Districts of Portugal
|Category||1st-level administrative division|
The Portuguese Constitution of 1976 specifies that Portugal have only, as first level divisions, the autonomous regions (Azores and Madeira) and the administrative regions (to be created in mainland Portugal). According to Constitution, the districts shall be disestablished in the territories where it has been created an autonomous or administrative region.
So, the districts were abolished in Azores and Madeira when these autonomous regions were created, in 1976. In 1998, it was submitted to referendum a proposal to create 8 administrative regions in mainland Portugal, and, therefore, to extinguish the districts. This proposal was rejected in the ballot.
However, the importance of the districts had been decreasing. In the last years, some administrative, financial and politics competencies had been deliver to CCDR's and to the municipalities, in detriment of the districts. In 2003, the Portuguese municipalities were allowed to organize themselves into intermunicipal communities (comunidades intermunicipais) and metropolitan areas (áreas metropolitanas), what it allowed to diminish the importance of the districts as form of association of municipalities.
Besides, the abolition of the districts is a subject that came back to be discussed in the society. In 2009, during the campaign to the legislative election of 2009, the leader of Socialist Party, José Sócrates, promised a new referendum to the administrative regions and therefore, the abolition of districts, if he gained the election. Other personalities, support the creation of administrative regions and therefore the abolition of districts.
Nowadays, despite being in the process of being phased out due to the decentralisation policies of the government, the districts still remains the most relevant subdivision of the country, serving as a basis for a series of administrative divisions such as electoral constituencies and district football associations.
|District||Municipalities||Parishes||Province of 1936||Region|
||Beira Litoral Province + Douro Litoral Province||Norte, Centro|
||Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Province||Norte|
||Beira Baixa Province||Centro|
||Beira Baixa Province, Beira Litoral||Centro|
||Beira Alta Province (partly Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro)||Centro (partly Norte,only Foz Coa)|
||Beira Litoral Province, Estremadura||Centro|
||Estremadura (partly Ribatejo)||Lisbon (partly Alentejo)|
||Alto Alentejo Province (partly Ribatejo)||Alentejo|
||Douro Litoral Province||Norte|
||Ribatejo Province (partly Beira Baixa and Beira Litoral)||Centro, Alentejo|
||Estremadura Province, Baixo Alentejo Province||Lisbon, Alentejo|
|Viana do Castelo||
||Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro||Norte|
||Beira Alta, (partly Douro Litoral)||Centro, Norte|
Former districts 
- Lamego District
- Angra do Heroísmo District
- Horta District
- Ponta Delgada District
- Funchal District
See also 
- Portugal (2005). "Constituição da República Portuguesa: VII Revisão Constitucionl" (in Portuguese). Lisbon, Portugal: Assembleia da Repúblic.