The territory of Cape Verde is divided into 22 concelhos (municipalities), and subdivided into 32 freguesias (equivalent to civil parish).
In Portuguese language usage, there are two words to distinguish the territory and the administrative organ. Administratively, right below the government, there are the municípios (municipalities), who administrate the concelhos. Therefore, the concelhos are the first-level administrative subdivision in Cape Verde. Each municipality has an Assembleia Municipal (municipal assembly, the legislative body) and a Câmara Municipal (municipal chamber, the executive body). Every four years elections are held for the Assembleia Municipal, the Câmara Municipal and the President of the Câmara Municipal. Where a municipality consists of several freguesias (civil parishes), a Delegação Municipal (municipal delegation) is established in the parishes that do not contain the municipal seat.
The islands are traditionally divided in two geographic regions (with no administrative meaning):
Island group: Barlavento Islands Sotavento Islands
|Map #||Municipality||Island(s)|| Area|
|1||Tarrafal||Santiago||120.8||18,565||16,620||Santo Amaro Abade|
|2||São Miguel||Santiago||77.4||15,648||12,906||São Miguel Arcanjo|
|3||São Salvador do Mundo||Santiago||26.5||8,677||7,452||São Salvador do Mundo|
|4||Santa Cruz||Santiago||112.2||26,609||25,004||Santiago Maior|
|5||São Domingos||Santiago||147.5||13,808||13,958|| Nossa Senhora da Luz |
São Nicolau Tolentino
|6||Praia||Santiago||102.6||131,602||142,009||Nossa Senhora da Graça|
|7||Ribeira Grande de Santiago||Santiago||137.3||8,325||7,632|| Santíssimo Nome de Jesus |
São João Baptista
|8||São Lourenço dos Órgãos||Santiago||36.9||7,388||6,317||São Lourenço dos Órgãos|
|9||Santa Catarina||Santiago||242.6||43,297||37,472||Santa Catarina|
|10||Brava||Brava||62.5||5,995||5,594|| São João Baptista |
Nossa Senhora do Monte
|11||São Filipe||Fogo||228.8||22,248||20,732|| São Lourenço |
Nossa Senhora da Conceição
|12||Santa Catarina do Fogo||Fogo||153.0||5,299||4,725||Santa Catarina do Fogo|
|13||Mosteiros||Fogo||89.5||9,524||8,062||Nossa Senhora da Ajuda|
|14||Maio||Maio||274.5||6,952||6,298||Nossa Senhora da Luz|
|15||Boa Vista||Boa Vista||631.1||9,162||12,613|| Santa Isabel |
São João Baptista
|16||Sal||Sal||219.8||25,765||33,347||Nossa Senhora das Dores|
|17||Ribeira Brava||São Nicolau||224.8||7,580||6,978|| Nossa Senhora da Lapa |
Nossa Senhora do Rosário
|18||Tarrafal de São Nicolau||São Nicolau||119.8||5,237||5,261||São Francisco|
|19||São Vicente||São Vicente||226.7||76,107||74,016||Nossa Senhora da Luz|
|20||Porto Novo||Santo Antão||564.3||18,028||15,914|| São João Baptista |
|21||Ribeira Grande||Santo Antão||166.5||18,890||15,022|| Nossa Senhora do Rosário |
Nossa Senhora do Livramento
São Pedro Apóstolo
|22||Paul||Santo Antão||54.3||6,997||5,696||Santo António das Pombas|
The uninhabited island of Santa Luzia and all uninhabited islets, including Raso and Branco, are not part of any municipality, but are in the public domain of the state of Cape Verde.
The municipality is the second-level administrative subdivision of Portugal, as defined by the 1976 Constitution.
Maio is the easternmost of the Sotavento islands of Cape Verde. Maio is located south of the island of Boa Vista and east of Santiago. Administratively, the island forms one concelho (municipality): Maio.
Administratively, Portugal is de jure unitary and decentralized state. Nonetheless, operationally, it is a highly centralized system with administrative divisions organized into three tiers. The State is organized under the principles of subsidiarity, local government autonomy, and democratic decentralization of the public service.
