- Administrative division of Poland
The administrative division of Poland since 1999 has been based on three levels of subdivision. The territory of
Polandis divided into "voivodeships" (provinces); these are further divided into " powiats" (counties), and these in turn are divided into " gminas" (communes or municipalities). Major cities normally have the status of both gmina and powiat. Poland currently has 16 voivodeships, 379 powiats (including 65 cities with powiat status), and 2,478 gminas. It must be noted that boundaries of the voivodeships often do not reflect historical borders of Polish regions. Around half of the Silesian Voivodeship's territory belongs to the historical province of Lesser Poland, same with the area of Radom, which is part of Lesser Poland, but is located in the Masovian Voivodeship.
Poland is currently divided into 16 provinces known as
voivodeships ( _pl. województwa, singular "województwo"). Administrative authority at voivodeship level is shared between a government-appointed governor, called the voivode(usually a political appointee), an elected assembly called the sejmik, and an executive chosen by that assembly. The leader of that executive is called the "marszałek".
Each voivodeship is divided into a number of smaller entities known as
powiats (counties). The number of powiats per voivodeship ranges from 12 (Opole Voivodeship) to 42 (Masovian Voivodeship). This includes both powiats proper (known as "land counties", Polish "powiaty ziemskie"), and cities with powiat status ("city counties", Polish "powiaty grodzkie" or more formally "miasta na prawach powiatu"). Land counties have an elected council ("rada powiatu"), which elects an executive headed by the " starosta". In city counties the functions of these instutitions are performed by the city's own council and executive.
The third level of administrative division is the
gmina(also called commune or municipality). A powiat is typically divided into a number of gminas (between three and 19), although the city counties constitute single gminas. A gmina may be classed as urban (consisting of a town or city), urban-rural (consisting of a town together with its surrounding villages and countryside), or rural (not containing a town). A gmina has an elected council as well as a directly-elected mayor(known as "prezydent" in large towns, "burmistrz" in most urban and urban-rural gminas, and "wójt" in rural gminas).
Gminas are generally sub-divided into smaller units, called
osiedleor dzielnicain towns, and sołectwoin rural areas. However these units are of lesser importance and are subordinate in status to the gmina.
Polish territory has been subject to significant changes over the course of
Polish history. Therefore the modern Polish administrative division, while on some levels similar to some historical ones, is quite different from others. Historical Polish administrative divisions can be divided into the following periods:
* before 1569:
Administrative division of Kingdom of Poland
Administrative division of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Administrative division of Polish territories after partitions
Administrative division of Duchy of Warsaw
Administrative division of Congress Poland
Administrative division of Polish territories during WWI
Administrative division of Second Polish Republic
Administrative division of Polish territories during WWII
Administrative division of People's Republic of Poland
* since 1999: see main article above
* Administrative division of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland
Electoral districts of Poland
* Military districts of Poland
Territorial changes of Poland
* [http://www.tepis.org.pl/biuletyn/41/sam_anglia.htm Administrative division of Poland and Self Government Bodies - resolution of Marshals' Covenant of the Republic of Poland]
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