries that have had multiple capital cities in the past

Tehran, capital and largest city of Iran, with the Alborz
Mountains in the background

Counties in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
have historic county towns, which are often not the largest settlement within the county and often are no longer administrative centres, as many historical counties are now only ceremonial, and administrative boundaries are different. In Canada, there is a federal capital, while the ten provinces and three territories all have capital cities. The states of such countries as Mexico, Brazil
(including the famous cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, capitals of their respective states), and Australia
all have capital cities. For example, the six state capitals of Australia
are Adelaide; Brisbane; Hobart; Melbourne; Perth; and Sydney. In Australia, the term "capital cities" is regularly used to refer to the aforementioned state capitals plus the federal capital Canberra
and Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the Emirate
of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
and the United Arab Emirates overall. In unitary states which consist of multiple constituent countries, such as the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
or the Kingdom of Denmark, each country will usually have a capital city. Unlike in federations, there is usually not a separate national capital, but rather the capital city of one constituent country will also be the capital of the state overall, such as London, which is the capital of England
and the United Kingdom. Similarly, each of the autonomous communities of Spain and regions of Italy
has a capital city, such as Seville
or Naples, while Madrid
is the capital of the Community of Madrid
and the Kingdom of Spain
as a whole and Rome
is the capital of Italy
and the region of Lazio. In the Federal Republic of Germany, each of its constituent states (or Länder - plural of Land) has its own capital city, such as Dresden, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, and Munich, as do all of the republics of the Russian Federation. The national capitals of Germany and Russia: the Stadtstaat of Berlin
and the Federal City
of Moscow, are also constituent states of both countries in their own right. Each of the States of Austria
States of Austria
and Cantons of Switzerland
Cantons of Switzerland
also have their own capital cities. Vienna, the national capital of Austria, is also one of the states, while Bern
is the capital of both Switzerland
and the Canton of Bern. Many national capitals are also the largest city in their respective countries, but in many countries this is not the case. Planned capitals[edit]

The L'Enfant Plan
L'Enfant Plan
for Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States

Governing entities sometimes plan, design and build new capital cities to house the seat of government of a polity or of a subdivision. Deliberately planned and designed capitals include:

Gaborone, Botswana
(1964) La Plata, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Province, Argentina Abuja, Nigeria (1991) Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil
(1855) Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, India
(2016) Ankara, Turkey
(1923) Astana, Kazakhstan
(1997) Austin, Texas, USA (1839) Belmopan, Belize (1970) Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
(1897) Brasília, Brazil
(1960) Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
(1948) Bireuen, Aceh, Indonesia
(1948) Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia
(1948) Constantinople, Roman Empire
(324-330) Dhaka, Bangladesh (1971) Canberra, Australia
(1927) Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, India
(1966) Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
(1960) Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
(1933) Indianapolis, Indiana, USA (1825) Islamabad, Pakistan
(1960) Frankfort, Kentucky, USA (1792) Jefferson City, Missouri, USA (1821) Jhongsing New Village, Taiwan
(1955) Naypyidaw, Burma
(2005-2006) New Delhi, India
(1911) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA (1889) Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
(1857) Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil
(1989) Quezon City, Philippines
(1948–76) Raleigh, North Carolina, USA (1792) Valletta, Malta (1571) Washington, D.C., USA (1800) Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand
(moved in 1865) Yogyakarta, Indonesia

These cities satisfy one or both of the following criteria:

A deliberately planned city that was built expressly to house the seat of government, superseding a capital city that was in an established population center. There have been various reasons for this, including overcrowding in that major metropolitan area, and the desire to place the capital city in a location with a better climate (usually a less tropical one). A town that was chosen as a compromise among two or more cities (or other political divisions), none of which was willing to concede to the other(s) the privilege of being the capital city. Usually, the new capital is geographically located roughly equidistant between the competing population centres.

The Australian Parliament
Australian Parliament
opened in the small town of Canberra
in 1927 as a compromise between the largest cities, Sydney
and Melbourne.

