The Info List - Province

A province is almost always an administrative division, within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman provincia, which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside Italy. The term province has since been adopted by many countries, and in those with no actual provinces, it has come to mean "outside the capital city". While some provinces were produced artificially by colonial powers, others were formed around local groups with their own ethnic identities. Many have their own powers independent of federal authority, especially in Canada. In other countries, like China, provinces are the creation of central government, with very little autonomy.


1 Etymology 2 History and culture 3 Legal aspects 4 Current provinces

4.1 Modern provinces 4.2 Canada 4.3 Russia 4.4 Polities Translated

5 Historic provinces

5.1 Ancient, medieval and feudal 5.2 Colonial and early modern

6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Etymology[edit] The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French
Old French
"province", which itself comes from the Latin
word "provincia", which referred to the sphere of authority of a magistrate; in particular, to a foreign territory. A popular etymology is from Latin"pro-" ("on behalf of") and "vincere" ("to triumph" or "to take control of"). Thus a "province" would be a territory or function that a Roman magistrate held control of on behalf of his government. In fact, the word Province is an ancient term from public law, which means: "office belonging to a magistrate". This agrees with the Latin
term's earlier usage as a generic term for a jurisdiction under Roman law. History and culture[edit] In France, the expression "en province" still tends to mean "outside the Paris
region". Equivalent expressions are used in Peru
("en provincias", "outside the city of Lima"), Mexico
("la provincia", "lands outside Mexico
City"), Romania
("în provincie", "outside the Bucharest
region"), Poland
("prowincjonalny", "provincial"), Bulgaria ("в провинцията", "v provintsiyata", "in the provinces"; "провинциален", "provintsialen", "provincial") and the Philippines
(taga-probinsiya, "from outside Metro Manila", sa probinsiya, "in the provinces"). Similarly, in Australia
"provincial" refers to parts of a state outside of the state capital. Before the French Revolution, France
comprised a variety of jurisdictions (e.g., Île-de-France, built around the early Capetian royal demesne), some being considered "provinces", though the term was also used colloquially for territories as small as a manor (châtellenie). Most commonly referred to as "provinces", however, were the Grands Gouvernements, generally former medieval feudal principalities, or agglomerations of such. Today the expression "province" is sometimes replaced by "en région", "région" now being the term officially used for the secondary level of government. In Italy, "in provincia" generally means "outside the biggest regional capitals" (like Rome, Milan, Naples, etc.). The historic European provinces—built up of many small regions, called "pays" by the French and "cantons" by the Swiss, each with a local cultural identity and focused upon a market town—have been depicted by Fernand Braudel as the optimum-size political unit in pre-industrial Early Modern Europe. He asks, "Was the province not its inhabitants' true 'fatherland'?"[1] Even centrally-organized France, an early nation-state, could collapse into autonomous provincial worlds under pressure, as during the sustained crisis of the French Wars of Religion (1562–98). The British colonies in North America were often named provinces. Most (but not all) of the thirteen colonies that eventually formed the USA were called provinces.[2] All declared themselves "states" when they became independent. The Connecticut Colony, the Delaware Colony, Rhode Island and the Colony of Virginia
Colony of Virginia
never used the title "province". The British colonies further north, which remained loyal to Britain and later confederated to form the original Canada, retained the title of "province" and are still known as such to the present day. At the time of confederation, only the United Province of Canada
was called a province, although the provinces of Lower Canada
and Upper Canada
had previously existed. Other colonies only started to use the name "province" on becoming constituent provinces of the Canadian confederation. To 19th- and 20th-century historians, in Europe, centralized government was a sign of modernity and political maturity. In the late 20th century, as the European Union
European Union
drew nation-states closer together, centripetal forces seemed simultaneously to move countries toward more flexible systems of more localized, provincial governing entities under the overall European Union
European Union
umbrella. Spain
after Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
has been a "State of Autonomies", formally unitary but in fact functioning as a federation of Autonomous Communities, each exercising different powers. (See Politics of Spain.) While Serbia, the rump of former Yugoslavia, fought the separatists in the province of Kosovo, the United Kingdom, under the political principle of "devolution", produced (1998) local parliaments in Scotland, Wales
and Northern Ireland. Strong local nationalisms have surfaced or developed in Britain's Cornwall, France's Brittany, Languedoc
and Corsica, Spain's Catalonia
and the Basque Country, Italy's Lombardy, Belgium's Flanders; and, east of Europe, in Abkhazia, Chechnya
and Kurdistan. In ancient India, unlike the Mauryas, the Gupta Empire
Gupta Empire
