Municipality

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The Ponce City Hall, in the city of Ponce, is the seat of the government for both the city and the surrounding barrios making up the municipality.

A municipality is usually an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government or jurisdiction. The term municipality is also used to mean the governing, ruling body of a municipality.[1] A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district. The term is derived from French "municipalité" and Latin "municipalis".[2]

The English word "Municipality" derives from the Latin social contract "municipium", meaning duty holders, referring to the Latin communities that supplied Rome with troops in exchange for their own incorporation into the Roman state (granting Roman citizenship to the inhabitants) while permitting the communities to retain their own local governments (a limited autonomy).

A municipality can be any political jurisdiction from a sovereign state, such as the Principality of Monaco, or a small village, such as West Hampton Dunes, New York.

The territory over which a municipality has jurisdiction may encompass

Political powers[edit]

The power of municipalities range from virtual autonomy to complete subordination to the state. Municipalities may have the right to tax individuals and corporations with income tax, property tax, and corporate income tax, but may also receive substantial funding from the state.

In various countries[edit]

In various countries, municipalities are sometimes referred to as "communes", from Latin, notably in Romance languages such as French commune (Benin, France), Italian comune, Romanian comună, and Spanish comuna (Chile), and in Germanic languages such as German Kommune, Swedish kommun, and Norwegian/Danish kommune. Other terms include Spanish ayuntamiento, and municipalidad (cognate to "municipality") and Polish gmina.

English-speaking[edit]

  • In Australia, the term local government area (LGA) is used in place of the generic municipality. Here, the "LGA Structure covers only incorporated areas of Australia. Incorporated areas are legally designated parts of states and territories over which incorporated local governing bodies have responsibility."[4]
  • In the United Kingdom, the term was used until 1974 in England and Wales, and until 1975 in Scotland and 1976 in Northern Ireland, "both for a city or town which is organized for self-government under a municipal corporation, and also for the governing body itself. Such a corporation in Great Britain consists of a head as a mayor or provost, and of superior members, as aldermen and councillors".[9] Since local government reorganisation, the unit in England, Northern Ireland and Wales is known as a district, and in Scotland as a council area. A district may be awarded borough or city status, or can retain its district title.
  • In Jersey, a municipality refers to the honorary officials elected to run each of the 12 parishes into which it is subdivided. This is the highest level of regional government in this jurisdiction.
  • In the United States, "municipality" is usually understood as a city, town, village, or other local government unit, formed by municipal charter from the state as a municipal corporation.[10] In a state law context, some U.S. state codes define "municipality" more widely, from the state itself to any political subdivisions given jurisdiction over an area that may include multiple populated places and unpopulated places.[11][12] (See also Political divisions of the United States.)

Chinese-speaking[edit]

Municipalities by country[edit]