Some examples of the second situation (compromise locations) include:

Canberra, Australia, chosen as a compromise located between Melbourne and Sydney. Frankfort, Kentucky, midway between Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, located along the boundary between the Province of Ontario
and the Province of Quebec – the two most populous of the ten provinces – and midway between their respective provincial capitals, Toronto, Ontario
and Quebec City, Quebec. Tallahassee, Florida, chosen as the midpoint between Pensacola
and St. Augustine, Florida
- then the two largest cities in Florida. Wellington
became the capital city of New Zealand
New Zealand
in 1865. It lies at the southern tip of the North Island
North Island
of New Zealand, the smaller of New Zealand's two main islands (which subsequently became the more populous island,[5]) immediately across Cook Strait
Cook Strait
from the South Island. The previous capital, Auckland, lies much further north in the North Island; the move followed a long argument for a more central location for parliament.[6] Managua, Nicaragua, chosen to appease rivals in León and Granada, which also were associated with the liberal and conservative political factions respectively

Changes in a nation's political regime sometimes result in the designation of a new capital. Newly-independent Kazakhstan
moved its capital to the existing city of Astana. Naypyidaw
was founded in Burma's interior as the former capital, Rangoon, was claimed to be too overcrowded.[7] Unusual capital city arrangements[edit] See also: List of countries with multiple capitals

The Supreme Court, the seat of Switzerland's judiciary, is in Lausanne, although the executive and legislature are located in Bern.

Parliament House, Singapore. As a city-state, Singapore
requires no specific capital.

The Blue Palace, the official residence of Montenegro's president, is in Cetinje, although the executive and legislature are located in Podgorica.

A few states have multiple capitals, and there are also several states that have no capital. Some have a city as the capital but with most government agencies elsewhere. There is also a ghost town which is currently the de jure capital of a territory: Plymouth in Montserrat.

  Canary Islands
Canary Islands
(Spain): Until 1927 the capital of the Province of Canarias was Santa Cruz de Tenerife. When the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
became an autonomous community in 1982, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria were both given capital status.[8][9] There is currently a balance of institutions between the two capitals; the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
is the only autonomous community in Spain
which has two capitals.  Chile: Santiago
is the capital even though the National Congress of Chile
meets in Valparaíso.  Czech Republic: Prague
is the sole constitutional capital. Brno is home to all three of the country's highest courts, making it the de facto capital of the Czech judicial branch.  Estonia: the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Education and Research are located in Tartu.  Finland: During the summer, the President resides at the Kultaranta
in Naantali; presidential sessions of the government are held there as well.  France: The French constitution does not recognise any capital city in France. By law[10] Paris
is the seat of both houses of Parliament (the National Assembly and the Senate), but their joint congresses are held at the Palace of Versailles. In case of emergency, the seat of the constitutional powers can be transferred to another town, in order for the Houses of Parliament to sit in the same location as the President and Cabinet.  Germany: The official capital Berlin
is home to the parliament and the highest bodies of the executive branch (consisting of the ceremonial presidency and effective chancellery). Various ministries are located in the former West German
West German
capital of Bonn, which now has the title "Federal City". The Federal Constitutional Court has its seat in Karlsruhe
which, as a consequence, is sometimes called Germany's "judicial capital"; none of Germany's highest judicial organs are located in Berlin. Various German government agencies are located in other parts of Germany.  India:

Andhra Pradesh: Hyderabad
is the de jure capital of the state until 2024, while Amaravati
is the de facto capital city. The state governor and high court are located in Hyderabad. Chhattisgarh: Raipur
is the administrative and legislative capital, while the high court is located in Bilaspur. Jammu
and Kashmir: Srinagar
serves as the summer capital of the state while Jammu
is the winter capital. The entire state machinery shifts from one city to another every six months. Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram
is the administrative and legislative capital of the state, while the high court is located in Kochi. Himachal Pradesh: Shimla
is the primary capital city. Dharamshala, the capital of Central Tibetan Administration, is the second winter capital of the state. Madhya Pradesh: Bhopal
is the administrative and legislative capital of the state, while the high court is located in Jabalpur. Punjab and Haryana: Both states share Chandigarh
as their capital city. The city itself is administered as a Union territory. Rajasthan: Jaipur
is the administrative and legislative capital of the state, while the high court is located in Jodhpur. Uttarakhand: Dehradun
is the administrative and legislative capital, while the high court is located in Nainital.