gave local areas a great deal of independence and divided the empire into 26 large provinces, styled as Bhukti, Pradesha and Bhoga. Legal aspects[edit] In many federations and confederations, the province or state is not clearly subordinate to the national or central government. Rather, it is considered to be sovereign in regard to its particular set of constitutional functions. The central- and provincial-government functions, or areas of jurisdiction, are identified in a constitution. Those that are not specifically identified are called "residual powers." In a decentralized federal system (such as the United States and Australia) these residual powers lie at the provincial or state level, whereas in a centralized federal system (such as Canada) they are retained at the federal level. Some of the enumerated powers can be quite important. For example, Canadian provinces are sovereign in regard to such important matters as property, civil rights, education, social welfare and medical services. The growth of the modern welfare state has resulted in these functions, assigned to the provinces, becoming more important compared to those assigned to the federal government and thus provincial governments have become more important than the Fathers of Confederation
originally intended. Canada's status as a federation of provinces under the Dominion
of the British Empire
British Empire
rather than an independent country also had certain legal implications. Provinces could appeal court rulings over the heads of the Supreme Court of Canada
to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. As well, provinces could bypass the Supreme Court and go directly to London
from any Provincial Court. The Canadian Supreme Court tended to support the view that the Canadian Constitution
was intended to create a powerful central government, but the Privy Council in London
held a distinctly opposite view that the Constitution
provided for stronger provincial powers. This provided an opportunity for forum shopping for provinces who opposed federal laws. Until appeals from Canada
to the Privy Council were abolished in 1949, in legal disputes the provincial governments tended to win powers at the expense of the federal government. In addition, while the Canadian federal government has unlimited taxing power while province governments are restricted to imposing direct taxes, the Canadian government introduced an income tax during World War I, and since it is a direct tax it also became a major revenue generator for provinces. In most provinces, the federal government now collects income tax for both levels of government and transfers to the provincial governments whatever surcharge they ask for. The sales tax also become a major revenue generator for provinces, so in 1991 the Canadian government introduced a Goods and Services Tax (GST) to share the revenues, which proved unpopular both with provincial governments and taxpayers. The Canadian government has tried to harmonize the two levels of sales taxes, but three provinces continue to impose a separate sales tax ( British Columbia
British Columbia
after harmonizing it, and shortly thereafter de-harmonizing it after it was struck down by a referendum), while the province of Alberta
still does not impose a provincial sales tax. The evolution of federations has created an inevitable tug-of-war between concepts of federal supremacy versus states' & provinces' rights. The historic division of responsibility in federal constitutions is inevitably subject to multiple overlaps. For example, when central governments, responsible for foreign policy, enter into international agreements in areas where the state or province is sovereign, such as the environment or health standards, agreements made at the national level can create jurisdictional overlap and conflicting laws. This overlap creates the potential for internal disputes that lead to constitutional amendments and judicial decisions that alter the balance of powers. Though foreign affairs do not usually fall under a province’s or a federal state’s competency, some states allow them to legally conduct international relations on their own in matters of their constitutional prerogative and essential interest. Sub-national authorities have a growing interest in paradiplomacy, be it performed under a legal framework or as a trend informally admitted as legitimate by the central authorities. In unitary states such as France
and China, provinces are subordinate to the national, central government. In theory, the central government can create or abolish provinces within its jurisdiction. On the other hand, although Canada
is now considered a federal state[3] and not a confederation, in practice it is among the world's more decentralized federations.[4] Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation
and the Constitution
Act, 1867 conferred considerable power on the provincial governments which they often use to pursue their own goals independently of the federal government. In Canada, local governments have been called "creatures of the province" because the authority of a local government derives solely from the provincial government. Provinces can create, merge, and dissolve local governments without the consent of the federal government or the people in the affected locality.[5] Alberta
in particular dissolved and merged hundreds of local governments during the 1940s and 1950s as a consequence of the Great Depression. Other provinces have arbitrarily merged and annexed independent suburbs to major Canadian cities such as Toronto
or Montreal
without the approval of local voters. Current provinces[edit] See also: Administrative divisions Not all first-level political entities are termed "provinces." In Arab countries, the first administrative level of government—called a muhafazah—is usually translated as a "governorate." In Poland, the equivalent of "province" is "województwo," sometimes rendered in English as "voivodeship."[6] In the United States, its equivalent is a "state". Historically, New Zealand
New Zealand
was divided into provinces, each with its own Superintendent and Provincial Council, and with considerable responsibilities conferred on them. However, the colony (as it then was) never developed into a federation; instead, the provinces were abolished in 1876. The old provincial boundaries continue to be used to determine the application of certain public holidays. Over the years, when the central Government has created special-purpose agencies at a sub-national level, these have often tended to follow or approximate the old provincial boundaries. Current examples include the 16 Regions into which New Zealand
