The term municipality may also mean the governing body of a given municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a
The term is derived from
Frenchmunicipalitécode: fra promoted to code: fr and
Latinmunicipaliscode: lat promoted to code: la . The
English word municipality derives from the Latin
social contractmunicipiumcode: lat promoted to code: la (derived from a word meaning "duty holders"), referring to the Latin communities that supplied Rome with troops in exchange for their own incorporation into the Roman state (granting
Roman citizenship to the inhabitants) while permitting the communities to retain their own local governments (a limited autonomy).
Brazil, municipalities are the local governments, established through state legislations. They are the smallest territorial divisions holding administrative and legislative powers in the following decrescent order:
State > Municipality. Colloquially, the local population uses the terms municipality and city interchangeably.
In many countries, terms cognate with "commune" are used, referring to the community living in the area and the common interest. These include terms:
in Romance languages, such as French commune (
France, French-speaking areas of Belgium and Switzerland, French-speaking countries of Africa, e.g.
Benin), Italian comune, Romanian comună, and Spanish comuna (
The same terms may be used for church congregations or parishes, for example, in the German and Dutch Protestant churches.
In Greece, the word Δήμοςcode: ell promoted to code: el (demoscode: ell promoted to code: el ) is used, also meaning 'community'; the word is known in English from the compound democracy (rule of the people).
In some countries, the Spanish term ayuntamiento, referring to a municipality's administration building, is extended via
synecdoche to denote the municipality itself. In
Romania, both municipalities (municipiu; urban administrative units) and communes (comunăcode: ron promoted to code: ro ; rural units) exist, and a commune may be part of a municipality.
In many countries, comparable entities may exist with various names.
Australia, the term
local government area (LGA) is used in place of the generic municipality. Here, the "LGA Structure covers only incorporated areas of Australia. Incorporated areas are legally designated parts of states and territories over which incorporated local governing bodies have responsibility."
India, a municipality or
Nagar Palika is an urban local body that administers a city of population 100,000 or more. However, there are exceptions to that, as previously municipalities were constituted in urban centers with population over 20,000, so all the urban bodies which were previously classified as municipality were reclassified as municipality even if their population was under 100,000. Under the
Panchayati raj system, it interacts directly with the state government, though it is administratively part of the district it is located in. Generally, smaller district cities and bigger towns have a municipality. Municipalities are also a form of local self-government entrusted with some duties and responsibilities, as enshrined in the
Constitutional (74th Amendment) Act,1992.
United Kingdom, the term was used until the
Local Government Act 1972 came into effect in 1974 in
Wales, and until 1975 in
Scotland and 1976 in
Northern Ireland, "both for a city or town which is organized for self-government under a municipal corporation, and also for the governing body itself. Such a corporation in Great Britain consists of a head as a mayor or provost, and of superior members, as aldermen and councillors". Since local government reorganisation, the unit in England, Northern Ireland and Wales is known as a district, and in Scotland as a council area. A district may be awarded borough or city status, or can retain its district title.
Jersey, a municipality refers to the honorary officials elected to run each of the 12
parishes into which it is subdivided. This is the highest level of regional government in this jurisdiction.
Trinidad and Tobago, "municipality" is usually understood as a city, town, or other local government unit, formed by municipal charter from the state as a municipal corporation. A town may be awarded borough status and, later on, may be upgraded to city status.
Port of Spain,
Point Fortin are the 5 current municipalities in Trinidad and Tobago.
United States, "municipality" is usually understood as a city, town, village, or other local government unit, formed by municipal charter from the state as a municipal corporation. In a state law context, some U.S. state codes define "municipality" more widely, from the state itself to any political subdivisions given jurisdiction over an area that may include multiple populated places and unpopulated places (see also:
Local government in the United States#Municipal governments).
A municipality usually has authority of the whole county. In some cases however, authority is reduced to a subdivision of the county for highly populated regions, especially in Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath)
municipality consists of an urban area (termed a city or town) plus all of its surrounding barrios comprising the municipality. It has a popularly elected administration and a municipal mayor. The seat of the municipal government is located in such urban area and serves the entire municipal jurisdiction.
County Councils of Sweden (Swedish: landsting) self-governing local authority, covering 21 counties, each comprising one or more of the municipalities.
is self-governing according to the Swedish constitution and constitutes local government. Before 1971, a municipality could be called a town (stad), a köping or a rural municipality (landskommun); present municipalities which used to be towns are still commonly called towns. Sweden is also divided in 2 523 districts (Swedish: distrikt) since 1 January 2016.
In Portuguese language usage, there are two words to distinguish the territory and the administrative organ. When referring to the territory, the word concelho is used, when referring to the
organ of State, the word município is used. This differentiation is in use in Portugal and some of its former overseas provinces, but it's no longer in use in Brazil, where município refers to the territorial boundaries and prefeitura is its administrative organ.
^"Municipal Government". The Canadian Encyclopedia > Government > Government, General > Municipal Government. Historica Foundation of Canada. 2009. Archived from
the original on 13 February 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2011.