Garhwa district comprises two subdivisions: Garhwa and Nagar-Untari, which are further divided into 14 blocks. At the time of creation, this district comprised only eight blocks: Bhandaria, Bhawanathpur, Dhuraki, Garhwa, Majhiyaon, Meral, Nagar-Untari and Ranka. Later, six more blocks were created by reorganizing the existing blocks. These are: Chiniya, Dandai, Kandi, Kharaundhi, Ramkanda and Ramuna. This district comprises 156 gram panchayat and 916 villages. It has two police sub-divisions: Garhwa and Nagar-Untari, with eight police stations in Bhandaria, Bhawnathpur, Dhurki, Garhwa, Majhiyaon, Meral, Nagar-Untari, and Ranka.
The district consists mostly forests and has only one city, Garhwa, which is also the district headquarters.
There are two Vidhan Sabha constituencies in this district: Garhwa and Bhawanathpur. Both are part of Palamau Lok Sabha constituency.
Garhwa is well-connected to roads and railways. Daily bus services are available from Ranchi and major districts of Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. Road communication in this district is not as good as in other districts of the state. Garhwa district is connected to Rewa in Madhya Pradesh and Ranchi in Jharkhand by National Highway No. 75. There are 210 km of state highway, 55 km of national highway (NH-75) and 96.95 km of district roads. Link roads and corridors are altogether 190 km.