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Administrative divisions of South Korea: Map

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South Koreamarker is divided into 8 provinces (do), 1 special autonomous province (teukbyeol jachido), 6 metropolitan cities (gwangyeoksi), and 1 special city (teukbyeolsi). These are further subdivided into a variety of smaller entities, including cities (si), counties (gun), districts (gu), towns (eup), townships (myeon), neighborhoods (dong) and villages (ri), as explained below.

(Note on translation: although the terms "Special City," "Metropolitan City," "Province," and "City" are commonly used on English-language government websites, the other translations ("county," "town," "district," etc.) are not official translations, and are only intended to serve as useful illustrations of each entity's meaning.)

Local government

Administrative divisions of South Korea.
Korean terms appear in their official Revised Romanization of Korean spelling.



Provincial level divisions

Do (Province)

A "do" (도, ) is equivalent to a province and one of the primary divisions of the country, along with "teukbyeolsi" (특별시) and "gwangyeoksi (광역시)". South Korea has 8 provinces and one special self-governing province (teukbyeoljachido; 특별자치도; ).

Each province is subdivided into cities ("si") and counties ("gun").

Gwangyeoksi (Metropolitan City)

Gwangyeoksi(광역시; ), or "metropolitan cities", are major cities that are not part of any province, but exist independently and are self-governed. They are comparable to China's direct-controlled municipalities. South Korea has 6 metropolitan cities with provincial status.

Each Metropolitan City are divided into wards ("gu") and outlying counties ("gun").

Teukbyeolsi (Special City)

A "teukbyeolsi" (특별시; ) is one of the primary divisions of the country, along with gwangyeoksiand do.South Korea has only one special city. Seoul is divided into wards ("gu").

List of Province level divisions

Notes: 1 as of 2000; 2 km²; 3 per km²; 4see Names of Seoul; 5 Daejeon excluded; 6 Daegu excluded 7 currently being planned


Municipal level divisions

Si (City)

A si(시, ) is one of the divisions of a province, along with gun. Cities have a population of at least 150,000; once a county (gun) attains that population, it becomes a city (Gijang county in Busan is an exception). Cities with a population of over 500,000 (such as Suwonmarker, Cheongjumarker, and Jeonjumarker) are divided into wards (gu); Changwonmarker and Namyangjumarker are noticeable exceptions to this rule.Gus are then further divided into neighborhoods (dong); cities with a population of less than 500,000 do not have wards – these cities are directly divided into neighborhoods (dong).

Gun (County)

A gun (군; ) is one of the divisions of a province (along with si), and of the metropolitan cities of Busanmarker, Daegumarker, Incheonmarker and Ulsanmarker (along with gu).A gunhas a population of less than 150,000 (more than that would make it a city or si), is less densely populated than a gu, and is more rural in character than either of the other 2 divisions. Counties are divided into towns (eup) and districts (myeon).

Gu (District)

A gu(구; ) is equivalent to districtin the West. Most cities are divided into gu-s, though the metropolitan cities of Busan, Daegu, Incheon and Ulsan contain gun-s as well. Gu-s are similar to boroughsin some Western countries, and a guoffice handles many of the functions that would be handled by the city in other jurisdictions. Gu-s are divided into neighborhoods ("dong").

Eup (Town)

An eup(읍; ) is similar to the unit of town. Along with myeon, an eupis one of the divisions of a county (gun), and of some cities (si) with a population of less than 500,000. The main town or towns in a county—or the secondary town or towns within a city's territory—are designated as eup-s. Towns are subdivided into villages (ri). In order to form an eup, the minimum population required is 20,000.

Myeon (Township)

A myeon(면; ) is one of the divisions – along with eup– of a county (gun) and some cities (si) of fewer than 500,000 population. Myeon-s have smaller populations than eup-s and represent the rural areas of a county or city. Myeon-s are subdivided into villages (ri). The minimum population limit is 6,000.

Dong (Neighborhood)

A dong(동; ) is the primary division of wards (gu), and of those cities (si) which are not divided into wards. The dongis the smallest level of urban government to have its own office and staff. In some cases, a single legal dongis divided into several administrative dong. Administrative dong-s are usually distinguished from one another by number (as in the case of Myeongjang1-dong and Myeongjang 2-dong). In such cases, each administrative donghas its own office and staff.

The primary division of a dongis the tong(통; ), but divisions at this level and below are seldom used in daily life. Some populous dongare subdivided into ga(가; ), which are not a separate level of government, but only exist for use in addresses. Many major thoroughfares in Seoul, Suwon, and other cities are also subdivided into ga.

