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World administrative divisions

Country subdivision refers to the division of a sovereign state's territory for the sake of its administration, description or other such purpose. The resulting units of division are known generically as "country subdivisions". Unlike geographical or geomorphological areas such as basins, deserts, valleys and the like, country subdivisions are abstract creations intended to make it easier to run the country. There are several types of country subdivisions, including: administrative divisions, electoral divisions, census divisions, development regions, time zones, etc.


Administrative divisions

The most common type of country subdivision are administrative divisions, viz. divisions such as provinces, districts and municipalities. A few countries have administrative divisions that are themselves called "divisions" or "subdivisions".

Electoral and census divisions

The second most common types of country subdivision are electoral and census divisions such as constituencies, wards, census geographic units, census metropolitan areas, and census subdivision. Some countries, however, use these terms (or their native equivalents) to identify types of administrative division; for example, Namibia's constituencies or those countries listed in the article Ward (administrative division). In North America, "Census division" and "census subdivision" are themselves types of census divisions.

Other subdivision types

Other types of country subdivision include statistical divisions, judicial districts, police precincts, planning or development regions, school districts, special-purpose districts, time zones, transport regions, and water districts.

ISO 3166-2

According to the ISO's website, ISO 3166-2 (Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions - Part 2: Country subdivision code) uses the term "country subdivision" to denote "principal subdivisions (e.g. provinces or states)" [1].

See also



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