This is a list of the counties of the United Kingdom. The history of local government in the United Kingdom differs between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the subnational divisions within these which have been called counties have varied over time and by purpose. The county has formed the upper tier of local government over much of the United Kingdom at one time or another, and has been used for a variety of other purposes, such as for Lord Lieutenants, land registration and postal delivery. This list is split by constituent country, time period and purpose.
|Colour key in tables below|
|Green: Current official status|
|Yellow: Historical or superseded status|
Changes between the 1990s and 2009 subdivided the short-lived non-metropolitan counties of Cleveland and Humberside into unitary authorities, but the former county names continue for fire services and police forces (see Non-metropolitan county § List of non-metropolitan counties). Similarly the short-lived county of Avon provides part of the area and name of Avon and Somerset Police and its area is roughly that of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service.
The historic counties of Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Huntingdonshire and Middlesex are the five defunct ceremonial counties which were historically counties. With their abolition as ceremonial counties, Yorkshire is divided for that purpose into the East Riding of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, Cumberland and Westmorland were combined with a former exclave of Lancashire to form Cumbria, Huntingdonshire merged into Cambridgeshire, and the vastly greater part of Middlesex became part of Greater London.
Contemporary reference to the Isle of Ely and nearby Soke of Peterborough has been very rare since the early 20th century and they have scant public resonance. The counties marked in italics below are neither ceremonial nor historic.
The list does not include the 61 county boroughs (1889–1974) or the 18 counties corporate (before 1889), each of which was an administrative county for a single town or city, within a larger "county-at-large".
|City of Belfast||Special post town||CB||Part of counties Antrim and Down|
|City of Derry||Special post town||CB||Part of County Londonderry|
|City of Aberdeen||Special post town||1900|
|City of Dundee||Special post town||1894|
|East Lothian (Haddingtonshire)|
|City of Edinburgh||Special post town|
|City of Glasgow||Special post town||1893|
|Midlothian (County of Edinburgh)|
|Ross and Cromarty|
|West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)|
|Anglesey||Isle of Anglesey|
- Toponymical list of counties of the United Kingdom
- List of United Kingdom county nicknames
- Counties of Ireland
- Alias Data
- HMSO, Aspects of Britain: Local Government, (1996)
- Lieutenancies Act 1997
- Local Government Act 1972
- Royal Mail - PAF Digest Issue 6.0[permanent dead link] Since 1996 these have been known as "former postal counties", and need no longer be used in addressing mail. Post Towns created since 1996 are not allocated to a postal county. The PAF also includes an "Alias File" that includes postally not required information including "Traditional County" and "Administrative County" fields. The list is not comprehensive and Royal Mail does not guarantee its accuracy.
- Non-metropolitan district with the powers of a county, following the Local Government Act 1992
- The Berkshire (Structural Change) Order 1996; SI 1996 No. 1879
- For ceremonial purposes only
- The Metropolis was an ad hoc administrative area covering parts of three counties
- AFD Software - Latest PAF Data News
- Appointed a Lord Lieutenant, but not a county under the Local Government Act 1888
- Northern Ireland (Lieutenancy) Order 1975 (SI 1975 No. 156)
- County styled as county borough by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898
- Registers of Scotland - Land Register Counties Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
- Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 S.1 - Principal areas styled as a county