A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.
The term municipality may also mean the governing or ruling body of a given municipality. 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. The English word municipality derives from the Latin social contract municipium, referring to the Latin communities that supplied Rome with troops in exchange for their own incorporation into the Roman state while permitting the communities to retain their own local governments.
A municipality can be any political jurisdiction from a sovereign state, such as the Principality of Monaco, to a small village, such as West Hampton Dunes, New York.
The territory over which a municipality has jurisdiction may encompass
Powers 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 some European countries, such as Germany, municipalities have the constitutional right to supply public services through municipally-owned public utlity companies.

Terms in various countries


Terms cognate with "municipality", mostly referring to territory or political structure, are Spanish municipio and municipalidad, and Catalan .


In a number of countries terms cognate with "commune" are used, referring to the community living in the area and the common interest. These include terms:
The same terms may be used for church congregations or parishes, for example in the German and Dutch protestant churches.

Other terms

In Greece, the word Δήμος is used, also meaning 'community'; the word is known in English from the compound democracy.
In some countries, the Spanish term ayuntamiento, referring to a municipality's administration building, is extended viasynecdoche to denote the municipality itself. In Moldova and Romania, both municipalities and communes exist, and a commune may be part of a municipality.
In many countries, comparable entities may exist with various names.


CountryTermExampleSubdivision ofQuantityNotesFurther reading-------
Afghanistanشاروالی یا شهرداری
Provinces of Afghanistan20434 'provincial' municipalities of provincial capitals and 170 rural or 'district' municipalities,,
Albaniabashki or komunë 61Municipalities of Albania-------
Algeriabaladiyahdaïra, which is part of a wilaya 1,541Municipalities of Algeria-------
AndorraparròquiaSant Julià de Lòria7-------
ArgentinamunicipalidadPuerto MadrynProvinces of Argentina, in some provinces they are a subdivision of departments2,100Smallest administrative division; either a city, town, or townshipMunicipalities of Argentina-------
AustraliaLocal government areaPort Stephens CouncilStates and territories of Australia547Local government in Australia-------
AustriaGemeindea state.1,725The entire area of Austria is divided into municipalities, with no non-municipal gaps. This leads to some municipalities being very large despite having a small population.Municipality BangladeshPouroshobhaUpazila or subdistrict, which is in turn part of a district311Municipalities of Bangladesh
Belgiumgemeente/communeMontigny-le-Tilleula province or of the Brussels-Capital Region581The provinces are themselves subdivisions of the Walloon and Flemish Regions which have the authority over the municipalitiesMunicipalities in Belgium-------
BoliviamunicipioArani Municipalityprovince, which is part of a departamento.327 Municipalities of Bolivia-------
Bosnia and Herzegovinaopćina or opštinain Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina : of a canton. In Republika Srpska, municipality is first order of government after entity government.144Municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina-------
BrazilmunicípioSão Paulo, Borá states 5,570Smallest 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 nationwideMunicipalities of Brazil-------
BruneibandaranBandar Seri Begawan4Independent of subdivisions; nevertheless overlap with mukims and villagesMunicipalities of Brunei-------
Bulgariaобщина, obshtinaAksakovo Municipalityan oblast264Municipalities of Bulgaria-------
Canadamunicipality3,572Municipality system is similar to that in the United States, however rules vary depending on the province.Lists of municipalities in Canada-------
Cambodiaក្រុង Phnom Penh1,446-------
ChilemunicipalidadTorres del Paineprovinces346Specifically the administrative body, while subdivisions are comunas; most municipalities administer one comuna each, but occasional municipalities administer more-------
China直辖市Beijing4Status equal to a provinceMunicipalities of China-------
Colombiamunicipioa department 1,102It is also subdivided into Localities and Neighborhoods in urban municipalities and into Corregimientos and Veredas in rural municipalitiesMunicipalities of Colombia-------
Costa RicaMunicipalidadProvince Cantones of Costa Rica-------