 South Korea: Seoul
remains as the capital and seat of the government's branches, but many government agencies have moved to Sejong City.  Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
is the constitutional capital, home of the King, and seat of Parliament, but the federal administrative centre and judiciary have been moved 30 kilometres (19 mi) south to Putrajaya.  Montenegro: The official capital Podgorica
is home to the parliament and the executive, but the seat of the presidency is in the former royal capital of Cetinje.   Myanmar
(Burma): Naypyidaw
was designated the national capital in 2005, the same year it was founded, but most government offices and embassies are still located in Yangon
(Rangoon).  Nauru: Nauru, a microstate of only 21 square kilometres (8.1 sq mi), has no distinct capital city, but has a capital district instead.  Pakistan: Islamabad
is a purpose-built capital city; construction started in 1960 and was completed by 1966, replacing the traditional capital Karachi; Rawalpindi
was used in the interim.  Portugal: The Portuguese constitution has no reference to a capital. Although Lisbon
is home to the parliament, the presidency, and the judiciary, no Portuguese official document states that Lisbon is the national capital.[11]  Sri Lanka: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
is designated the administrative capital and the location of the parliament, while the former capital, Colombo, is now designated as the "commercial capital".[12][13] However, many government offices are still located in Colombo. Both cities are in the Colombo
District.  South Africa: The administrative capital is Pretoria, the legislative capital is Cape Town, and the judicial capital is Bloemfontein. This is the outcome of the compromise that created the Union of South Africa
South Africa
in 1910.   Switzerland: Bern
is the Federal City
of Switzerland
and functions as de facto capital. However, the Swiss Supreme Court is located in Lausanne.  Tanzania: Dodoma
was designated the national capital in 1996, but most government offices and embassies are still located in Dar es Salaam.[14]  Monaco,  Singapore, and the   Vatican City, as well as the territories of   Hong Kong
Hong Kong
and  Macau, are city-states, and thus do not contain any distinct capital city as a whole. However, in Singapore's case, the main judiciary and legislative offices are located in the Downtown Core. Similarly, while Victoria was the capital of colonial Hong Kong, the district of Central serves as the seat of government offices today. U.S. states:

 California: The executive and legislative branches and most government agencies are based in Sacramento
but the California
Supreme Court is headquartered in San Francisco.  Illinois: Springfield has the seats of the branches of government and serves as the official capital. However various Illinois
government officials primarily reside in and/or are primarily active in Chicago
(see: Government of Illinois#Capital city
Government of Illinois#Capital city
for a further explanation)[15][16]  Louisiana: The executive and legislative branches and most government agencies are based in Baton Rouge, but the Louisiana Supreme Court is located in New Orleans.

Capitals that are not the seat of government[edit] There are several countries where, for various reasons, the official capital and de facto seat of government are separated:

 Benin: Porto-Novo
is the official capital, but Cotonou
is the seat of government.  Bolivia: Sucre is the constitutional capital, and the supreme tribunal of justice is located in Sucre, making it the judicial capital. The palacio quemado, the national congress and national electoral court are located in La Paz, making it the seat of government.  Ivory Coast: Yamoussoukro
was designated the national capital in 1983, but most government offices and embassies are still located in Abidjan.  Georgia: Since 2012, the seat of government has been Kutaisi, but the President's residence and the Supreme Court remain in Tbilisi, the official capital.  Netherlands: Amsterdam
is the constitutional national capital even though the Dutch government, the parliament, the supreme court, the Council of State, and the work palace of the King are all located in The Hague, as are all the embassies. (For more details see: Capital of the Netherlands.)  Philippines: Presidential Decree No. 940, issued on June 24, 1976, designates the whole of National Capital Region
(NCR) as the seat of government, with the City
of Manila
as the capital.[17] This is because the region has many national government institutions aside from Malacanang Palace and some agencies or institutions that are located within the capital city.