New Zealand
is divided, and also the 21 District
Health Boards. Sometimes the term the provinces is used to refer collectively to rural and regional parts of New Zealand, that is, those parts of the country lying outside some or all of the "main centres"—Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin. Modern provinces[edit] In many countries, a province is a relatively small non-constituent level of sub-national government, such as a county in the United Kingdom. In China, a province is a sub-national region within a unitary state; this means that a province can be created or abolished by the central government. In some nations, a province (or its equivalent) is a first-level administrative unit of sub-national government—as in the Netherlands—and a large constituent autonomous area, as in Argentina, Canada, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic
of the Congo. It can also be a constituent element of a federation, confederation, or republic. For example, in the United States, no state may secede from the federal Union without the permission of the federal government. In other nations—such as Belgium, Chile, Italy, Peru, the Philippines, and Spain—a province is a second-level administrative sub-division of a region (which is the first-order administrative sub-division of the nation). Italian provinces are mainly named after their principal town and comprise several administrative sub-divisions called comuni (communes). In Chile, they are referred to as comunas. Chile has 15 regions, subdivided into 53 provinces, of which each is run by a governor appointed by the president. Italy
has 20 regions, subdivided into 14 metropolitan cities and 96 provinces. Peru
has 25 regions, subdivided into 194 provinces. Spain
has 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities, subdivided into 50 provinces. The island of Ireland is divided into four historic provinces (see Provinces of Ireland), each of which is sub-divided into counties. These provinces are Connacht
(in the west), Leinster
(in the east), Munster
(in the south) and, Ulster
(in the north). Nowadays these provinces have little or no administrative function, though they do have sporting significance. From the 19th century, the Portuguese colonies were considered overseas provinces of Portugal. Similarly, some overseas parts of the British Empire
British Empire
bore the colonial title of "province" (in a more Roman sense), such as the Province of Canada
and the Province of South Australia
(the latter, to distinguish it from the penal "colonies" elsewhere in Australia). Likewise, prior to the American Revolution, most of the original Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
in British America
British America
were provinces as well, such as the Province of Georgia and the Province of New Hampshire. Canada[edit] The constituent entities of Canada
are known as provinces. At the time of confederation, only the United Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
were called provinces, although the provinces of Lower Canada
and Upper Canada
had previously existed. Other colonies and territories only started to use the title "province" on becoming constituent entities of the Canadian confederation. Because Canada
is the second largest country in the world by area, most Canadian provinces are very large—six of its ten provinces are larger than any country in Europe except Russia, and its largest province Quebec—1,542,056 km2 (595,391 sq mi)—is almost two and a half times as large as France—640,679 km2 (247,368 sq mi). Five of the older Canadian provinces—Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
and Prince Edward Island—have "counties" as administrative sub-divisions. The actual local government form can vary widely. Since the Canadian Constitution
assigns local government to provincial jurisdiction, the various provinces can create, dissolve, and reorganize local governments freely and they have been described as "creatures of the province". The Western provinces
Western provinces
have more varied types of administrative sub-divisions than the Eastern provinces and invent new types at will. The province of British Columbia
British Columbia
has "regional districts" which function as equivalents of counties. Manitoba
and Saskatchewan
have "urban municipalities", rural municipalities, and "special municipalities" or "northern municipalities". Most of Alberta's rural municipalities brand themselves "counties", although in Alberta
the word has no legal significance and does not describe the government type. The province of Alberta
has some unusually creative solutions formed in response to local conditions. For instance, Sherwood Park
Sherwood Park
is an unincorporated "urban service area" of 65,465 within Strathcona County, which has most of the oil refining capacity in Western Canada; Fort McMurray
Fort McMurray
was once a city but dissolved itself and became an "urban service area" of 70,964 people within the Regional Municipality (R.M.) of Wood Buffalo, which has several multibillion-dollar oil sands plants; and Lloydminster, a city of 31,483 which sits directly astride the provincial border between Alberta
and Saskatchewan. Unlike most such cases, Lloydminster
is not a pair of twin cities on opposite sides of a border, but is actually incorporated by both provinces as a single city with a single municipal administration. The residents objected to the federal government splitting the city in two when it created the two provinces, so the two provinces reunified it by declaring it to be a single city in two provinces, thereby bypassing the limitations of federal boundaries. Russia[edit] The term "province" is sometimes used to refer to the historic governorates (guberniyas) of Russia. This terms also refers to the provinces (провинции), which were introduced as the subdivisions of the governorates in 1719 and existed until 1775. In modern parlance, the term is commonly used to refer to the oblasts and krais of Russia. Polities Translated[edit]

