HOME

TheInfoList




A
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
government is the
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
of a
country subdivision Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular ...
in a
federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal system), a type of government characterized by both a central (federal) government and states or ...

federal
form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department ...
, which shares
political power In social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refe ...
with the
federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal system), a type of government characterized by both a central (federal) government and states or ...
or national government. A state government may have some level of political
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...
, or be subject to the direct control of the federal government. This relationship may be defined by a
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitution
. The reference to "state" denotes country subdivisions that are officially or widely known as "states", and should not be confused with a "
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
". Most federations designate their federal units "state" or the equivalent term in the local language; however, in some federations, other designations are used such as
Oblast An oblast (; ; Cyrillic script, Cyrillic (in most languages, including Russian language, Russian and Ukrainian language, Ukrainian): , Bulgarian language, Bulgarian: ) is a type of administrative division of Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzs ...
or
Republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...
. Some federations are asymmetric, designating greater powers to some federal units than others. Provinces are usually divisions of unitary states but occasionally the designation is also given to the federal units such as the
Provinces of Argentina Argentina is subdivided into twenty-three provinces ( es, provincias singular ''provincia'') and the autonomous city (''ciudad autónoma'') of Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation ( es, Capital Federal, links=no) as decide ...
or
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
. Their governments, which are also ''provincial governments'', are not the subject of this article.


Australia

The
Commonwealth of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from ...
is a
federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal system), a type of government characterized by both a central (federal) government and states or ...

federal
nation with six states (and two mainland territories).
Section 51 of the Australian Constitution Section 51 of the Constitution of Australia The Constitution of Australia (or Australian Constitution) is a written constitution that is the supreme law of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereig ...
sets out the division of
legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure ...
power between the states and the Commonwealth (federal) government. The Commonwealth government is given a variety of legislative powers, including control of
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Poli ...
,
taxation A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act accord ...
(although this cannot discriminate between states or parts of states), and regulation of interstate
commerce Commerce is the exchange of goods and services, especially on a large scale. Etymology The English-language word ''commerce'' has been derived from the Latin word ''commercium'', from ''com'' ("together") and ''merx'' ("merchandise"). History ...

commerce
and
corporations A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capa ...

corporations
. Since the original ratification of the constitution, the
High Court of Australia The High Court of Australia is Australia's . It exercises and on matters specified within . The High Court was established following passage of the '. It derives its authority from Chapter III of the Australian Constitution, which vests it ...

High Court of Australia
has settled a number of disputes concerning the extent of the Commonwealth's legislative powers, some of which have been controversial and extensively criticised; these included a dispute in 1982 over whether the Commonwealth was entitled to designate land for national heritage purposes under
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
agreements, as well as numerous disputes over the extent of the Commonwealth's power over
trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
and industrial relations legislation. One difference between the Australian and
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
models of federalism is that, in Australia, the Commonwealth Parliament has explicit constitutional power over
marriage Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouse A religious marriage. A spouse is a significant other Significant other (SO) is colloquially used as a term ...

marriage
legislation; this has been a focal point for recent controversies over
same-sex marriage Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is the marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obli ...
.


Government structure

Each state of Australia has a
governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...
, who represents the
Queen of Australia The monarchy of Australia refers to the institution in which a person serves as Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent) ...
(currently
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI a ...
) and performs the ceremonial duties of a
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
. Unlike the Canadian lieutenant-governors, a state governor is appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the state government, not the federal government. Every state also has a
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
; most states have a
bicameral Bicameralism is the practice of having a legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...
parliament, except for
Queensland Queensland ( ) is a state situated in northeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the ...

Queensland
, where the upper chamber (the
Legislative Council A legislative council is the legislature, or one of the legislative chambers, of a nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared terri ...
) was abolished in 1922.
Queensland Parliament website Like their
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n counterparts, Australian states have a
Westminster system The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ...
of parliamentary government; the head of government, known in each state as a
Premier Premier is a title for the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other g ...
, is drawn from the state parliament.