Country Term Example Subdivision of Quantity Notes Further reading
Albania bashki (urban) or komunë (rural) Municipalities of Albania
Algeria baladiyah daïra (district), which is part of a wilaya (province) 1,541 Municipalities of Algeria
Andorra parròquia Sant Julià de Lòria Municipalities of Albania
Argentina municipalidad Puerto Madryn a province Provinces of Argentina (Partidos in Buenos Aires Province and Departamentos in the other provinces) 135 Partidos (Buenos Aires Province) Smallest administrative division; either a city, town, or township Municipalities of Argentina
Austria Gemeinde district (Bezirk), which is in turn part of a state (Bundesland). Municipalities of Austria
Bangladesh Pouroshabha / Pouroshava Upazila or subdistrict, which is in turn part of a district 311 Municipalities of Bangladesh
Belgium gemeente/commune a province (provincie/province) or of the Brussels-Capital Region 589 Municipalities in Belgium
Bolivia municipio Arani Municipality province, which is part of a departamento. 327 (2005) Municipalities of Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina općina or opština in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina : of a canton (kanton). In Republika Srpska, municipality is first order of government after entity government. Municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil município São Paulo (most populous), Borá (least populous) states (estados) 5,564 Smallest administrative subdivision. Not used in the Federal District or the Fernando de Noronha and St. Peter and St. Paul archipelagos, but encompasses all other territories nationwide Municipalities of Brazil
Bulgaria Bulgarian: община, obshtina Aksakovo Municipality an oblast 264 Municipalities of Bulgaria
Kingdom of Cambodia (ស឵ល឵ក្រុង) refers to city hall
Chile municipalidad provinces Specifically the administrative body, while subdivisions are comunas; most municipalities administer one comuna each, but occasional municipalities administer more
Colombia municipio a department (departamento) 1119 It is also subdivided into Corregimientos and Veredas. Municipalities of Colombia
Costa Rica Municipalidad Province (Provinces of Costa Rica) Cantones of Costa Rica
Croatia općina county (županija) Municipalities of Croatia
Czech Republic obec Karlovy Vary a kraj (kraj) 6250
Denmark kommune Aabenraa Municipality a region 98 Counties (amter) were abandoned in 2007 Municipalities of Denmark
Dominican Republic municipio province Municipalities of the Dominican Republic
El Salvador municipio Ahuachapán, Ahuachapán departamentos 262 Municipalities of El Salvador
Estonia omavalitsus Are vald (Are Parish) county (maakond) 215 Can be either towns (linn) or parishes (vald) Municipalities of Estonia
Finland kunta/kommun 317 Can choose whether to call itself a "city" (kaupunki). Municipalities of Finland
France commune department (département) which is part of a region (région) 36,600
Germany Gemeinde district (Kreis). Larger entities of the same level are called towns (Stadt), which can be part of a Kreis (kreisangehörig) or constituting a district on its own (kreisfrei). In less populated regions, municipalities are often put together into collective municipalities (Verbandsgemeinde, Samtgemeinde or Amt) 12013 Municipalities of Germany
Georgia munits'ipaliteti self-governing towns/cities (k'alak'i) and communities (t'emi) Municipalities of Georgia
Greece demos (δήμος, pl. δήμοι) or koinoteta (κοινότητα, pl. κοινότητες) Demoi and koinotetes are both considered municipalities; the latter are less populous Municipalities and communities of Greece
Greenland kommunea Kujalleq First-level administrative division Municipalities of Greenland
Haiti commune an arrondissement, which is part of a department (département).
Honduras municipio was in 1895 originally the subdivision of the district (distrito), but as districts have fallen into disuse, it is now the subdivision of the department (departamento). 298 Municipalities of Honduras
Hungary település a county (megye). 3,168 (in 2005)
Iceland sveitarfélag Reykjavík Regions 74 The country's only self-governing local administrative units Municipalities of Iceland
India nagar palika Excludes both villages and large cities; typically has more than twenty thousand residents, but cannot exceed five hundred thousand Municipalities of India
Israel Includes city councils (large municipalities), local councils (small municipalities), and regional councils (a group of communities; often rural)
Italy comune a province (provincia) which is part of a region (regione). 8058 Solely used for subdivisions of larger comuni, especially in Rome; municipio indicates the city hall List of comuni of Italy
Japan Below the prefecture; includes shi (cities), cho (towns), and son (villages) Municipalities of Japan
Kenya a municipality is one of four types of local authorities. Nearly 50 major towns are given the municipality status.
Latvia sing.:novads, plur.:novadi) Aglona novads (Aglona Municipality) A municipality normally consists of amalgamated parishes (sing.:pagasts, plur.:pagasti). Municipalities of Latvia