Country Local name(s) Language Number of entities

Provinces of Afghanistan wilayat Pashto, Dari 34

Provinces of Algeria wilaya Arabic 48

Provinces of Angola província Portuguese 18

Provinces of Argentina provincia Spanish 23

Provinces of Armenia marz Armenian 11

Provinces of Belarus voblast Belarusian 7

Provinces of Belgium
Provinces of Belgium
(Flemish Region) provincie Dutch 5

Provinces of Belgium
Provinces of Belgium
(Walloon Region) province French 5

Provinces of Bolivia provincia Spanish 100

Provinces of Bulgaria oblast Bulgarian 28

Provinces of Burkina Faso province French 45

Provinces of Burundi province French 17

Provinces of Cambodia khaet (ខេត្ត) Khmer 24 + 1[7]

Provinces of Canada province English, French 10

Provinces of Chile provincia Spanish 54

Provinces of China shěng (省) Standard Chinese 22 + 1[8]

Provinces of Costa Rica provincia Spanish 7

Provinces of Colombia provincia Spanish

Provinces of Cuba provincia Spanish 15

Provinces of the Democratic Republic
of the Congo province French 26

Provinces of the Dominican Republic provincia Spanish 33

Provinces of Ecuador provincia Spanish 24

Provinces of Equatorial Guinea provincia Spanish 7

Provinces of Fiji yasana Fijian 14

Provinces of Finland läänit or län Finnish, Swedish 6

Provinces of Gabon province French 9

Provinces of Georgia mkhare (მხარე) Georgian, Abkhazian 12

Provinces of Greece επαρχία (eparchia) Greek 73

Provinces of Indonesia provinsi or propinsi Indonesian 34

Provinces of Iran ostan Persian 31

Provinces of Ireland cúige Irish 4

Provinces of Italy provincia Italian 110

Provinces of Kazakhstan oblasy Kazakh 14

Provinces of Kenya province English 8

Provinces of Kyrgyzstan oblasty Kyrgyzian 7

Provinces of Laos khoueng (ແຂວງ) Lao 16

Provinces of Madagascar faritany Malagasy 6

Provinces of Mongolia aimag or aymag (Аймаг) Mongolian 21

Provinces of Mozambique província Portuguese 10

Provinces of the Netherlands provincie Dutch 12

Provinces of North Korea do or to (도) Korean 10

Provinces of Oman wilaya Arabic 62

Provinces of Pakistan sûba(صوبہ); plural: sûbé (صوبے) Urdu 5

Provinces of Panama provincia Spanish 9

Provinces of Papua New Guinea province English 19

Provinces of Peru provincia Spanish 195

Provinces of the Philippines lalawigan or probinsya, provincia, province Tagalog, Spanish, English 81

Provinces of Rwanda intara French 5

Provinces of São Tomé and Príncipe província Portuguese 2

Provinces of Saudi Arabia mintaqah Arabic 13

Provinces of Sierra Leone province English 3

Provinces of the Solomon Islands


Provinces of South Africa province English 9

Provinces of South Korea do or to (도/道) Korean 10

Provinces of Spain provincia Spanish 50

Provinces of Sri Lanka පළාත/palaatha,மாகாணம்/maahaanam & province Sinhala, Tamil, English 9

Provinces of Tajikistan veloyati, from Arabic
wilaya Tajik 3

Provinces of Thailand changwad (จังหวัด) Thai 76 + 1[9]

Provinces of Turkey il Turkish 81

Provinces of Turkmenistan welayat (plural: welayatlar) from wilaya Turkmen 5

Provinces of Ukraine oblast Ukrainian 24 + 3[10]