Croatiaopćinacounty 428Municipalities of Croatia-------
Czech RepublicobecKarlovy Varya kraj 6,254-------
DenmarkkommuneAabenraa Municipalitya region98Counties were abandoned in 2007Municipalities of Denmark-------
Dominican RepublicmunicipioprovinceMunicipalities of the Dominican Republic-------
El SalvadormunicipioZacatecolucadepartamentos262Municipalities of El Salvador-------
EstoniaomavalitsusAre vald county 215Can be either towns or parishes Municipalities of Estonia-------
Finlandkunta, kommun Helsinkiregion311Can choose whether to call itself a "city".Municipalities of Finland-------
Francecommunecanton, which is part of an arrondissement, which is part of a department which is part of a region 36,600-------
GermanyGemeindedistrict. Larger entities of the same level are called Stadt, plural Städte, which can be part of a Kreis or constituting a district on its own. In less populated regions, small municipalities are often put together into consolidated superior municipalities 12,013Municipalities of Germany-------
Georgiamunits'ipaliteti76self-governing towns/cities and communities Municipalities of Georgia-------
Greecedemos or koinoteta 325Demoi and koinotetes are both considered municipalities; the latter are less populousMunicipalities and communities of Greece-------
GreenlandkommuneaKujalleq4First-level administrative divisionMunicipalities of Greenland-------
Haiticommunean arrondissement, which is part of a department.-------
Hondurasmunicipiowas in 1895 originally the subdivision of the district, but as districts have fallen into disuse, it is now the subdivision of the department.298Municipalities of Honduras-------
Hungarytelepülésa county.3,168 -------
IcelandsveitarfélagReykjavíkRegions74The country's only self-governing local administrative unitsMunicipalities of Iceland-------
IndiaSainthiaExcludes both villages and large cities; typically has more than twenty thousand residents, but cannot exceed five hundred thousandMunicipalities of India-------
IndonesiaKabupaten or Kotamadya Provinces of IndonesiaList of regencies and cities of Indonesia-------
IraqQadhaaAl-Hamdaniya Districta district which is part of a Governorate.130Second-level, below the governorateMunicipalities of Iraq-------
IsraelIri'ya, Moatsa Includes city councils, local councils, and regional councils -------
Italycomunea province which is part of a region.7,982Solely used for subdivisions of larger comuni, especially in Rome; municipio indicates the city hall; in some case, they are joined in mountain communities List of comuni of Italy-------
1,719Below the prefecture; includes shi, cho, and son Municipalities of Japan-------
Kenyaa municipality is one of four types of local authorities. Nearly 50 major towns are given the municipality status.-------
Latviasingular: novads, plural: novadiAglonas novads 110A municipality normally consists of amalgamated parishes.Municipalities of Latvia-------
Lebanona district which is part of a Governorate.-------
Libyathe municipality level is that of the Basic People's Congress. Large cities are subdivided.Municipalities of Libya-------
LithuaniasavivaldybėKalvarijos savivaldybė a district and is subdivided into elderates.Municipalities of Lithuania-------
Luxembourgcommune ; Gemeng, plur. Gemengen
part of a canton which itself is part of a district105are the lowest divisions-------
MaltaKunsill Lokali Valletta Local Councilnone68established 1993, one new council created since then Local councils of Malta-------
Mauritiusa 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.-------
Mexicomunicipio / delegaciónAsientos Municipalitya state or the DF2,466a borough is a subdivision of the Federal DistrictMunicipalities of Mexico and boroughs of the Mexican Federal District-------
MoldovamunicipiuMunicipiul Chișinău32is a main city or town and surrounding villages ranked by law at this level.Moldova#Administrative divisions-------
MontenegroopštinaAndrijevica Municipalitythe country Municipalities of Montenegro-------
NepalNagarpalika and GaunpalikaPokharaProvinces of Nepal276 Municipalities Nepal has 276 municipalities and 460 rural municipalities or gaunpalikas after federal division of country by Constitution of Nepal 2015. A municipality is a town not large enough in population or infrastructure to qualify as a sub-metropolitan city.List of cities in Nepal-------
Netherlandsgemeentea province 388 + 3 special municipalitiesMunicipalities in the Netherlands-------
New Zealanda municipality is part of either a "city" or a "district". The term "municipality" has become rare in New Zealand since about 1979 and has no legal status. -------
Nicaraguamunicipioa department or of one of the two Autonomous Regions, North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region and South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region.Municipalities of Nicaragua-------
