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World administrative divisions

Administrative divisions are divisions of a political division. In other words, they are designated portions of a country. They are also called subnational entities. They are each granted a certain degree of autonomy, and are required to manage themselves through their own local governments. 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 provinces (or state), which in turn are divided into counties, which in turn may be divided in whole or in part into municipalities. These are only a few of the names given to administrative subdivisions; more examples are provided below.

Administrative divisions are a type of country subdivision, and can overlap with the other types. The other types of country subdivision generally don't have governments.

Administrative divisions are conceptually separate from dependent areas, in that the former are included in the core or mainland of the respective state.

Examples of administrative divisions

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"[4467] 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 considerations, tradition, as well as state 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. 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, Cambridgemarker and Boston, Massachusettsmarker appear to the casual traveler as one large city, while locally they each are quite culturally different and occupy different counties.

Urban or rural regions:

Native terms

See: List of terms for administrative divisions

Consistent translation from original language is sometimes is difficult.


  • Sovereign state, a national or supra-national division.
  • Country, a national or supra-national division.
  • Empire, a supra-national division.

See also

External links

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