Administrative division

Administrative division

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Encyclopedia
For "administrative division" in the sense of a company department, see: Division (business)
Division (business)
A division of a business entity is a portion of that business that operates under a different name. It is the equivalent of a corporation or limited liability company obtaining a fictitious name or "doing business as" certificate and operating a business under that fictitious name...

.


An administrative division, subnational entity, or country subdivision is a portion of a country
Country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

 or other political division
Political division
A political division is a term of art of geography defining the concept of a geographic region accepted to be in the jurisdiction of a particular government entity...

, established for the purpose of government. Administrative divisions are each granted a certain degree of autonomy
Autonomous area
An autonomous area or autonomous entity is an area of a country that has a degree of autonomy, or freedom from an external authority. Typically it is either geographically distinct from the rest of the country or populated by a national minority. Countries that include autonomous areas are often...

, and are required to manage themselves through their own local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

s. Countries are divided up into these smaller units to make managing their land and the affairs of their people easier. For example, a country may be divided into province
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

s, which in turn are divided into counties
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

, which in turn may be divided in whole or in part into municipalities
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

. These are only a few of the names given to administrative subdivisions; more examples are provided below.

Administrative divisions are conceptually separate from dependent territories, with the former being an integral part of the state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 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 database
Geographical database
A geographical database is a database of geographic data, such as countries, administrative divisions, cities, and related information. Such databases can be useful for websites that wish to identify the locations of their visitors for custimization purposes....

s).

English terms


In many of the following terms corresponding to 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
All politics is local
The phrase, "All politics is local" is a common phrase in U.S. politics. The former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill coined this phrase which encapsulates the principle that a politician's success is directly tied to his ability to understand and influence the issues of his constituents...

" 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
Home rule
Home rule is the power of a constituent part of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been devolved to it by the central government....

 considerations, tradition, as well as state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 statute law and local governmental (administrative) definition and control. In the British cultural legacy, most regional entities begin with fairly expansive counties which encompass an appreciable territorial area and proceed down in size to smaller entities.

Within those entities are the large and small cities or towns, which may or may not be the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

. Some of the world's larger cities culturally, if not officially, span into multiple 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
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent...

 and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 appear to the casual traveler as one large city, while locally they each are quite culturally different and occupy different counties.
  • Area
    Area
    Area is a quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional surface or shape in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat...

  • Autonomous communities, as in the Autonomous communities of Spain
    Autonomous communities of Spain
    An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

  • Commune
    Commune (intentional community)
    A commune is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work and income. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become...

  • County
    County
    A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

  • Country
    Country
    A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

     - the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     is subdivided into 'constituent countries' e.g. Scotland
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

  • Constituency - usually refers to an electoral division (which is not an administrative division), but in Namibia
    Namibia
    Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

     and in Canton of St. Gallen
    Canton of St. Gallen
    The Canton of St. Gallen is a canton of Switzerland. St. Gallen is located in the north east of Switzerland. It covers an area of 2,026 km², and has a population of . , the population included 97,461 foreigners, or about 20.9% of the total population. The capital is St. Gallen. Spelling...

     in Switzerland
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

    , "constituency" means "administrative division".
  • Department
  • Despotate (not subnational)
  • District
    District
    Districts are a type of administrative division, in some countries managed by a local government. They vary greatly in size, spanning entire regions or counties, several municipalities, or subdivisions of municipalities.-Austria:...

  • Division
  • Duchy
    Duchy
    A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era . In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era...

     (partial subnational)
  • Empire
    Empire
    The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

     (not subnational)
  • Härad, Herred, Hundred, Kihlakunta
  • Kingdom
    Monarchy
    A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

  • Local council
    Local council
    -Political subdivision:* Local council * Local councils of Malta* An elected authority in the local government in the United Kingdom* An elected authority in the local government in Australia...

  • Municipality
    Municipality
    A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

    • Rural
      Rural municipality
      A rural municipality, often abbreviated RM, is a form of municipality in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, perhaps best comparable to counties or townships in the western United States...

    • Regional
      Regional municipality
      A regional municipality is a type of Canadian municipal government similar to and at the same municipal government level as a county, although the specific structure and servicing responsibilities may vary from place to place...