Provinces of Uzbekistan viloyat (plural: viloyatlar) from Arabic
wilaya 12

Provinces of Vanuatu


Provinces of Vietnam tỉnh Vietnamese 58

Provinces of Zambia province English 9

Provinces of Zimbabwe province English 8

Historic provinces[edit] Ancient, medieval and feudal[edit]

The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was divided into provinces (provinciae); this is where the term originated Caliphate
and subsequent sultanates: see Emirate Khanate can also mean a province as well as an independent state, as either can be headed by a Khan Byzantine Empire: see exarchate, thema Pharaonic Egypt: see nome (Egypt) Frankish (Carolingian) 're-founded' Holy Roman Empire: see gau and county In the Habsburg
territories, the traditional provinces are partly expressed in the Länder of 19th-century Austria-Hungary. Mughal Empire: subah The provinces of the Ottoman Empire had various types of governors (generally a pasha), but mostly styled vali, hence the predominant term vilayet, generally subdivided (often in beyliks or sanjaks), sometimes grouped under a governor-general (styled beylerbey). Achaemenid Persia
(and probably before in Media, again after conquest and further extension by Alexander the Great, and in the larger Hellenistic successor states: see satrapy In the Tartar Khanate of Kazan: the five daruğa ('direction')

Colonial and early modern[edit]

Spanish empire, at several echelons:

viceroyalty above intendencia

The former Republic
of the Seven United Provinces (The Netherlands) British colonies:

American Southern Colonies

Province of Virginia
Province of Virginia
(1607–1776) Province of Carolina
Province of Carolina
(1629–1712) Province of North Carolina
Province of North Carolina
(1712-1776) Province of South Carolina (1712-1776) Province of Maryland
Province of Maryland
(1632–1776) Province of Georgia
Province of Georgia

American Middle Colonies

Province of New Jersey
Province of New Jersey
(1664–1776) Province of New York
Province of New York
(1664–1783) Province of Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania

American New England Colonies

Province of New Hampshire
Province of New Hampshire
(1680–1686, 1692–1783) Province of Massachusetts Bay
Province of Massachusetts Bay
(1692–1776) Province of Maine
Province of Maine
(various dates)

(New France)

Province of Quebec
(1763–1791) Province of Lower Canada
(1791–1841) Province of Upper Canada
(1791–1841) United Province of Canada

Provinces of India Provinces of the Philippines Provinces of New Zealand
New Zealand
(1841-1876) Provinces of Nigeria Province of South Australia
(now an Australian state)

The former provinces of Brazil The former provinces of France The former provinces of Ireland The former provinces of Japan The provinces of Prussia, a former German kingdom/republic The provinces of the Republic
of New Granada The former provinces of Sweden The former United Provinces of Central America The former United Provinces of the Río de la Plata

See also[edit]

Governor Region Provincialism Regionalism (politics) Rise: The Vieneo Province


^ The Perspective of the World, 1984, p. 284. ^ "A chorographical map of the Province of New-York in North America, divided into counties, manors, patents and townships; exhibiting likewise all the private grants of land made and located in that Province". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 4, 2017.  ^ "How Canadians Govern Themselves,. 7th ed". .parl.gc.ca. Retrieved May 8, 2012.  ^ "Collaborative Federalism in an era of globalization". Pco-bcp.gc.ca. April 22, 1999. Retrieved May 8, 2012.  ^ ["http://ww2.publicpolicy.utoronto.ca/ppgr/PPGGlossary/M1/MunicipalitiesasCreaturesofProvinces/Pages/default.aspx" ""Municipalities as "creatures of the provinces""] Check url= value (help).  ^ Also spelled "voivodship," "voievodship," "voievodeship". ^ 76 provinces + 1 special governed district (Phnom Penh). However, Cambodian usually presume Phnom Penh as another province for convenience. ^ The People's Republic
of China
(PRC) claims it has 23 provinces, one of them being Taiwan, which the PRC does not have control. The Republic
of China
(frequently referred to as Taiwan
or ROC) controls all of Taiwan
Province and several small islands of Fujian
and Hainan Province. ^ 76 provinces + 1 special governed district (Bangkok). However, Thai people usually presume Bangkok as another province for convenience. ^ 24 oblasts, one autonomous republic, and two "cities with special status".

External links[edit]

Etymology Online World Statesmen

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

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 division