Some historical examples of similar arrangements, where the recognized capital was not the official seat of government:

 Kingdom of England: The traditional capital was the City
of London, while Westminster, outside of the boundaries of the City
of London, was the seat of government. They are both today part of the urban core of Greater London.  Kingdom of France: The traditional capital was Paris, though from 1682-1789 the seat of government was at the Palace of Versailles, located in a rural area southwest of Paris.

Disputed capitals[edit]

and  Palestinian Authority: Both Israel[18] and the Palestinian Authority[19] claim Jerusalem
as capital. Jerusalem
serves as Israel's capital, with the presidential residence, government offices, supreme court and parliament (Knesset) located there, while the Palestinian Authority
Palestinian Authority
has no de facto or de jure control over any of Jerusalem. Many countries, with the notable exception of the United States, which recognizes Jerusalem
as the capital of Israel,[20] take the position that the final status of Jerusalem
is unsettled pending future negotiations. Most countries maintain their diplomatic missions to Israel
in Tel Aviv, while diplomatic missions to the Palestinians are in various places such as Ramallah, Gaza City, Cairo
and Damascus.

Intergovernmental organizations[edit]

United Nations
United Nations
Headquarters, New York

European Union
European Union
(see details): Brussels
is generally considered as the seat of the European Union, alongside Strasbourg
where the European Parliament has its official seat and votes[21] because it hosts the major institutions of the EU. The judiciary and some of the executive's work are located in Luxembourg and other bodies and agencies in other cities. Although the main seats are fixed in the EU's treaties which form its legal basis, they do not use the term "capital" for any city.

Europol: The Hague

United Nations: New York City
is the main meeting place of the highest bodies of the UN, but significant parts of its structure exist in other cities, notably Vienna, Geneva, Nairobi
and The Hague.

United Nations
United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: Paris Food and Agriculture Organization: Rome

African Union: Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
and Midrand Andean Parliament: Bogotá Arab League: Cairo Asian Development Bank: Manila Association of Caribbean States: Port of Spain Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Jakarta Caribbean Community: Georgetown Caribbean Development Bank: Bridgetown Commonwealth of Nations: London European Food Safety Authority: Parma European Organization for Nuclear Research: Meyrin, a suburb of Geneva Helsinki
Commission: Helsinki International Court of Justice: The Hague International Organization for Standardization: Geneva Interpol: Lyon North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Brussels Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States: Castries Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Paris Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: Jeddah Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: Vienna Organization of American States: Washington, D.C. Organization of Ibero-American States: Madrid Regional Security System (Caribbean): Bridgetown
and Saint Johns South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation: Kathmandu Union of South American Nations: Cochabamba
and Quito World Bank: Washington, D.C. World Tourism Organization: Madrid

Capital as symbol[edit]

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With the rise of modern empires and the nation-state, the capital city has become a symbol for the state and its government, and imbued with political meaning. Unlike medieval capitals, which were declared wherever a monarch held his or her court, the selection, relocation, founding, or capture of a modern capital city is an emotional event. For example:

