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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.

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 municipalité and municipalis. The word municipality derives from the (derived from a word 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, to a small village, such as West Hampton Dunes, New York.

The territory over which a municipality has jurisdiction may encompass

  • only one such as a , town, or village
  • several of such places (e.g., early jurisdictions in the U.S. state of (1798–1899) as townships governing several villages, Municipalities of Mexico, Municipalities of Colombia)
  • only parts of such places, sometimes boroughs of a city such as the 34 municipalities of , Chile.


Political powers
Powers of municipalities range from virtual autonomy to complete subordination to the state. Municipalities may have the right to tax individuals and corporations with , , 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 through municipally-owned .


Terms in various countries
as well as its composite five boroughs are all municipalities.

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Municipality
Terms cognate with "municipality", mostly referring to territory or political structure, are Spanish (Spain) and (Chile), and Catalan .


Communes
In many countries, terms cognate with "commune" are used, referring to the community living in the area and the common interest. These include terms:

  • in Romance languages, such as French (France, French-speaking areas of Belgium and Switzerland, French-speaking countries of Africa, e.g. Benin), Italian , Romanian , and Spanish (Chile);
  • in Germanic languages such as German (in political parlance), Swedish , Faroese , Norwegian, Danish kommune]];
  • the more remote cognates in Dutch, in Luxembourgish and Gemeinde in German (the official term);
  • Finnish kunta.
  • Ukrainian .
  • and Polish .
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 (demos) is used, also meaning 'community'; the word is known in English from the compound democracy (rule of the people).

In some countries, the Spanish term , referring to a municipality's administration building, is extended via to denote the municipality itself. In Moldova and Romania, both municipalities ( municipiu; urban administrative units) and communes ( comună; rural units) exist, and a commune may be part of a municipality.

In many countries, comparable entities may exist with various names.


English-speaking
  • In , 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."
  • In , municipalities are local governments established through provincial and territorial legislation, usually within general municipal statutes. Types of municipalities within Canada include , district municipalities, municipal districts, municipalities, parishes, rural municipalities, , , , and among others. The Province of has different tiers of municipalities, including lower, upper, and single tiers. Types of upper tier municipalities in Ontario include counties and regional municipalities. also has regional municipalities, which include cities, counties, districts, or towns as municipal units.
  • In , a Municipality or Nagar Palika is an urban local body that administers a city of population 100,000 or more. However, there are exceptions to that, as previously Municipality were constituted in urban centers with population over 20,000, so all the urban bodies which were previously classified as Municipality were reclassified as Municipality even if their population was under 100,000. Under the system, it interacts directly with the state government, though it is administratively part of the district it is located in. Generally, smaller district cities and bigger towns have a Municipality. Municipality are also a form of local self-government entrusted with some duties and responsibilities, as enshrined in the Constitutional (74th Amendment) Act,1992.
  • In the United Kingdom, the term was used until the 1972 Local Government Act came into effect in 1974 in and , and until 1975 in and 1976 in , "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". 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 , 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 Trinidad and Tobago, "municipality" is usually understood as a city, town, or other local government unit, formed by municipal charter from the state as a municipal corporation. A town may be awarded borough status and later on, may be upgraded to city status. , San Fernando, Port of Spain, and are the 5 current municipalities in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • In the , "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. 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 (see also: Local government in the United States#Municipal governments).


Chinese-speaking
  • In the , a direct-administered municipality (直辖市 in : zhíxiáshì) is a municipality with equal status to a province: , , , and (see also: Direct-administered municipalities of China).
  • In the , a special municipality (直轄市 in : zhíxiáshì) is a municipality with equal status to a province: , New Taipei, , , , and Taoyuan (see also: Special municipality (Taiwan)).


Municipalities by country
a province ( provincia) which is part of a region ( regione).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 ( comunità montane)The law provides for the possibility of overlapping of the office of President of the mountain community with that of mayor of one of the municipalities of the community: List of municipalities of Italy
bayan, or a province ( lalawigan or probinsya, except for )1,488A municipality is the official name for a and is divided into . Municipalities with a larger population and income may become a city through a city charter.Municipalities of the Philippines
, , Vila Nova de Gaia18 districts and 2 autonomous regions ( and )308Usually a municipality is named after its largest or historically most important town or city. Municipalities are typically much larger than the city or town after which they are named.List of municipalities of Portugal
Arecibonone78municipality consists of an urban area (termed a city or town) plus all of its surrounding 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. 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. Autonomous Municipalities Law. (in Spanish) Retrieved 24 October 2011.Municipalities of Puerto Rico
kommunStockholm Municipality Gothenburg Municipality Malmö Municipality County Councils of Sweden (Swedish: landsting) 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 ( stad), a köping or a rural municipality ( landskommun); present municipalities which used to be towns are still commonly called towns. Sweden is also divided in 2 523 districts (Swedish: distrikt) since 1 January 2016. SFS 2015:493 , Svensk författningssamling: Förordning om distrikt.Municipalities of Sweden
  • In Portuguese language usage, there are two words to distinguish the territory and the administrative organ. When referring to the territory, the word is used, when referring to the organ of State, the word município is used. This differentiation is in use in Portugal and some of its former overseas provinces, but it's no longer in use in Brazil.


See also
  • Council of European Municipalities and Regions
  • Council–manager government
  • Creature of statute
  • Lists of municipalities
  • Mayor–council government
  • Municipal corporation
  • Municipal government


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