Austria

In Austria, a ''Landtag'' (state parliament) elects a ''Landeshauptmann'', who is not only the chairman of a state government but also the representative of the federal government and responsible for the enforcement of federal legislation.


India

In
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
, the state governments are the level of governments below the
Government of India The Government of India (ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requiremen ...
. India is a Sovereign Secular Democratic Republic with a
Parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
of government. The Republic is governed in terms of the
Constitution of India The Constitution of India (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the sci ...

Constitution of India
. Sovereignty is shared between the union and the state government, but the union government is given greater powers. The
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
is the constitutional head Executive of the State. Real executive power vests in a
Union Council of Ministers The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive ex ...
with the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...

Prime Minister
as head of government. The
States State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
resembles the
federal system Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government norm ...
. In the states, the
Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...
is the head of Executive, but real executive power vests with the Chief Minister who heads the
Council of MinistersThe Council of Ministers is a traditional name given to the supreme executive organ in some governments. The term is usually equivalent to the word " cabinet" ( Council of State is a similar term that also may refer to a Cabinet. However, the terms ...

Council of Ministers
. The judicial setup of the country is headed by the
Chief Justice of India Chief may refer to: Title or rank Military and law enforcement * Chief master sergeant, is the ninth, and highest, enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force, * Chief of police, the head of a police department * Chief of the boat, the senior enlis ...
at federal level, who presides over one of the largest judicial apparatus dispensing criminal, civil and all other forms of litigation, and
Chief Justice The chief justice is the presiding member of a supreme court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes betwee ...

Chief Justice
s of the High Courts at state level. The government head of its legal wing is the
Attorney General of India The Attorney General for India is the Indian government's chief legal advisor, and is primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. They can be said to be the advocate from government's side. They are appointed by the President of India on ad ...
at federal level and Advocate General at state level.


Mexico

Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
also has states.


Nigeria

In
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
, States are constituent political entities of which there are currently 36. States have an elected
Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...

Governor
and legislature and broad powers in some areas. Powers not given to the states belong to the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, ...
under the
Constitution of Nigeria The Constitution of Nigeria is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or organisation ( Com ...
.


Pakistan

In
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
, the
Provinces of Pakistan The administrative units of Pakistan refers to the subnational administrative divisions that play a role in the governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a system of rules created a ...
are the federal units. There are currently four. The Provincial Governments are each headed formally by a
Provincial Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (p ...
but for practical purposes power is exercised by the Chief Minister, in a
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
similar to that of the Federal government of Pakistan .


South Africa

South Africa is usually considered a
unitary state A unitary state is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...
but its government system possesses a strong similarity to a federal one. The
Constitution of South Africa The Constitution of South Africa is the supreme law of the Republic of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 millio ...
does not describe the state as federal or unitary. South Africa is divided into
nine provinces The term Nine Provinces or Nine Regions (), is used in ancient Chinese histories to refer to territorial divisions or islands during the Xia Xia (Hsia in Wade–Giles) may refer to: Chinese history * Xia dynasty (夏) (c. 2070 – c. 1600 BC) ...
which have their own elected governments. Chapter Six of the
Constitution of South Africa The Constitution of South Africa is the supreme law of the Republic of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 millio ...
describes the division of power between the national government and the provincial governments, listing those "functional areas" of government that are exclusively reserved to the provincial governments and those where both levels of government have concurrent powers; the remaining areas not listed are reserved to the national government. In areas where both levels have concurrent powers there is a complex set of rules in the event of a conflict between national and provincial legislation. Generally in such a case the provincial legislation prevails, but national legislation may prescribe standards and frameworks for provinces to follow, and may prevent provinces from adversely affecting national interests or the interests of other provinces. The functional areas in which the provincial governments have powers include agriculture, arts and culture, primary and secondary education, the environment and tourism, health, housing, roads and transport, and social welfare. The provincial governments are structured according to a
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
in which the executive is dependent on and accountable to the legislature. The unicameral provincial legislature is elected by
party-list proportional representation Party-list proportional representation is a subset of proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportion ...
, and the legislature in turn elects one of its members as
Premier Premier is a title for the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, aut ...
to head the executive. The Premier appoints an Executive Council (a cabinet), consisting of members of the legislature, to administer the various
departments Department may refer to: * DepartmentalizationDepartmentalization (or departmentalisation) refers to the process of grouping activities into departments. Division of labour creates Expert, specialists who need :wikt:coordination, coordination. This ...
of the provincial administration.