    • Regional county
      Regional county municipality
      The term regional county municipality or RCM is used in Quebec to designate one of 86 county-like political and geographic units. In most cases, they are also census divisions. Regional County Municipalities are a supralocal type of "Regional Municipality" and are still commonly referred to as...

  • Okrug
    Okrug
    Okrug is an administrative division of some Slavic states. The word "okrug" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "district", or "region"....

  • Parish
  • Prefecture
    Prefecture
    A prefecture is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.-Antiquity:...

  • Principality
    Principality
    A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

     (partial subnational)
  • Province
    Province
    A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

  • Public body
    Public body (Netherlands)
    In the Netherlands, the term public body is the general denomination for administrative divisions within the Dutch state, such as the central government, a province, a municipality or a water board...

     (the general denomination for administrative divisions in the Netherlands
    Kingdom of the Netherlands
    The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy with territory in Western Europe and in the Caribbean. The four parts of the Kingdom—Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten—are referred to as "countries", and participate on a basis of equality...

    )
  • Region
    Region
    Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

  • Republic
    Republic
    A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

     (partial subnational)
  • Riding
  • State
    Constituent state
    A constituent state, constituent entity, or constituent part, is a territorial and constitutional entity forming part of a sovereign state...

  • Special administrative region
    Special administrative region
    A special administrative region, or SAR may be:People's Republic of China* Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, self-governing country subdivision in Hong Kong and Macau...

  • Territory
  • Voivodship

Urban or rural regions:
  • Borough
    Borough
    A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely....

     or alternatively, "boro
    Boro
    Boro has several meanings:*Boro, New South Wales, a locality in Australia*Boro was a Dutch Formula One constructor.*Boro, Togo is a village is the Kara region of Togo*Boro is a local nickname for the English town Middlesbrough...

    "
  • Burgh
    Burgh
    A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

  • City
    City
    A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

  • Shire
    Shire
    A shire is a traditional term for a division of land, found in the United Kingdom and in Australia. In parts of Australia, a shire is an administrative unit, but it is not synonymous with "county" there, which is a land registration unit. Individually, or as a suffix in Scotland and in the far...

  • Town
    Town
    A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

  • Township
    Township
    The word township is used to refer to different kinds of settlements in different countries. Township is generally associated with an urban area. However there are many exceptions to this rule. In Australia, the United States, and Canada, they may be settlements too small to be considered urban...

  • Village
    Village
    A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...


Indigenous:
  • Tribe
    Tribe
    A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...

  • Indian reservation
    Indian reservation
    An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

  • Indian reserve
    Indian reserve
    In Canada, an Indian reserve is specified by the Indian Act as a "tract of land, the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty, that has been set apart by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of a band." The Act also specifies that land reserved for the use and benefit of a band which is not...

  • Band
    Band society
    A band society is the simplest form of human society. A band generally consists of a small kin group, no larger than an extended family or clan; it has been defined as consisting of no more than 30 to 50 individuals.Bands have a loose organization...


Native terms


See: List of terms for administrative divisions

Consistent translation from original language is sometimes difficult.

Compare

  • Sovereign state
    Sovereign state
    A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

    , a national or supra-national division.
  • Country
    Country
    A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

    , a national or supra-national division.
  • Empire
    Empire
    The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

    , a supra-national division.

See also


  • Political division
    Political division
    A political division is a term of art of geography defining the concept of a geographic region accepted to be in the jurisdiction of a particular government entity...

  • ISO 3166-2
    ISO 3166-2
    ISO 3166-2 is part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , and defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1...

     Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions — Part 2
  • List of terms for administrative divisions
  • List of etymologies of country subdivision names
  • List of country subdivisions by population
  • List of the largest administrative divisions by area
  • Table of administrative country subdivisions by country
    Table of administrative country subdivisions by country
    The table below indicates the types and, where known, numbers of administrative divisions used by countries and their major dependent territories...

  • List of administrative division name changes
  • List of current constituent monarchs
  • GADM
    GADM
    GADM, the Database of Global Administrative Areas, is a high-resolution database of country administrative areas, with a goal of "all countries, at all levels, at any time period." The database has a few export formats, including shapefiles that are used in most common GIS applications...

    , a high-resolution database of country administrative areas

External links