Provinces of Spain

Last updated
Provinces of Spain
Blank Spain Map (Provinces).svg
Category Province
Location Spain
Found in Autonomous community
Created byRoyal Decree (30/11/1833)
Created
  • 1833
Number50
Populations95,258–6,458,684
Areas1,980–21,766 km²
Government
Subdivisions

A province in Spain [note 1] is a territorial division defined as a collection of municipalities, [1] [2] [3] although their origin dates back to 1833 with a similar predecessor from 1822 (during the Trienio Liberal) and with roots in the Napoleonic division of Spain into 84 prefectures in 1810. [4] In addition to their political function, provinces are commonly used today as geographical references for example to disambiguate small towns whose names occur frequently throughout Spain. There are many other groupings of municipalities that comprise the local government of Spain.

Contents

The boundaries of provinces can only be altered by the Spanish Parliament, [1] giving rise to the common view that the 17 autonomous communities are subdivided into 50 provinces. In reality the system is not hierarchical but defined according to jurisdiction (Spanish : competences). [5]

The body charged with government and administration of a province is the Provincial council, but their existence is controversial (see Provincial council for a discussion). As the province is defined as a "local entity" in the Constitution, the Provincial council belongs to the sphere of local government.

Provincial organization

The layout of Spain's provinces closely follows the pattern of the territorial division of the country carried out in 1833. The only major change of provincial borders since that time has been the subdivision of the Canary Islands into two provinces rather than one.

Historically, the provinces served mainly as transmission belts for policies enacted in Madrid, as Spain was a highly centralised state for most of its modern history. The importance of the provinces has declined since the adoption of the system of autonomous communities in the period of the Spanish transition to democracy. They nevertheless remain electoral districts for national elections and as geographical references: for instance in postal addresses and telephone codes. National media will also frequently use the province to disambiguate small towns or communities whose names occur frequently throughout Spain.

A small town would normally be identified as being in, say, Valladolid province rather than the autonomous community of Castile and León. The provinces were the "building-blocks" from which the autonomous communities were created. Consequently, no province is divided between more than one of these communities.

Most of the provinces—with the exceptions of Álava, Asturias, Biscay, Cantabria, Gipuzkoa, the Balearic Islands, La Rioja, and Navarre—are named after their principal town. Only two capitals of autonomous communities—Mérida in Extremadura and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia—are not also the capitals of provinces.

Seven of the autonomous communities comprise no more than one province each: Asturias, the Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, and Navarre. These are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities. Ceuta, Melilla, and the plazas de soberanía are not part of any provinces.

A map of Spain's provinces. Names are shown in Spanish. Provinces of Spain.svg
A map of Spain's provinces. Names are shown in Spanish.

The table below lists the provinces of Spain. For each, the capital city is given, together with an indication of the autonomous community to which it belongs and a link to a list of municipalities in the province. The names of the provinces and their capitals are ordered alphabetically according to the form in which they appear in the main Wikipedia articles describing them. Unless otherwise indicated, their Spanish-language names are the same; locally valid names in Spain's other co-official languages (Basque, Catalan, which is officially called Valencian in the Valencian Community, Galician) are also indicated where they differ.