Lebanon a district (Arabic: Qadaa‎) which is part of a Governorate (Region or Province, Arabic: Mouhafazah).
Libya the municipality level is that of the Basic People's Congress. Large cities are subdivided. Municipalities of Libya
Lithuania savivaldybė Kalvarijos savivaldybė (Kalvarija Municipality) a district (apskritis) and is subdivided into elderates (seniūnija). Municipalities of Lithuania
Luxembourg communes (in French) Gemeng, plur. Gemengen (in luxembourgish) are the lowest divisions
Macedonia opština Aračinovo Municipality the country (top-level) or the City of Skopje 84 (2004) current set established in 2004, reduced from 123 created in 1996. Municipalities of the Republic of Macedonia
Malta Kunsill Lokali (Local Council) Valletta Local Council none 68 established 1993, one new council created since then (Mtarfa) Local councils of Malta
Mauritius a municipality: The administration of all the main towns in Mauritius is done by the municipality of the respective towns.Most of the towns are found in the district of Plaines Wilhems. The capital city, Port-Louis is managed by the Municipality of Port-Louis, found in the district of Port Louis. The other seven districts are administered by are called district councils.
Mexico municipio / delegación Asientos Municipality a state (estado) or the DF a borough (delegación) is a subdivision of the Federal District Municipalities of Mexico and boroughs of the Mexican Federal District
Moldova municipiu Municipiul Chișinău is a main city or town and surrounding villages ranked by law at this level. Moldova#Administrative divisions
Montenegro opština Andrijevica Municipality the country (top-level) Municipalities of Montenegro
Nepal Nagarpalika 58 (after the census in 2001) a municipality is a town not large enough in population or infrastructure to qualify as a sub-metropolitan city.
Netherlands gemeente a province (provincie) 403 + 3 special municipalities Municipalities in the Netherlands
New Zealand a municipality is part of either a "city" (mostly urban) or a "district" (mostly rural). The term "municipality" has become rare in New Zealand since about 1979 and has no legal status. (See territorial authorities of New Zealand.)
Nicaragua municipio a department (departamento) or of one of the two Autonomous Regions, North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region and South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region. Municipalities of Nicaragua
Norway kommune Røyken kommune a county (fylke) 430 (2009) Municipalities of Norway
Palestinian National Authority 105 municipalities are localities with populations over 4,000 and have 13-15 council members. Municipality (Palestinian Authority)
Pakistan of a tehsil/taluka or sub-district of a "district". Local government in Pakistan
Paraguay municipalidad a departament (departamento)
Peru municipio a province (provincia), which is part of a department (departamento). As of 2002 a department is now called a region (región). is another term for district (distrito) and is the lower-level administrative subdivision.
Philippines bayan or munisipyo a province is a town with a popularly elected administration including a mayor and is part of a province (lalawigan or probinsya) (except for the independent municipality of Pateros, Metro Manila in the National Capital Region). Municipalities are not the smallest division of local government and are composed of barangays.
Poland gmina Gmina Annopol county (powiat).
Portugal concelho or município Concelho is a directly elected local area authority generally consisting of a main city or town and surrounding villages, with wide-ranging local administration powers. Apart from the municipality of Corvo, however, municípios are not the smallest administrative unit in Portugal, that being the freguesia (civil parish). For central government purposes, Portuguese municipalities are grouped into districts (distritos). In Portugal, a municipality (município/concelho) is the primary local administrative unit. Although part of a district (distrito) for certain national administrative purposes, the municipality is not subordinate to the district and decentralization is doing away with the districts. A municipality contains one or more freguesias. Municipalities of Portugal
Puerto Rico municipio municipality consists of an urban area (termed a city or town) plus all of its surrounding barrios comprising the municipality. It has a popularly elected administration and a municipal mayor. The seat of the municipal government is located in such urban area and serves the entire municipal jurisdiction.[13][14] Municipalities of Puerto Rico
Romania comună / oraș / municipiu A commune (comună) is the rural subdivision of a judeţ. Urban areas, such as towns and cities within a county, are given the status of city (oraș) or municipality (municipiu). Communes of Romania
Russia several types of municipalities ("municipal formations") exist; see subdivisions of Russia
