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Division of Poland into gminas

The gmina (Polish pronunciation [ˈgmina], plural gminy [ˈgminɨ]) is the principal unit (lowest uniform level) of territorial division in Poland. It is often translated as "commune" or "municipality." As of 2010 there were 2,479 gminas. The word gmina is derived from the German word Gemeinde, meaning "commune" or "community."

Since 1972, when it replaced the smaller gromada, the gmina has been the basic unit of administrative division. There are three types of gmina in Poland:

  • urban gmina (gmina miejska), consisting of just one city or town
  • mixed (urban-rural) gmina (gmina miejsko-wiejska), consisting of a town and its surrounding villages and countryside
  • rural gmina (gmina wiejska), consisting only of villages and countryside

Some rural gminas have their seat in a town which is outside the gmina. For example, the rural Gmina Augustów is administered from the town of Augustów, but does not include this town, as Augustów is an urban gmina in its own right.

An urban gmina is normally referred to by the name of the city or town in question. Other types of gmina are called Gmina Xxx, where Xxx is (in the vast majority of cases) the town or village in which the gmina has its seat. Gmina Xxx is sometimes translated into English as "Xxx Commune".

The legislative and controlling body of each gmina is the elected municipal council (rada gminy, or in a town rada miasta). Executive power is held by the directly elected mayor of the municipality, called wójt in rural gminas, burmistrz in most urban and urban-rural gminas, or prezydent in towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants and some others which traditionally use the title.

A gmina may create auxiliary units (jednostki pomocnicze), which play a subordinate administrative role. In rural areas these are called sołectwos; in towns they may be dzielnicas or osiedles. In an urban-rural gmina, the town itself may be designated as an auxiliary unit.

For a complete listing of all the gminas in Poland, see List of Polish gminas.

Numbers of gminas

Number of gminas by voivodeship
Voivodeship LS KP LBL LBS ŁD LP MS OP SK PL PM SL ŚWK WM GP WP Poland
Urban gminas 36 17 20 9 18 15 35 3 16 13 25 49 5 16 19 11 307
Urban-rural gminas 55 35 22 33 25 43 50 32 31 24 17 22 26 33 90 52 588
Rural gminas 78 92 171 41 134 124 229 36 113 81 81 96 71 67 117 51 1,584
Total gminas 169 144 213 83 177 182 314 71 160 118 123 167 102 116 226 114 2,479
of which: rural gminas with their seat outside the gmina 14 13 17 5 15 9 15 0 12 12 13 0 1 15 11 8 160


Abbreviations used for voivodeships:
LS: Lower Silesian Voivodeship, KP: Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, LBL: Lublin Voivodeship, LBS: Lubusz Voivodeship,
ŁD: Łódź Voivodeship, LP: Lesser Poland Voivodeship, MS: Masovian Voivodeship, OP: Opole Voivodeship,
SK: Subcarpathian Voivodeship, PL: Podlaskie Voivodeship, PM: Pomeranian Voivodeship, SL: Silesian Voivodeship,
ŚWK: Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, WM: Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, GP: Greater Poland Voivodeship, WP: West Pomeranian Voivodeship.

Largest and smallest gminas

LARGEST Population (2006 estimate) Land area in km² Population density
per km²
Urban Warsaw (1,697,596) Warsaw (517.22) Świętochłowice (4,156.80)
Rural Gmina Chełmiec (24,344) Gmina Wałcz (574.89) Gmina Buczkowice (542.70)
Urban-rural Gmina Piaseczno (61,525) Gmina Pisz (633.69) Gmina Wołomin (801.69)
Town in urban-rural gmina Gmina Nysa: Nysa (47,545) Gmina Szczytna: Szczytna (80.38) Gmina Swarzędz: Swarzędz (3,469.23)
Rural part of urban-rural gmina Gmina Wieliczka: rural part (28,864) Gmina Pisz: rural part (623.61) Gmina Świątniki Górne: rural part (407.86)
SMALLEST Population (2006 estimate) Land area in km² Population density
per km²
Urban Krynica Morska (1,364) Górowo Iławeckie (3.32) Krynica Morska (11.74)
Rural Gmina Cisna (1,663) Gmina Jejkowice (7.59) Gmina Lutowiska (4.63)
Urban-rural Gmina Nowe Warpno (1,559) Gmina Świątniki Górne (20.35) Gmina Nowe Warpno (7.88)
Town in urban-rural gmina Gmina Wyśmierzyce: Wyśmierzyce (892) Gmina Stawiszyn: Stawiszyn (0.99) Gmina Suraż: Suraż (28.94)
Rural part of urban-rural gmina Gmina Nowe Warpno: rural part (363) Gmina Suchedniów: rural part (15.54) Gmina Nowe Warpno: rural part (2.09)

References

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