Canton (country subdivision)

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For other uses, see Canton (disambiguation).

A canton is a type of administrative division of a country.[1] In general, cantons are relatively small in terms of area and population when compared to other administrative divisions such as counties, departments or provinces. Internationally the best-known cantons, and the most politically important, are those of Switzerland. As the constituents of the Swiss Confederation, theoretically (and historically) the Swiss cantons are semi-sovereign states.

The term is derived from the French word canton meaning corner or district (from which "Cantonment" is also derived).[2]

In specific countries[edit]

Cantons exist (or existed) in the following countries:

In former countries[edit]


  1. ^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Canton (division)". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary cantonment and canton, v.