Districts of Portugal


Districts of Portugal
District
Category 1st-level administrative division
Location Portugal
Created 1835
Number 18
Populations 127,018–2,135,992
Areas 2,255–10,225 km²
Government Appointed administration
Subdivisions Municipality
Parish

Portugal is divided into 18 districts in mainland Portugal, plus two autonomous regions (Açores and Madeira).

The Portuguese Constitution of 1976 specifies that Portugal have only, as first level divisions, the autonomous regions (Azores and Madeira) and the administrative regions (to be created in mainland Portugal). According to Constitution, the districts shall be disestablished in the territories where it has been created an autonomous or administrative region.

So, the districts were abolished in Azores and Madeira when these autonomous regions were created, in 1976. In 1998, it was submitted to referendum a proposal to create 8 administrative regions in mainland Portugal, and, therefore, to extinguish the districts. This proposal was rejected in the ballot, and therefore, currently, the districts continue to be the administrative division of most importance in mainland Portugal.

However, the importance of the districts had been decreasing. In the last years, some administrative, financial and politics competencies had been deliver to CCDR's and to the municipalities, in detriment of the districts. In 2003, the Portuguese municipalities were allowed to organize themselves into intermunicipal communities (comunidades intermunicipais) and metropolitan areas (áreas metropolitanas), what it allowed to diminish the importance of the districts as form of association of municipalities.

Besides, the abolition of the districts is a subject that came back to be discussed in the society. In 2009, during the campaign to the legislative election of 2009, the leader of Socialist Party, José Sócrates, promised a new referendum to the administrative regions[1][2] and therefore, the abolition of districts, if he gained the election. Other personalities, support the creation of administrative regions and therefore the abolition of districts.

Nowadays, despite being in the process of being phased out due to the decentralisation policies of the government, the districts still remains the most relevant subdivision of the country, serving as a basis for a series of administrative divisions such as electoral constituencies and district football associations.

Contents

List

District Municipalities Parishes Province of 1936 Region
Aveiro
19
208
Beira Litoral Province + Douro Litoral Province Norte, Centro
Beja
14
100
Baixo Alentejo Alentejo
Braga
14
515
Minho Norte
Bragança
12
299
Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Province Norte
Castelo Branco
11
160
Beira Baixa Province Centro
Coimbra
17
209
Beira Baixa Province, Beira Litoral Centro
Évora
14
91
Alto Alentejo Alentejo
Faro
16
84
Algarve Province Algarve
Guarda
14
336
Beira Alta Province (partly Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro) Centro (partly Norte,only Foz Coa)
Leiria
16
148
Beira Litoral Province, Estremadura Centro
Lisbon
16
226
Estremadura (partly Ribatejo) Lisbon (partly Alentejo)
Portalegre
15
86
Alto Alentejo Province (partly Ribatejo) Alentejo
Porto
18
383
Douro Litoral Province Norte
Santarém
21
193
Ribatejo Province (partly Beira Baixa and Beira Litoral) Centro, Alentejo
Setúbal
13
82
Estremadura Province, Baixo Alentejo Province Lisbon, Alentejo
Viana do Castelo
10
290
Minho Norte
Vila Real
14
268
Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Norte
Viseu
24
372
Beira Alta, (partly Douro Litoral) Centro, Norte

Former districts

  • Lamego District
Azores
  • Angra do Heroísmo District
  • Horta District
  • Ponta Delgada District
Madeira
  • Funchal District

See also

  • Subdivisions of Portugal

References

Notes
Sources

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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