The ruined and almost uninhabited Athens
was made capital of newly independent Greece
in 1834, four years after the country gained its independence, with the romantic notion of reviving the glory of Ancient Greece. Similarly, following the Cold War
Cold War
and German reunification, Berlin
is now once again the capital of Germany. Other restored capital cities include Moscow
after the October Revolution. A symbolic relocation of a capital city to a geographically or demographically peripheral location may be for either economic or strategic reasons (sometimes known as a forward capital or spearhead capital). Peter the Great
Peter the Great
moved his government from Moscow
to Saint Petersburg to give the Russian Empire
a western orientation. The economically significant city of Nafplion
became the first capital of Greece, when Athens
was an unimportant village. The Ming emperors moved their capital to Peking
from the more central Nanking
to help supervise the border with the Mongols. During the 1857 rebellion, Indian rebels considered Delhi
their capital, and Bahadur Shah Zafar was proclaimed emperor, but the ruling British had their capital in Calcutta. In 1877, the British formally held a 'Durbar' in Delhi, proclaiming Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
as 'Empress of India'. Delhi
finally became the colonial capital after the Coronation Durbar of King-Emperor George V
George V
in 1911, continuing as independent India's capital from 1947. Other examples include Abuja, Astana, Brasília, Helsinki, Islamabad, Naypyidaw
and Yamoussoukro. The selection or founding of a "neutral" capital city, one unencumbered by regional or political identities, was meant to represent the unity of a new state when Ankara, Turkey; Bern, Switzerland; Canberra, Australia; Madrid; Ottawa; Washington, D.C.; and Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand
became capital cities. Sometimes, the location of a new capital city was chosen to terminate squabbling or possible squabbling between various entities, such as in the cases of Canberra, Ottawa, Washington, and Wellington. The British-built town of New Delhi
New Delhi
represented a simultaneous break and continuity with the past, the location of Delhi
being where many imperial capitals were built (Indraprastha, Dhillika, and Shahjahanabad) but the actual capital being the new British-built town designed by Edwin Lutyens. Wellington, on the southwestern tip of the North Island
North Island
of New Zealand, replaced the much more northerly city of Auckland
to place the national capital close to the South Island
South Island
and hence to placate its residents, many of whom had sympathies with separatism. During the American Civil War, tremendous resources were expended to defend Washington, D.C., which actually bordered on the Confederate States of America (with the Commonwealth of Virginia), from Confederate attack even though the relatively small federal government could easily have been moved elsewhere. Likewise, great resources were expended by the Confederacy in defending the Confederate capital from attack by the Union, in its exposed location of Richmond, Virginia, barely 100 miles (160 km) south of Washington.

Capitals in military strategy[edit]

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Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, was the final part of the empire to fall to the Ottoman Turks due to its strong defences.

The capital city is usually but not always a primary target in a war, as capturing it usually guarantees capture of much of the enemy government, victory for the attacking forces, or at the very least demoralization for the defeated forces. In ancient China, where governments were massive centralized bureaucracies with little flexibility on the provincial level, a dynasty could easily be toppled with the fall of its capital. In the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
period, both Shu and Wu fell when their respective capitals of Chengdu
and Jianye fell. The Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
relocated its capital from Nanjing
to Beijing, where they could more effectively control the generals and troops guarding the borders from Mongols
and Manchus. The Ming was destroyed when the Li Zicheng
Li Zicheng
took their seat of power, and this pattern repeats itself in Chinese history, until the fall of the traditional Confucian
monarchy in the 20th century. After the Qing dynasty's collapse, decentralization of authority and improved transportation and communication technologies allowed both the Chinese Nationalists
Chinese Nationalists
and Chinese Communists
Chinese Communists
to rapidly relocate capitals and keep their leadership structures intact during the great crisis of Japanese invasion. National capitals were arguably less important as military objectives in other parts of the world, including the West, because of socioeconomic trends toward localized authority, a strategic modus operandi especially popular after the development of feudalism and reaffirmed by the development of democratic and capitalistic philosophies. In 1204, after the Latin
Crusaders captured the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, Byzantine forces were able to regroup in several provinces; provincial noblemen managed to reconquer the capital after 60 years and preserve the empire for another 200 years after that. The British forces sacked various American capitals repeatedly during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, but American forces could still carry on fighting from the countryside, where they enjoyed support from local governments and the traditionally independent civilian frontiersmen. Exceptions to these generalizations include highly centralized states such as France, whose centralized bureaucracies could effectively coordinate far-flung resources, giving the state a powerful advantage over less coherent rivals, but risking utter ruin if the capital were taken. In their military strategies, traditional enemies of France
such as Prussia
(in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871) focused on the capture of Paris. See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Capitals.