United States

The United States is divided into 50
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
, which comprise the federal entities. Under the 10th Amendment to the
U.S. Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first t ...

U.S. Constitution
, all governmental powers not granted to the
Federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the Federation#Federal governments, national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 U.S. state, state ...
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, making the United States a decentralised federation. However,
State law State law refers to the law of a federated state A federated state (which may also be referred to as a state, a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). ...
is trumped by
Federal law Federal law is the body of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its envir ...
when the two may come into contact. U.S. states all share a similar system of government to the national level with a directly elected and usually quite powerful executive styled
Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...
and a
state legislature A state legislature is a Legislature, legislative branch or body of a State (country subdivision), political subdivision in a Federalism, federal system. Two federations literally use the term "state legislature": * The legislative branches of e ...
exercising legislative authority. In 49 states out of 50 as well as three of the inhabited
Territories of the United States Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as ma ...
(
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
,
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
, and
American Samoa #REDIRECT American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) ...

American Samoa
), the legislature is
bicameral Bicameralism is the practice of having a legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...
with the houses commonly, though not exclusively being styled
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...

House of Representatives
and
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...

Senate
although the name of the legislative body as a whole varies between the states (the most common are
General Assembly A general assembly or general meeting is a meeting of all the members of an organization or shareholders of a company. Specific examples of general assembly include: Churches * General Assembly (presbyterian church), the highest court of presbyt ...
(Itself sometimes a term for the lower house of a state legislature) such as in
North Carolina North Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily news ...

North Carolina
or simply
Legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
as in
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
). In
Nebraska Nebraska () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Nebraska
,
United States Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States, are a group of Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean ...
and
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousa ...

Guam
(the latter two being federal territories rather than states) the legislature is
unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by ...
. The states are semi-sovereign republics in their own right and maintain much control over their internal affairs with issues such as
public transport Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transport Transport (in British English), or transportation (in American English), is the Motion, movement of humans ...

public transport
and
law enforcement 'Law enforcement'' is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterrence (legal), deterring, rehabilitation (penology), rehabilitating, or punishment, punishing people who viol ...
generally being the domain of state governments (although the Federal government often works with states in these areas). Large portions of the welfare state in the United States are administered at a state level as well which means that levels of social services vary from state to state. This has sometimes been controversial, such as in the case of
Medicaid expansion The Affordable Care Act (ACA), formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and colloquially known as Obamacare, is a United States federal statute The Code of Laws of the United States of America (variously abbreviated ...

Medicaid expansion
. There are also several territories, the most notable of which is
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
. Puerto Rico is treated in a manner similar to a state in many areas but in others is quite different. Most notably it does not have representation in the
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, t ...

United States Congress
other than its non-voting
Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico The Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico () is a non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the of the , with the being the . Together they compose the national of ...
. However, it does enjoy more autonomy in taxation and some other areas than the states and thus is commonly classified as a sort of
autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country sub ...
for the
Puerto Rican people Puerto Ricans ( es, Puertorriqueños; or boricuas) are the people of Puerto Rico, the inhabitants, and citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (a United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United State ...
, who are culturally distinct from the Americans on the mainland. There exists a debate as to the future status of the territory with proposals including full statehood, maintenance of the autonomous territory status, or some form of
independence Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or Sovereign state, state in which residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory. The opposite of independe ...

independence
(either retaining limited reliance upon the United States or Independence movement in Puerto Rico, full independence with no special relationship)


See also

* Constituent state * Federated state * Confederated state * Associated state * List of U.S. state legislatures


References

{{Authority control Federalism Government, * Governments of country subdivisions, Political terminology