Municipalities of Estonia

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A municipality (Estonian: omavalitsus, plural omavalitsused) is the smallest administrative subdivision of Estonia. Each municipality is a unit of self-government with its representative and executive bodies. The municipalities in Estonia cover the entire territory of the country.

Municipalities in Estonia are of two types: urban municipalities or towns (linnad, singular linn) and rural municipalities or parishes (vallad, singular vald). There is no other status distinction between them.

Municipality may contain one or several settlements. All urban municipalities plus 6 rural municipalities contain only one settlement. Of the latter six, 5 are so-called "borough-parishes", consisting of one borough, while Ruhnu Parish consists of one village.

Some municipalities are divided into districts. The 8 urban districts (linnaosad, singular linnaosa) of Tallinn have limited self-government, while other urban districts are formed for administrative purposes. Some rural districts (osavallad) have limited self-government, while other types of rural districts do not.

Municipalities range in population from Tallinn with 427,500 inhabitants to Ruhnu with 68.[1] As over two-thirds of the municipalities have a population of under 3,000, many of them have found it advantageous to co-operate in providing services and carrying out administrative functions.

Currently, after the administrative reform was completed in October 2017, there are total of 79 municipalities, 14 of which are urban and 65 rural. By county, these are:

Harju County[edit]

16 municipalities (4 urban, 12 rural)

Municipalities of Harju County

Urban municipalities:

Rural municipalities:

Hiiu County[edit]

1 rural municipality

Hiiumaa Parish, the only municipality of Hiiu County

Rural municipality:

Ida-Viru County[edit]

8 municipalities (3 urban, 5 rural)

Municipalities of Ida-Viru County

Urban municipalities:

Rural municipalities:

Järva County[edit]

3 municipalities (1 urban, 2 rural)

Municipalities of Järva County

Urban municipalities:

Rural municipalities:

Jõgeva County[edit]

3 rural municipalities

Municipalities of Jõgeva County

Rural municipalities:

Lääne County[edit]

3 municipalities (1 urban, 2 rural)

Municipalities of Lääne County

Urban municipality:

Rural municipalities:

Lääne-Viru County[edit]

8 municipalities (1 urban, 7 rural)

Municipalities of Lääne-Viru County

Urban municipalities:

Rural municipalities:

Pärnu County[edit]

7 municipalities (1 urban, 6 rural)

Municipalities of Pärnu County

Urban municipalities:

Rural municipalities:

Põlva County[edit]

3 rural municipalities

Municipalities of Põlva County

Rural municipalities:

Rapla County[edit]

4 rural municipalities

Municipalities of Rapla County

Rural municipalities:

Saare County[edit]

3 rural municipalities

Municipalities of Saare County

Rural municipalities:

Tartu County[edit]

8 municipalities (1 urban, 7 rural)

Municipalities of Tartu County

Urban municipalities:

Rural municipalities:

Valga County[edit]

3 urban municipalities

Municipalities of Valga County

Rural municipalities:

Viljandi County[edit]

4 municipalities (1 urban, 3 rural)

Municipalities of Viljandi County

Urban municipality:

Rural municipalities:

Võru County[edit]

5 municipalities (1 urban, 4 rural)

Municipalities of Võru County

Urban municipality:

Rural municipalities:

Structure of local authorities[edit]

In each municipality there is a local government as well as a council.

The council (volikogu) is a representative body elected by the residents of a municipality for a term of three years. The members of the council elect a chairman (volikogu esimees), who organises the council’s work and represents the municipality.

The government (valitsus) is an executive body formed by the council. It is headed by a mayor (linnapea in towns, vallavanem in parishes), who is appointed for a four-year term. The mayor cannot be the chairman of the council. Other members of the government are chosen by the mayor with the approval of the council.

Former municipalities[edit]

The list of municipalities that have merged or lost existence between 1995 and 2017.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]