Capital region List of capital cities by altitude List of national capitals and largest cities by country List of capitals outside the territories they serve List of former national capitals List of national capitals in alphabetical order Temporary capital


^ "What does a Capital City
Mean?". 5 December 2012. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.  ^ "Where Next: The Reasons Why (Some) Countries Move Their Capitals". Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.  ^ Makas, Emily Gunzburger; Conley, Tanja Damljanovic (4 December 2009). "Capital Cities in the Aftermath of Empires: Planning in Central and Southeastern Europe". Routledge. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017 – via Google Books.  ^ Seymour, Michael (29 August 2014). "Babylon: Legend, History and the Ancient City". I.B.Tauris. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017 – via Google Books.  ^ "The South Island
South Island
was the more densely populated from 1860 until 1900, largely because of the discovery of gold in the sixties, the relatively easy availability of land, and the South Island's freedom from Maori troubles. After 1900, when the populations of the two islands were roughly equal, the North Island
North Island
went ahead rapidly." Archived 31 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Levine, Stephen (13 July 2012). " Capital city
Capital city
- A new capital". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015.  ^ Pedrosa, Veronica (20 November 2006). "Burma's 'seat of the kings'". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 23 November 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2006.  ^ Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre de 1833 en wikisource ^ Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre de 1833 en el sitio web oficial del Gobierno de Canarias[dead link] ^ Ordonnance n° 58-1100 du 17 novembre 1958 relative au fonctionnement des assemblées parlementaires Archived 30 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine. article 1 ^ "Lisboa não tem documento que a oficialize como capital de Portugal", Revista Port.com (in Portuguese), 13 April 2015, archived from the original on 7 November 2016, retrieved 5 November 2016  ^ Lansford, Tom (24 March 2015). Political Handbook of the World 2015. Singapore: CQ Press. ISBN 978-1-4833-7157-3. Archived from the original on 30 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.  ^ Boxall, Sheryl (2008). DeRouen, Karl; Bellamy, Paul, eds. International Security and the United States: An Encyclopedia, Volume 2. Westport, Connecticut, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 728. ISBN 978-0-275-99255-2.  ^ "Tanzania". CIA World Factbook. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014.  ^ Reeder, Scott. "What does it cost taxpayers to pay for lawmakers’ empty Springfield residences?" (Archive). Illinois
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v t e

Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

English terms

Common English terms1


Insular area Local government area Protected area Special
area Statistical area

Combined statistical area Metropolitan statistical area Micropolitan statistical area

Urban area




borough Metropolitan borough


Federal capital Imperial capital


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


Autonomous community Residential community


Administrative county Autonomous county Consolidated city-county Metropolitan county




Overseas country


Overseas department


Capital district 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


Census division Police division Subdivision


municipality County

Norway Nova Scotia Regional county municipality

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


Autonomous prefecture Subprefecture Super-prefecture Praetorian prefecture


Autonomous province Overseas province Roman province


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


Biosphere reserve Ecological reserve Game reserve Indian reserve Nature reserve


Federal state Free state Sovereign state


Capital territory

Federal capital territory

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


Census town Market town


Charter township Civil township Paper township Survey township Urban township


Autonomous territorial unit Local administrative unit Municipal unit Regional unit


Economic zone

Exclusive economic zone Free economic zone Special
economic zone

Free-trade zone Neutral zone Self-administered zone

Other English terms


Alpine resort Bailiwick Banner


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


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


Shire Sultanate Suzerainty Townland Village

Administrative Summer



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

Non-English or loanwords


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

Finland Sweden

Län Località Megye Muban Oblast


Okrug Ostān Poblacion Purok Shahrestān Sum Sýsla Tehsil Vingtaine


Commote Gau Heerlijkheid Köping Maalaiskunta Nome

Egypt Greece

Pagus Pargana Plasă Satrapy Socken Subah Syssel Zhou

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terms for country subdivisions


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


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


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


Cidade Vila Aldeia Bairro Lugar

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Slavic terms for country subdivisions


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


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

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Turkish terms for country subdivisions


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


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

Authority control

LCCN: sh85019972 GND: 4127960-8 N