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State (administrative division)

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State (administrative division)

Not to be confused with Sovereign state.

A federated state (which may be referred to as a state, a province, a canton, a Land, etc.) is a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federal union.[1] Such states differ from sovereign states, in that they have transferred a portion of their sovereign powers to a federal government.[2] Importantly, when states choose to federate, they lose their standing as persons of international law. Instead, the federal union as a single entity becomes the sovereign state, the person of international law.[3] A federated state holds administrative jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory and is a form of regional government.

In some cases, a federation is created from a union of political entities, which are either independent, or dependent territories of another sovereign entity (most commonly a colonial power).[4] In other cases, federated states have been created out of the regions of previously unitary states.[5] Once a federal constitution is formed, the rules governing the relationship between federal and regional powers become part of the country's constitutional law and not international law.

In countries with federal constitutions, there is a division of power between the central government and the component states. These entities - states, provinces, cantons, Länder, etc. - are partially self-governing and are afforded a degree of constitutionally guaranteed autonomy that varies substantially from one federation to another.[6] Depending on the form the decentralization of powers takes, a federated state's legislative powers may or may not be overruled or vetoed by the federal government. Laws governing the relationship between federal and regional powers can be amended through the federal constitution and state constitutions.

List of constituents by federation

The "federated units" in the table below have inherent governmental authority in the federation's constitutional system, while the "other units" are delegated authority by the federal government or are administered directly by it.

Federation Federated units Other units
 Argentina[7] 23 provinces:
1 autonomous city:
 Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
 Australia[8] 6 states:
10 territories:
 Australian Capital Territory
 Northern Territory
 Christmas Island
 Cocos (Keeling) Islands
 Norfolk Island[9]
 Jervis Bay Territory
 Ashmore and Cartier Islands
 Australian Antarctic Territory
 Coral Sea Islands Territory
 Heard Island and McDonald Islands
 Austria[10] 9 states:
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 entities:[9]
 Republika Srpska
 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 self-governing district:
Brčko (officially condominium of both constituents)
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself a federation with 10 cantons:
Una-Sana • Posavina • Tuzla • Zenica-Doboj • Bosnian Podrinje • Central Bosnia • Herzegovina-Neretva • West Herzegovina • Sarajevo • West Bosnia
 Brazil[12] 26 states:
1 federal district:
Federal District (Brazil) Distrito Federal (Brasília)[Federated states 3]
5,564 municipalities[Federated states 4][13]
 Canada[14] 10 provinces:
3 territories:
 Northwest Territories
 Comoros 3 islands:[9]
Grande Comore
 Ethiopia[15] 9 regions:
Afar • Amhara • Benishangul-Gumuz • Gambela • Harari • Oromiya • Somali • Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region • Tigray
2 chartered cities:
Addis Ababa • Dire Dawa
 Germany[16] 16 states:
 India[17] 28 states:
West Bengal
7 union territories:
 Iraq[18] 18 governorates:
Baghdād • Salāh ad-Dīn • Diyālā • Wāsit • Maysān • Al-Basrah • Dhī Qār • Al-Muthannā • Al-Qādisiyyah • Bābil • Karbalā' • An-Najaf • Al-Anbar • Nīnawā • Duhok • Arbīl • Kirkuk (or At-Ta'mim) • As-Sulaymāniyyah
Autonomous region:
 Iraqi Kurdistan[9]
(The region overlaps the area of the governorates)
 Malaysia[19] 13 states:
3 federal territories:
 Kuala Lumpur
 Mexico[20] 31 states:
1 federal district:
Distrito Federal (Ciudad de México)
 Micronesia, Federated States of[21] 4 states:
   Nepal 14 zones:
Bagmati • Bheri • Dhawalagiri • Gandaki • Janakpur • Karnali • Koshi • Lumbini • Mahakali • Mechi • Narayani • Rapti • Sagarmatha • Seti
 Nigeria[22] 36 states:
Anambra • Enugu • Akwa Ibom • Adamawa • Abia • Bauchi • Bayelsa • Benue • Borno • Cross River • Delta • Ebonyi • Edo • Ekiti • Gombe • Imo • Jigawa • Kaduna • Kano • Katsina • Kebbi • Kogi • Kwara • Lagos • Nasarawa • Niger State • Ogun • Ondo • Osun • Oyo • Plateau • Rivers • Sokoto • Taraba • Yobe • Zamfara
1 capital territory:
 Pakistan[23] Sindh Gilgit–Baltistan
2 territories:
Islamabad Capital Territory • Federally Administered Tribal Areas
 Russian Federation[24][25] 21 republics:[9]
46 oblasts:
9 krais:
1 autonomous oblast:[9]
Jewish Autonomous Oblast
4 autonomous okrugs:[9]
2 federal-level cities:
Saint Petersburg
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 2 states:
 Somalia[26][27] 3 states:[Federated states 6]
 Somaliland  •  Puntland  • Jubaland
 South Sudan 10 states:

Central Equatoria  • Eastern Equatoria  • Jonglei  • Lakes  • Northern Bahr el Ghazal  • Unity  • Upper Nile  • Warrap  • Western Bahr el Ghazal  • Western Equatoria

 Sudan[28] 15 states:

Al Jazirah • Blue Nile  • Sennar  • White Nile  • North Darfur • South Darfur  • West Darfur  • Kassala • Al Qadarif • Red Sea  • Khartoum  • Kurdufan • North Kurdufan • South Kurdufan  • Northern • River Nile

  Switzerland[29] 26 cantons:
 United Arab Emirates[30] 7 emirates:
 United States of America[31] 50 states:
1 federal district:
District of Columbia (Washington)
1 incorporated territory:
Palmyra Atoll
Unincorporated territories:
 American Samoa
 Northern Mariana Islands
 Puerto Rico
 U.S. Virgin Islands
Baker Island  • Howland Island  • Jarvis Island  • Johnston Atoll  • Kingman Reef  • Midway Atoll  • Navassa Island  • Wake Island
(The United States also claims Bajo Nuevo Bank and Serranilla Bank).
 Venezuela[32] 23 states:
1 federal district:
Capital District (Caracas)
1 federal dependency:
Federal Dependencies of Venezuela

See also



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