Provinces of Spain

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Provinces of Spain
Blank Spain Map (Provinces).svg
Category Province
Location Spain
Found in Autonomous community
Created by Royal Decree (30/11/1833)
Created 1833
Number 50
Populations 95,258–6,458,684
Areas 1,980–21,766 km²
Government Provincial council
Subdivisions Municipality

Spain and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces (Spanish: provincias, IPA: [pɾoˈβinθjas]; sing. provincia).[note 1] Spain's provencal system was recognized in its 1978 constitution but its origin dates back to 1833. Ceuta, Melilla and the Plazas de soberanía are not part of any provinces.

Provincial organization[edit]

The layout of Spain's provinces closely follows the pattern of the territorial division of the country carried out in 1833. The only major change of provincial borders since that time has been the subdivision of the Canary Islands into two provinces rather than one.

Historically, the provinces served mainly as transmission belts for policies enacted in Madrid, as Spain was a highly centralised state for most of its modern history. The importance of the provinces has declined since the adoption of the system of autonomous communities in the period of the Spanish transition to democracy. They nevertheless remain electoral districts for national elections and as geographical references: for instance in postal addresses and telephone codes.

A small town would normally be identified as being in, say, Valladolid province rather than the autonomous community of Castile and León. The provinces were the "building-blocks" from which the autonomous communities were created. Consequently, no province is divided between more than one of these communities.

Most of the provinces—with the exception of Álava, Asturias, Biscay, Cantabria, Guipúzcoa, Balearic Islands, La Rioja, and Navarra — are named after their principal town. Only two capitals of autonomous communities — Mérida in Extremadura and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia — are not also the capitals of provinces.

Seven of the autonomous communities comprise no more than one province each: Asturias, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, and Navarra. These are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities.

A map of Spain's provinces.

The table below lists the provinces of Spain. For each, the capital city is given, together with an indication of the autonomous community to which it belongs and a link to a list of municipalities in the province. The names of the provinces and their capitals are ordered alphabetically according to the form in which they appear in the main Wikipedia articles describing them. Unless otherwise indicated, their Spanish-language (Castilian) names are the same; locally valid names in Spain's other co-official languages (Asturian, Basque, Catalan, Galician) are also indicated where they differ.

Provinces[edit]

Province name Capital Autonomous community Lists of municipalities
A Coruña A Coruña (Galician); La Coruña (Spanish); Corunna (English, archaic) A Coruña (Galician); La Coruña (Spanish); Corunna (English, archaic) Galicia Galicia Municipalities
Álava Álava; Araba (Basque) Vitoria-Gasteiz; Gasteiz (Basque); Vitoria (Spanish) Basque Country Basque Country Municipalities
Albacete Albacete Albacete Castilla-La Mancha Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Alicante Alicante; Alacant (Catalan) Alicante; Alacant (Catalan) Valencian Community Valencian Community Municipalities
Almería Almería Almería Andalusia Andalusia Municipalities
Asturias Asturias; Asturies (Asturian) Oviedo; Uviéu (Asturian) Asturias Asturias Municipalities
Ávila Ávila Ávila Castilla y León Castile and León Municipalities
Badajoz Badajoz Badajoz Extremadura Extremadura Municipalities
Balearic Islands Balearic Islands; Illes Balears (Catalan); Islas Baleares (Spanish) Palma Balearic Islands Balearic Islands Municipalities
Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia Municipalities
Biscay Biscay; Bizkaia (Basque); Vizcaya (Spanish) Bilbao; Bilbo (Basque) Basque Country Basque Country Municipalities
Burgos Burgos Burgos Castilla y León Castile and León Municipalities
Cáceres Cáceres Cáceres Extremadura Extremadura Municipalities
Cádiz Cádiz Cádiz Andalusia Andalusia Municipalities
Cantabria Cantabria Santander Cantabria Cantabria Municipalities
Valencian Community Castellón; Castelló (Catalan) Castellón de la Plana; Castelló de la Plana (Catalan) Valencian Community Valencian Community Municipalities
Ciudad Real Ciudad Real Ciudad Real Castilla-La Mancha Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Córdoba Córdoba Córdoba; Cordova (English, archaic) Andalusia Andalusia Municipalities
Cuenca Cuenca Cuenca Castilla-La Mancha Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Guipúzcoa Gipuzkoa (Basque); Guipúzcoa (Spanish) San Sebastián (Spanish); Donostia (Basque) Basque Country Basque Country Municipalities
Girona Girona (Catalan); Gerona (Spanish) Girona (Catalan); Gerona (Spanish) Catalonia Catalonia Municipalities
Granada Granada Granada Andalusia Andalusia Municipalities
Guadalajara Guadalajara Guadalajara Castilla-La Mancha Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Huelva Huelva Huelva Andalusia Andalusia Municipalities
Huesca Huesca Huesca (Spanish); Uesca (Aragonese) Aragon Aragon Municipalities
Jaén Jaén Jaén Andalusia Andalusia Municipalities
La Rioja La Rioja Logroño La Rioja La Rioja Municipalities
Las Palmas Las Palmas Las Palmas Canary Islands Canary Islands Municipalities
León León León Castilla y León Castile and León Municipalities
Lleida Lleida (Catalan); Lérida (Spanish) Lleida (Catalan); Lérida (Spanish) Catalonia Catalonia Municipalities
Lugo Lugo Lugo Galicia Galicia Municipalities
Community of Madrid Madrid Madrid Community of Madrid Community of Madrid Municipalities
Málaga Málaga Málaga Andalusia Andalusia Municipalities
Region of Murcia Murcia Murcia Region of Murcia Region of Murcia Municipalities
Navarre Navarre; Nafarroa (Basque); Navarra (Spanish) Pamplona; Iruña (Basque) Navarre Navarre Municipalities
Ourense Ourense (Galician); Orense (Spanish) Ourense (Galician); Orense (Spanish) Galicia Galicia Municipalities
Palencia Palencia Palencia Castilla y León Castile and León Municipalities
Pontevedra Pontevedra Pontevedra Galicia Galicia Municipalities
Salamanca Salamanca Salamanca Castilla y León Castile and León Municipalities
Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife Canary Islands Canary Islands Municipalities
Segovia Segovia Segovia Castilla y León Castile and León Municipalities
Seville Seville; Sevilla (Spanish) Seville; Sevilla (Spanish) Andalusia Andalusia Municipalities
Soria Soria Soria Castilla y León Castile and León Municipalities
Tarragona Tarragona Tarragona Catalonia Catalonia Municipalities
Teruel Teruel Teruel Aragon Aragon Municipalities
Toledo Toledo Toledo Castilla-La Mancha Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Valencian Community Valencia; València (Catalan) Valencia; València (Catalan) Valencia Community Valencian Community Municipalities
Valladolid Valladolid Valladolid Castilla y León Castile and León Municipalities
Zamora Zamora Zamora Castilla y León Castile and León Municipalities
Zaragoza Zaragoza; Saragossa (English) Zaragoza; Saragossa (English) Aragon Aragon Municipalities

See also[edit]

General:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In other languages of Spain:

External links[edit]