North MacedoniaopštinaAračinovo MunicipalityThe country or the City of Skopje84 Current set established in 2004, reduced from 123 created in 1996.Municipalities of North Macedonia-------
NorwaykommuneRøyken kommunea county 356 Municipalities of Norway-------
Palestinian National Authority105municipalities are localities with populations over 4,000 and have 13-15 council members.Municipality -------
Pakistanof a tehsil/taluka or sub-district of a "district".149Local government in Pakistan-------
Paraguaymunicipalidada departament -------
Perumunicipioa province, which is part of a department. As of 2002 a department is now called a another term for district and is the lower-level administrative subdivision.-------
Philippinesbayan or munisipyo or munisipalidada provinceis a town with a popularly elected administration including a mayor and is part of a province . Municipalities are not the smallest division of local government and are composed of barangays.-------
PolandgminaGmina Annopolcounty.-------
Portugalconcelho or municípioOeirasDistrict308Concelho 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. For central government purposes, Portuguese municipalities are grouped into districts. In Portugal, a municipality is the primary local administrative unit. Although part of a district 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 RicomunicipioArecibonone78municipality consists of an urban area 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.Municipalities of Puerto Rico-------
Romaniamunicipiu / oraș / comunăDevaCounty 103 + 217 + 2856A municipality is a special status given to cities which fulfill certain criteria related to size, influence and development, as defined by Law no. 351/2001. Localities which do not meet the criteria are designated "cities" or "communes".Municipalities of Romania
Cities of Romania
Communes of Romania
Russiaseveral types of municipalities exist; see subdivisions of Russia-------
San Marinothere are also eight minor municipalities, castelli.-------
Serbiaopštinaa district -------
Slovakiaobecdistrict which is part of a kraj 2,891-------
Sloveniaobčinaregion 212a municipality 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 Africadistrict municipalities and metropolitan municipalities are subdivisions of the provinces, and local municipalities are subdivisions of district municipalities.-------
Spainmunicipio / municipi / concello / udalerriaBarcelona, Madrid8,122a municipality is the primary local administrative unit. It is a part of a province 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 or a conceyu. In these two regions a municipality contains one or more parroquias.Municipalities of Spain-------
SwedenkommunStockholm Municipality
Gothenburg Municipality
Malmö Municipality
Ale Municipality
County Councils of Sweden self-governing local authority, covering 21 counties, each comprising one or more of the municipalities.290is self-governing according to the Swedish constitution and constitutes local government. Before 1971, a municipality could be called a town, a köping or a rural municipality ; present municipalities which used to be towns are still commonly called towns. Sweden is also divided in 2 523 districts since 1 January 2016.Municipalities of Sweden-------
Switzerlandcommune/Gemeinde/comunea canton and defined by cantonal law.2,596Municipalities in Switzerland-------
Thailandthesaban-1,602There 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-------
TurkeybelediyeIstanbul Metropolitan Municipalityil2,920is a local government authority and there are two types of municipalities: metropolitan municipality, district municipality.-------
UkraineUkraine still has a Soviet form of city government where executive power belongs to ispolkom of local community council. Functions of ispolkom in Kiev and Sevastopol performs a state administration due to the status of those cities. For other populated places, there are mainly two types of municipalities: urban and rural. Both are referred to after their governing body as council. 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 and town municipalities. 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 Emiratesan emirateis defined by the law of the specific emirates.-------
Uruguaymunicipio89Municipalities of Uruguay-------
VenezuelamunicipioAnaco Municipalitya state, as well as a subdivision of the Capital District Municipalities of Venezuela-------
VietnamDirect-controlled municipality - Thành phố trực thuộc trung ươngHo Chi Minh City 5A direct-controlled municipality is a city with equal status to a provinceMunicipalities of Vietnam-------