Freguesia, usually translated as "parish" or "civil parish", is the third-level administrative subdivision of Portugal, as defined by the 1976 Constitution. It is also the designation for local government jurisdictions in the former Portuguese overseas territories of Cape Verde and Macau. In the past, was also an administrative division of the other Portuguese overseas territories. The parroquia in the Spanish autonomous communities of Galicia and Asturias is similar to a freguesia.
Concelho, is the Portuguese-language term for municipality, referring to the territorial subdivision in local government. In comparison, the word município refers to the organs of State. This differentiation is still in use in Portugal and some of its former overseas provinces, but is no longer in use in Brazil following the abolition of these organs, in favour of the French prefecture system. It is similar to borough and council.
A câmara municipal is a type of municipal governing body, existing in several countries of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.
The Barlavento Islands is the northern group of the Cape Verde archipelago. It presents as two sub-groups:
Santa Luzia is an island of the Barlavento archipelago in Cape Verde located between São Nicolau and São Vicente, the channel of Santa Luzia separates the island of São Vicente and is 8 km wide. The area is 34.2 km². Like all Cape Verdean islands, it is of volcanic origin. The highest point is Topona. Santa Luzia is 12.4 km long and 5.3 km wide.
Ilhéu Raso is an uninhabited 5.76 square kilometres volcanic island in the Barlavento archipelago of Cape Verde. It is flanked by the smaller Branco islet to the west and by São Nicolau island on its eastern side, distance is 15 kilometres from the island of São Nicolau. Together with Santa Luzia and Ilhéu Branco, Ilhéu Raso is on the tentative list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Since 1990, the islet is part of the protected area Reserva Natural Integral de Santa Luzia.
Ilhéu Branco is an uninhabited 278-hectare (690-acre) islet in the Barlavento group of the Cape Verde archipelago off the coast of north-west Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. Ilhéu Branco is flanked by the islands of Santa Luzia to the north-west and Ilhéu Raso to the south-east. Since 1990, the islet is part of the protected area Reserva Natural Integral de Santa Luzia. Together with Santa Luzia and Ilhéu Raso, Ilhéu Branco is on the tentative list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
São Filipe is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. Situated in the western part of the island of Fogo, it covers 49% of the island area (228.84 km2), and is home to 60% of its population. Its seat is the city São Filipe. Agriculture is the main employment of the municipality, followed by tourism.
The Cape Verde Islands dry forests is a tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests ecoregion in the Cape Verde Islands, which constitute the country of Cabo Verde. The islands lie off the western coast of Africa.
Tarrafal is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. It is situated in the northern part of the island of Santiago. Its seat is the town Tarrafal. Its population was 18,565 at the 2010 census, and its area is 120.8 km2.
São Miguel is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. It is situated in the northeastern part of the island of Santiago. Its seat is the city Calheta de São Miguel. Its population was 15,648 at the 2010 census, and its area is 77.4 km2. The municipality was created in 1996, when a parish of the older Municipality of Tarrafal was separated to become the Municipality of São Miguel.
Santa Catarina is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. It is situated in the western part of the island of Santiago. Its seat is the city of Assomada. Its population was 45,920 in 2017 (estimate). Its area is 242.6 km2 (93.7 sq mi).
Santa Cruz is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. It is situated in the eastern part of the island of Santiago. Its seat is the city Pedra Badejo. Its population was 26,617 at the 2010 census, and its area is 112.2 km2.
Ribeira Grande de Santiago is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. It is situated in the southwestern part of the island of Santiago. Its seat is the city Cidade Velha. Its population was 8,325 at the 2010 census, and its area is 137.3 km2.
Fafe is a municipality in the northern Portuguese district of Braga. The population in 2011 was 50,633, in an area of approximately (219.08 square kilometres. The city itself had a population of 14,144 in 2001. The present mayor is Raul Cunha, elected by the Socialist Party. The municipal holiday is May 16.
Praia is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. It is situated in the southern part of the island of Santiago. Its seat is the city Praia, the capital of Cape Verde. Its area is 120.6 km2 (46.6 sq mi), and its population was 131,719 at the 2010 census. The municipality consists of one freguesia, Nossa Senhora da Graça. The city hall is located in the Platô part of the city.