San Marino there are also eight minor municipalities, castelli.
Serbia opština a district (okrug)
Slovakia obec district (okres) 2,891
Slovenia občina region (regija) 212 a municipality (občina) is the primary local administrative unit. There are 212 of them, 11 of which have a special "Urban" status with additional autonomy. Municipalities of Slovenia
South Africa district municipalities and metropolitan municipalities are subdivisions of the provinces, and local municipalities are subdivisions of district municipalities.
Spain municipio / municipi / concello / udalerria a municipality (municipio) is the primary local administrative unit. It is a part of a province (provincia) for all national administrative purposes. In the Galicia region, the municipalities are called, in Galician language, concellos, and in the Principality of Asturias region, a municipality is called a concejo (in Spanish language) or a conceyu (in Asturian language). In these two regions a municipality contains one or more parroquias (parishes). Municipalities of Spain
Sweden kommun Ale Municipality 290 is self-governing according to the Swedish constitution and constitutes local government. Before 1971, a municipality could be called a town (stad), a köping or a rural municipality (landskommun); present municipalities which used to be towns are still commonly called towns. Sweden is also divided into 21 counties (län), each containing one or more of the municipalities. Municipalities of Sweden
Switzerland commune/Gemeinde/comune a canton (canton/Kanton/cantone) and defined by cantonal law. Municipalities in Switzerland
Thailand thesaban None 1,602 There are three levels of municipalities, and municipalities are not self-governed except for Bangkok and Pattaya. Municipalities introduced in 1935, Bangkok became self-governed in 1972, and Pattaya became self-governed in 1978. Thesaban
Turkey belediye Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality il(province) 2,920 is a local government authority and there are two types of municipalities: metropolitan (büyükşehir) municipality, district (alt/ilçe) municipality.
Ukraine there are two types of municipalities: urban and rural. Both are referred to after their governing body as council (i.e. miskrada, selyshchna rada or silrada). They are considered the lowest administrative division in the country and better known as the local government. Urban municipalities are more complex and divided into city municipalities (miskrada) and town municipalities (selyshchna rada). The most complex municipalities are the cities of regional significance which are referred to simply as cities and create a sort of ambiguity.
United Arab Emirates an emirate is defined by the law of the specific emirates.
Uruguay municipio 89 Municipalities of Uruguay
Venezuela municipio Anaco Municipality a state, as well as a subdivision of the Capital District (estado) Municipalities of Venezuela
Vietnam Direct-controlled municipality Ho Chi Minh City (largest) 5 A direct-controlled municipality (Thành phố trực thuộc trung ương) is a city with equal status to a province Municipalities of Vietnam
  • In Portuguese language usage, there are two words to distinguish the territory and the administrative organ. When referring to the territory, the word concelho is used, when referring to the organ of State, the word município is used. This differentiation is still in use in Portugal and some of its former overseas provinces, but it’s no longer in use in Brazil.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Municipality". Merriam-Webster. 
  2. ^ "municipality definition". Yourdictionary.com. 
  3. ^ "Santiago de Chile - Comunas". Mapas de Chile, Castor y Polux Ltda. 
  4. ^ "Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 
  5. ^ "Municipal Government". The Canadian Encyclopedia > Government > Government, General > Municipal Government. Historica Foundation of Canada. 2009. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  6. ^ a b "Interim List of Changes to Municipal Boundaries, Status, and Names – From January 2, 2010 to January 1, 2011" (PDF). Statistics Canada. April 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  7. ^ a b "List of Ontario Municipalities". Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  8. ^ "Municipal Government Act" (PDF). Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly. 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  9. ^ "1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Municipality". Encyclopædia Britannica. 
  10. ^ "Legal Dictionary: Municipal Law". FindLaw. 
  11. ^ "2009 Nevada Code". Justia. 
  12. ^ "Kansas Statues". Lesterama. 
  13. ^ Ayuda: Divulgación de Resultados de la Comisión Estatal de Elecciones - Municipio. Comision Estatal de Elecciones. Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. San Juan, Puerto Rico. 2004. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  14. ^ Autonomous Municipalities Law. (in Spanish) Retrieved 24 October 2011.

External links[edit]