Provinces

Province nameCapitalAutonomous communityLists of municipalities
Coat of Arms of the Province of Corunna.svg A Coruña (Galician); La Coruña(Spanish) A Coruña (Galician); La Coruña (Spanish) Flag of Galicia.svg Galicia Municipalities
Alava.svg Álava (Spanish); Araba(Basque) Vitoria (Spanish); Gasteiz (Basque) Flag of the Basque Country.svg Basque Country Municipalities
Bandera provincia Albacete.svg Albacete Albacete Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Escut de la Provincia d'Alacant.svg Alicante (Spanish); Alacant(Valencian) Alicante ; Alacant (Valencian) Flag of the Land of Valencia (official).svg Valencian Community Municipalities
Flag Almeria Province.svg Almería Almería Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of Asturias.svg Asturias Oviedo Flag of Asturias.svg Asturias Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Avila.svg Ávila Ávila Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Bandera y Escudo de la Provincia de Badajoz, Espana.jpg Badajoz Badajoz Flag of Extremadura with COA.svg Extremadura Municipalities
Flag of the Balearic Islands.svg Balearic Islands (English); Illes Balears(Catalan); Islas Baleares(Spanish) Palma Flag of the Balearic Islands.svg Balearic Islands Municipalities
Flag of Barcelona (province).svg Barcelona Barcelona Flag of Catalonia.svg Catalonia Municipalities
Bizkaikobanderea.svg Biscay (English); Vizcaya(Spanish); Bizkaia(Basque) Bilbao Flag of the Basque Country.svg Basque Country Municipalities
Burgos (provincia).svg Burgos Burgos Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Flag of the province of Caceres.svg Cáceres Cáceres Flag of Extremadura with COA.svg Extremadura Municipalities
Flag Cadiz Province.svg Cádiz Cádiz Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of Cantabria (Official).svg Cantabria Santander Flag of Cantabria.svg Cantabria Municipalities
Escut de la Provincia de Castello.svg Castellón (Spanish); Castelló(Valencian) Castellón de la Plana ; Castelló de la Plana (Valencian) Flag of the Land of Valencia (official).svg Valencian Community Municipalities
Flag Ciudad Real Province.svg Ciudad Real Ciudad Real Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Provincia de Cordoba - Bandera.svg Córdoba Córdoba Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag Cuenca Province.svg Cuenca Cuenca Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Guipuzcoa.svg Guipúzcoa (Spanish); Gipuzkoa(Basque) San Sebastián (Spanish); Donostia (Basque) Flag of the Basque Country.svg Basque Country Municipalities
Flag of Girona province (unofficial).svg Girona (Catalan); Gerona(Spanish) Girona (Catalan); Gerona (Spanish) Flag of Catalonia.svg Catalonia Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Granada (Espana).svg Granada Granada Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag Guadalajara Province.svg Guadalajara Guadalajara Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Bandera de la Provincia De Huelva.svg Huelva Huelva Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of Huesca (province).svg Huesca Huesca (Spanish language) Flag of Aragon.svg Aragon Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Jaen.svg Jaén Jaén Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of La Rioja (with coat of arms).svg La Rioja Logroño Flag of La Rioja (with coat of arms).svg La Rioja Municipalities
Bandera Provincial de Las Palmas.svg Las Palmas Las Palmas Flag of the Canary Islands.svg Canary Islands Municipalities
Bandera de Leon.svg León León Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Lerida.svg Lleida (Catalan); Lérida(Spanish) Lleida (Catalan); Lérida (Spanish) Flag of Catalonia.svg Catalonia Municipalities
Flag of Lugo province.svg Lugo Lugo Flag of Galicia.svg Galicia Municipalities
Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg Madrid Madrid Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg Community of Madrid Municipalities
Flag Malaga Province.svg Málaga Málaga Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of the Region of Murcia.svg Murcia Murcia Flag of the Region of Murcia.svg Region of Murcia Municipalities
Bandera de Navarra.svg Navarre ; Navarra(Spanish); Nafarroa(Basque) Pamplona ; Iruña (Basque) Bandera de Navarra.svg Navarre Municipalities
Provincia de Ourense - Bandera.svg Ourense (Galician); Orense(Spanish) Ourense (Galician); Orense (Spanish) Flag of Galicia.svg Galicia Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Palencia.svg Palencia Palencia Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Flag Pontevedra Province.svg Pontevedra Pontevedra Flag of Galicia.svg Galicia Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Salamanca.svg Salamanca Salamanca Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Bandera Provincial de Santa Cruz de Tenerife.svg Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife Flag of the Canary Islands.svg Canary Islands Municipalities
Flag Segovia province.svg Segovia Segovia Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Flag of Diputacion de Sevilla Spain.svg Seville ; Sevilla(Spanish) Seville ; Sevilla (Spanish) Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag Soria province.svg Soria Soria Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Bandera actual de la provincia de Tarragona (alternate).svg Tarragona Tarragona Flag of Catalonia.svg Catalonia Municipalities
Teruel (provincia).svg Teruel Teruel Flag of Aragon.svg Aragon Municipalities
Bandera antigua de la provincia de Toledo.svg Toledo Toledo Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Escut de la Provincia de Valencia.svg Valencia ; València(Valencian) Valencia ; València (Valencian) Flag of the Land of Valencia (official).svg Valencian Community Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Valladolid.svg Valladolid Valladolid Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Escudo de la provincia de Zamora.svg Zamora Zamora Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Flag of Zaragoza province (with coat of arms).svg Zaragoza Zaragoza Flag of Aragon.svg Aragon Municipalities

Notes

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Autonomous communities of Spain</span> First-level political and administrative division of Spain

In Spain, an autonomous community is the first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish Constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Municipalities of Spain</span> Local administrative division in Spain

The municipality is the basic local administrative division in Spain together with the province.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outline of Spain</span> Overview of and topical guide to Spain

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Spain:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1833 territorial division of Spain</span> Administrative reorganization of Spain into provinces

The 1833 territorial division of Spain divided the country into provinces, in turn classified into "historic regions". This division was followed by the ensuing creation of provincial deputations, the government institutions for most of the provinces, remaining up to this date. Nearly all of the provinces retain roughly or precisely the 1833 borders. Conversely, many of the historic regions correspond to present-day autonomous communities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Political divisions of Spain</span>

The political division of the Kingdom of Spain is defined in Part VIII of the Spanish constitution of 1978, which establishes three levels of territorial organization: municipalities, provinces and autonomous communities, the first group constituting the subdivisions of the second, and the second group constituting the subdivisions of the last. The State guarantees the realization of the principle of solidarity by endeavouring to establish an economic balance between the different areas of the Spanish territory.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 2011 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 20 November 2011. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 2008 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 9 March 2008. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

A Provincial Council is the administrator and governing body of a province of Spain. It is one of the entities that make up local government in Spain. The Council is made up of a president, vice presidents, an executive committee and the plenary assembly of deputies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 2015 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 20 December 2015. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 2016 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 26 June 2016. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 1986 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 22 June 1986. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 1993 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 6 June 1993. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 1996 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 3 March 1996. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 2000 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 12 March 2000. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 2004 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 14 March 2004. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 1977 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 15 June 1977. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Results breakdown of the 1979 Spanish general election (Congress)</span>

This is the results breakdown of the Congress of Deputies election held in Spain on 1 March 1979. The following tables show detailed results in each of the country's 17 autonomous communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as a summary of constituency and regional results.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces</span>

The Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) is a Spanish association of local entities that groups town councils, provincial councils, insular councils and insular cabildos. Approximately 7,331 entities are represented.

There is a variety of Vernacular languages spoken in Spain. Spanish, the official language in the entire country, is the predominant native language in almost all of the autonomous communities in Spain. Six of the seventeen autonomous communities in Spain have other co-official languages in addition to Spanish. Bilingualism in different degrees and in distinct communicative situations between Spanish and another language is a habitual practice for many of the Spanish people who reside in one of these autonomous communities.

References

  1. 1 2 Spanish Constitution 1978, Article 141(1).
  2. Zafra Víctor 2004, p. 102.
  3. Local Government Act 1985, Article 31.
  4. Canel 1994, pp. 51.
  5. MPA, paragraph 1.

Bibliography

See also