Districts are a form of local government in several countries.



In Austria, a district is an administrative subdivision normally encompassing several municipalities, roughly equivalent to the Landkreis in Germany. The administrative office of a district, the Bezirkshauptmannschaft is headed by the Bezirkshauptmann. It is in charge of the administration of all matters of federal and state administrative law and subject to orders from the higher instances, usually the Landeshauptmann (governor) in matters of federal law and the Landesregierung (state government) in state law. While there are matters of administrative law of which the municipalities themselves are in charge or where there are special bodies, the district is the basic unit of general administration in Austria. Officials on the district level are not elected, but appointed by the state government. There are also independent cities in Austria. They are called Statutarstadt in Austrian administrative law. These urban districts do have the same tasks as a normal district.


The State of Vienna, which is at the same time a municipality, is also subdivided in 23 districts, which, however, have a somewhat different function than in the rest of the country. Legally, the Magistratisches Bezirksamt (district office) is a local offices of the municipality's administration. However, representatives (Bezirksrte) on the district level are elected, and they in turn elect the head of the district, the Bezirksvorsteher. Those representative bodies are supposed to serve as immediate contacts for the locals on the political and administrative level. In practice, they have some power, e.g. concerning matters of traffic.

See Districts of Vienna


In Ontario, a district is a statutory subdivision of the province, but, unlike a county, a district is not incorporated. Most districts are comprised of unincorporated lands, mostly Crown land. The first districts (Algoma, Nipissing were created by the Province of Canada in 1858 prior to Confederation for the delivery of judicial and provincial government services to sparsely populated areas from the district seat (e.g. Sault Ste. Marie). Some districts may have District Social Service Administration Boards, which are designed to provide certain social services. The boundaries of a federal census division may correspond to those of a district.

In western and northern Canada, the federal government created districts as subdivisions of the Northwest Territories 1870-1905, partly on the model of the districts created in the Province of Canada. The first district created was the District of Keewatin in 1876 followed by four more districts in 1882. Gradually, these districts became separate territories (such as Yukon Territory, separate provinces (such as Alberta and Saskatchewan) or were absorbed into other provinces.


In the modern sense, a district (市辖区, pinyin: sh xi qū) is a subdivision of a city such as municipalities, sub-provincial cities and prefecture-level cities. A district has county level status in China. see District of China

Modern districts are a recent invention. In the context of ancient China, the English word "district" is a translation to xian, another Chinese administrative division. These are now translated as "county". see County of China


Main article: Districts of England

Districts are the most recognisable form of local government in large parts of England. For those areas which retain two-tier local government, districts usually form the lower tier of that arrangement, with counties forming the upper tier. Districts tend to have responsibility for a number of areas including:

Each district raises taxes from residents on behalf of itself, and the upper tier authority through the Council Tax. It also raises income from business through the Non-Domestic Rates system, which is co-ordinated nationally.


A district ("Landkreis") is a subdivision of a Regierungsbezirk, an administrative region (or, in those states that do not contain administrative regions, of a state). There are also independent cities which are considered as urban districts by law. See also: German districts.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is divided into 18 districts, each with a district council.

See also Districts of Hong Kong


India's districts are local administrative units inherited from the British Raj. Districts are generally grouped into administrative Divisions, which in turn form States. It comprise of villages, towns and cities. A District is headed by a District Collector, who is the local controller of the district level officers of all the departments under state government. The district collector is a person who belongs to IAS (Indian Administrative Services)


A district (gun in Japanese) is a local administrative unit comprising towns and villages but not cities. See districts of Japan for more complete discription. In 1923, its administrative role was abolished although it is still in use for addressing purposes. District is also a translation for chiku defined by Japan's planning law.


In Kenya, a district (Wilaya) is a subdivision of a Province and is headed by a District Officer (DO).


In Malaysia, a district is a division of a state.


A district is the only subdivision of the whole state (Like a state in the USA). See Districts of Nauru to see the nauruan districts.

New Zealand

Main article: Territorial Authorities of New Zealand

A district is a division of a region.


Districts (Portuguese: distritos) are administrative divisions of Portugal. They do not have an elected government; they are governed by a "civil governor" appointed by the central government. See Districts of Portugal.

Serbia and Montenegro

In Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia is divided into 29 districts (okrug) and the city of Belgrade, each of which is further divided into municipalities (opština) while Montenegro is directly divided into 21 municipalities. See Districts of Serbia.


In Switzerland some cantons organise themselves into districts, while others dispense with districts and govern themselves at the Wahlkreise (Constituency or electoral district) level. See Districts of Switzerland.


A district ("amphoe") is a subdivision of a Province ("changwat") in Thailand. Some provinces also contain sub-districts ("king amphoe"), which are smaller than the average district.

Districts are a form of local government in several countries.

United States

Missing image
Satellite photograph of the District of Columbia

There are several types of districts in the United States.

A constituency with a representative in Congress is a congressional district. Each state is organized into one or more such districts; the exact number within each state is based on the most recent census. Only voters within each district are allowed to vote in the election for the member of the House from that district. Overall, there are 435 congressional districts in the United States; each has roughly 630,000 people, with some variance.

A constituency with a representative in a state legislature is a legislative district; the territory over which a federal court has jurisdiction is a federal judicial district.

The District of Columbia is the only part of the United States, excluding territories, that is not a located within any of the fifty states.

Districts in Alaska are the equivalent of a county or parish in the Lower 48 states.

The United states also has many types of Special-purpose districts with limited powers of local government. School districts are the most common, but other types of districts include college districts, hospital districts, utility districts, irrigation districts, and public transit districts.

Many American Cities in the late 20th century adopted names for non-governmental districts as a way of increasing recognition and identity of these distinct areas. In New York City, for example, there is the theatre district, the garment district, and districts with names like SoHo and TriBeCa.

See also

Template:Subnational entityde:Bezirk fr:District nl:district ja:郡 pl:Dystrykt pt:Distrito zh:區


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