The Info List - Powiat

--- Advertisement ---

A powiat (pronounced [ˈpɔvʲat]; Polish plural: powiaty) is the second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland, equivalent to a county, district or prefecture (LAU-1, formerly NUTS-4) in other countries. The term "powiat" is most often translated into English as "county" or "district". A powiat is part of a larger unit, the voivodeship (Polish województwo) or province. A powiat is usually subdivided into gminas (in English, often referred to as "communes" or "municipalities"). Major towns and cities, however, function as separate counties in their own right, without subdivision into gminas. They are termed "city counties" (powiaty grodzkie or, more formally, miasta na prawach powiatu) and have roughly the same status as former county boroughs in the UK. The other type of powiats are termed "land counties" (powiaty ziemskie). As of 2008, there were 379 powiat-level entities: 314 land counties, and 65 city counties. For a complete alphabetical listing, see "List of Polish counties". For tables of counties by voivodeship, see the articles on the individual voivodeships (e.g., Greater Poland Voivodeship).


1 History 2 Functioning 3 Names and English equivalents 4 Sources 5 External links

History[edit] The history of Polish powiats goes back to the second half of the 14th century. They remained the basic unit of territorial organization in Poland, then in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, until the latter's partitioning in 1795. In the 19th century, the powiats continued to function in the part of Poland
that had been incorporated into the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
("Congress Poland")—the equivalent of the Russian "uyezd" and the Ukrainian "povit"—and, in the German-governed Grand Duchy of Poznań, as the Polish equivalent of the German "Kreis". After Poland
regained independence in 1918, the powiats were again the second-level territorial units. Powiats were abolished in 1975 in favor of a larger number of voivodeships, but were reintroduced on 1 January 1999. This reform also created 16 larger voivodeships. Functioning[edit] Legislative power within a powiat is vested in an elected council (rada powiatu), while local executive power is vested in an executive board (zarząd powiatu) headed by the starosta, elected by the council. The administrative offices headed by the starosta are called the starostwo. However, in city counties these institutions do not exist separately – their powers and functions are exercised by the city council (rada miasta), the directly elected mayor (burmistrz or prezydent), and the city offices (urząd miasta). In some cases a powiat has its seat outside its own territory. For example, Poznań
(powiat poznański) has its offices in Poznań, although Poznań
is itself a city county, and is therefore not part of Poznań
County. Powiats have relatively limited powers, since many local and regional matters are dealt with either at gmina or voivodeship level. Some of the main areas in which the powiat authorities have decision-making powers and competences include:

education at high-school level (primary and middle schools are run by the gminas) healthcare (at county level) public transport maintenance of certain designated roads land surveying issuing of work permits to foreigners vehicle registration (see Polish car number plates).

Names and English equivalents[edit] The Polish the name of an county, in the administrative sense, consists of the word powiat followed by a masculine-gender adjective (because powiat is a masculine noun). In most cases, this is the adjective formed from the name of the town or city where the county has its seat. Thus the county with its seat at the town of Kutno
is named powiat kutnowski ( Kutno
County). (In modern Polish both parts of the name are written in lower case; however, names of powiats in the Grand Duchy of Poznań
Grand Duchy of Poznań
were written in upper case.) If the name of the seat comprises a noun followed by an adjective, as in Maków Mazowiecki ("Mazovian Maków"), the adjective will generally be formed from the noun only (powiat makowski). There are also a few counties whose names are derived from the names of two towns (such as powiat czarnkowsko-trzcianecki, Czarnków-Trzcianka County), from the name of a city and a geographical adjective (powiat łódzki wschodni, Łódź East County), or a mountain range (powiat tatrzański, Tatra County). There is more than one way to render such names into English. A common method is to translate the names as "(something County)", as in the examples above. (This system is the standard used in.) Thus in most cases the English name for a powiat consists of the name of the city or town which is its seat, followed by the word County. Note that different counties sometimes have the same name in Polish, since the names of different towns may have the same derived adjective. For example, the counties with their seats at Grodzisk Wielkopolski and Grodzisk Mazowiecki
Grodzisk Mazowiecki
are both called powiat grodziski, and those with seats at Brzeg
and Brzesko
are both called powiat brzeski. In English this ambiguity either does not occur ( Brzeg
County and Brzesko
County) or can be avoided by using the complete name of the seat ( Grodzisk Wielkopolski
Grodzisk Wielkopolski
and Grodzisk Mazowiecki County). Sources[edit]

Bankauskaite, V. et al. (2007), Patterns of decentralization across European health systems, in R.B. Saltman, V. Bankauskaite and K. Vrangbæk (ed.), "Decentralization in health care", London: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill.

External links[edit]

County. Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Coats of arms of counties of Poland
and Flags of counties of Poland.

v t e

Polish terms for country subdivisions


National: voivodeship powiat gmina Urban: dzielnica osiedle Rural: sołectwo


departament gromada gubernia jurydyka księstwo obwód okręg opole prowincja rejencja starostwo ziemia

See also

Crown of the Kingdom of Poland

v t e

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

v t e

Articles on second-level administrative divisions of European countries

Albania Austria Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France1 Georgia2 Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Kazakhstan1 Kosovo3 Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Moldova Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia1 Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey1 Ukraine United Kingdom

1 Has part of its territory outside Europe. 2 Partially or entirely in Asia, depending on the definition of the border. 3 Partially recognised.

List of administrative divisions by country

v t e

Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

English terms

Common English terms1


Insular area Local government
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

v t e

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.

v t e

French terms for country subdivisions

arrondissement département préfecture subprefectures

v t e

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

v t e

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.

v t e

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

v t e

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.

v t e

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 di