Ri (Village)

A ri(리; ) is the only division of towns (eup) and districts (myeon). The riis the smallest level of rural government to contain any significant number of people.

History

Although the details of local administration have changed dramatically over time, the basic outline of the current three-tiered system was implemented under the reign of Gojongin 1895. A similar system also remains in use in North Koreamarker.

Proposed future changes

In late April 2005, the governing Uriand leading opposition Hannaraparties agreed to a sweeping change in the country's local administration. This reform, tentatively slated to take place in 2010, would replace the current three-tier system with a two-tier system. The existing provinces (do) and metropolitan cities (gwangyeoksi) would be eliminated. The current gu, si, and gununits would be reorganized into about 60 "metropolitan cities" with a populationof roughly 1 million each. Beyond this, the details of the reform have not been decided. Opposition is likely from politicians and constituent groups who will be disadvantaged by the changes. (Sources: Korea Times [81239], Korea Herald [81240]).

See also



External links



Level
Name
Types
1
Provincial level
  • Provinces (도; 道; do) (8)
  • Special Self-governing Province (특별자치도; 特別自治道; teukbyeol-jachido) (1)
  • Special city (특별시; 特別市; teukbyeol-si) (1)
  • Metropolitan cities (광역시; 廣域市; gwangyeok-si) (6)
2
Municipal level
  • Cities (시; 市; si) (77)
  • Counties (군; 郡; gun) (85)
  • Wards (구; 區; gu)
  • Towns (읍; 邑; eup)
  • Townships (면; 面; myeon)
  • Neighborhoods (동; 洞; dong)
  • Villages (리; 里; ri)
#
Romaja
Hangul
Hanja
Type
Capital
Region
Population1
Area2
Density3
ISO
1
Seoulmarker
서울시
——4
Special City
(Jung-gu, Seoul)
Sudogwon
10,421,782
605.25
17,219
KR-11
2
Busanmarker
부산시
釜山市
Metropolitan City
(Yeonje-gu, Busan)
Yeongnam
3,635,389
763.46
4,762
KR-26
3
Incheonmarker
인천시
仁川市
Metropolitan City
(Namdong-gu, Incheon)
Sudogwon
2,628,000
964.53
2,724.6
KR-28
4
Daegumarker
대구시
大邱市
Metropolitan City
(Jung-gu, Daegu)
Yeongnam
2,512,604
884.15
2,842
KR-27
5
Gwangjumarker
광주시
光州市
Metropolitan City
(Seo-gu, Gwangju)
Honam
1,415,953
501.36
2,824
KR-29
6
Daejeonmarker
대전시
大田市
Metropolitan City
(Seo-gu, Daejeon)
Hoseo
1,442,857
539.84
2,673
KR-30
7
Ulsanmarker
울산시
蔚山市
Metropolitan City
(Nam-gu, Ulsan)
Yeongnam
1,087,958
1,056.4
1,030
KR-31
8
Gyeonggimarker
경기도
京畿道
Province
Suwonmarker
Sudogwon
10,415,399
10,131
1,028
KR-41
9
Gangwonmarker
강원도
江原道
Province
Chuncheonmarker
Gwandong
1,592,000
16,894
94
KR-42
10
Chungcheongbukmarker
충청북도
忠清北道
Province
Cheongjumarker
Hoseo
1,462,621
7,436
197
KR-43
11
Chungcheongnammarker
충청남도
忠清南道
Province
Daejeonmarker
Hoseo
1,840,4105
8,3525
2205
KR-44
12
Jeollabuk
전라북도
全羅北道
Province
Jeonjumarker
Honam
1,890,669
8,043
235
KR-45
13
Jeollanammarker
전라남도
全羅南道
Province
Muanmarker
Honam
1,994,287
11,858
168
KR-46
14
Gyeongsangbukmarker
경상북도
慶尙北道
Province
Daegumarker
Yeongnam
2,775,8906
19,4406
1436
KR-47
15
Gyeongsangnammarker
경상남도
慶尙南道
Province
Changwonmarker
Yeongnam
2,970,929
11,859
251
KR-48
16
Jejumarker
제주도
濟州道
Special Self-governing Province
Jeju Citymarker
Jejudomarker
560,000
1,845.55
303
KR-49
Sejong7
세종시
世宗市
Special Autonomous City
TBD
Hoseo
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD

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