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Divisions of Countries

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While most people are familiar with the fifty states of the United States and the ten provinces and three territories of Canada, most other countries are also divided into administrative districts. Let's look at some of those divisions.

  • Brazil
    Brazil, with a long-form name of the Federative Republic of Brazil, is simply divided into twenty-six states and the federal district of Brasilia.

  • China
    China is composed of twenty-two provinces, five autonomous regions (including Xizang or Tibet), three independent municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Tianjin), and the new Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.

  • Ethiopia
    Ethiopia is divided into nine ethnically-based administrative regions and the federal capital, Addis Ababa.

  • France
    France's famous 96 departments (101 if you include the overseas French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, and St. Pierre and Miquelon) are combined to form twenty-two regions.

  • Germany
    Germany is simply divided into sixteen states.

  • India
    India is home to twenty-five states and seven union territories.

  • Indonesia
    13,500-island Indonesia has twenty-four provinces, two special regions, and a special capital city district (Jakarta Raya).

  • Italy
    Italy is simply divided into twenty regions.

  • Japan
    Island nation Japan has forty-seven prefectures.

  • Mexico
    Mexico (its long-form name is the United Mexican States) is composed of thirty-one states and the federal district of the capital, Mexico City.

  • Russia
    Russia (the Russian Federation) is slightly complicated. It's composed of forty-nine oblasts, twenty-one autonomous republics, ten autonomous okrugs, six krays, two federal cities (Moscow and St. Petersburg), and one autonomous oblast (Yevreyskaya).

  • South Africa
    Prior to 1994, South Africa was divided into four provinces and four "homelands." Today South Africa is divided into nine provinces (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, Northern Province, and Western Cape.)

  • Spain
    Spain is composed of seventeen autonomous communities. Nine of these autonomous communities are further divided into two to nine provinces each.

  • United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom requires a bit of explanation. The United Kingdom is the appropriate name for the country that includes Great Britain (the island composed of England, Scotland, and Wales) and Northern Ireland. Each region of the UK has a different internal structure. England is composed of thirty-nine counties and seven metropolitan counties (including Greater London). Northern Ireland is composed of twenty-six districts and Wales has eight counties. Finally, Scotland includes nine regions and three islands areas.

  • Vietnam
    Vietnam is composed of fifty provinces and three municipalities (Ha Noi, Hai Phong, and Ho Chi Minh).

For More Information
Visit the CIA World Factbook for the names of every country's administrative divisions.

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