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Provinces of Spain

Provinces of Spain

Spain and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces (Spanish: provincias, IPA: [pɾoˈβinθjas]; sing. provincia).[1] Spain's provincial system was recognized in its 1978 constitution but its origin dates back to 1833. Ceuta, Melilla and the Plazas de soberanía are not part of any provinces.

Provinces of Spain
Found inAutonomous community
Created byRoyal Decree (30/11/1833)
Areas1,980–21,766 km²
GovernmentProvincial council

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.

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 exception of Álava, Asturias, Biscay, Cantabria, Guipúzcoa, Balearic Islands, La Rioja, and Navarra — 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, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, and Navarra. These are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities.

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 (Asturian, Basque, Catalan, Galician) are also indicated where they differ.


Province nameCapitalAutonomous communityLists of municipalities
A CoruñaA Coruña (Galician); La Coruña (Spanish); Corunna (English, archaic)A Coruña(Galician); La Coruña (Spanish); Corunna (English, archaic)GaliciaGaliciaMunicipalities
ÁlavaÁlava; Araba (Basque)Vitoria-Gasteiz; Gasteiz (Basque); Vitoria (Spanish)Basque CountryBasque CountryMunicipalities
AlbaceteAlbaceteAlbaceteCastilla-La ManchaCastilla-La ManchaMunicipalities
AlicanteAlicante; Alacant (Valencian)Alicante; Alacant (Valencian)Valencian CommunityValencian CommunityMunicipalities
AsturiasAsturias; Asturies (Asturian)Oviedo; Uviéu*(Asturian)*AsturiasAsturiasMunicipalities
ÁvilaÁvilaÁvilaCastilla y LeónCastile and LeónMunicipalities
Balearic IslandsBalearic Islands; Illes Balears (Catalan); Islas Baleares (Spanish)PalmaBalearic IslandsBalearic IslandsMunicipalities
BiscayBiscay; Bizkaia (Basque); Vizcaya (Spanish)Bilbao; Bilbo (Basque)Basque CountryBasque CountryMunicipalities
BurgosBurgosBurgosCastilla y LeónCastile and LeónMunicipalities
Valencian CommunityCastellón; Castelló (Valencian)Castellón de la Plana; Castelló de la Plana (Valencian)Valencian CommunityValencian CommunityMunicipalities
Ciudad RealCiudad RealCiudad RealCastilla-La ManchaCastilla-La ManchaMunicipalities
CórdobaCórdobaCórdoba; Cordova (English, archaic)AndalusiaAndalusiaMunicipalities
CuencaCuencaCuencaCastilla-La ManchaCastilla-La ManchaMunicipalities
GuipúzcoaGipuzkoa(Basque); Guipúzcoa (Spanish)San Sebastián(Spanish); Donostia (Basque)Basque CountryBasque CountryMunicipalities
GironaGirona(Catalan); Gerona (Spanish)Girona(Catalan); Gerona (Spanish)CataloniaCataloniaMunicipalities
GuadalajaraGuadalajaraGuadalajaraCastilla-La ManchaCastilla-La ManchaMunicipalities
HuescaHuescaHuesca (Spanish); Uesca (Aragonese)AragonAragonMunicipalities
La RiojaLa RiojaLogroñoLa RiojaLa RiojaMunicipalities
Las PalmasLas PalmasLas PalmasCanary IslandsCanary IslandsMunicipalities
LeónLeón(Spanish); Llión (Leonese)León(Spanish) ; Llión (Leonese)Castilla y LeónCastile and LeónMunicipalities
LleidaLleida (Catalan); Lérida (Spanish)Lleida(Catalan); Lérida (Spanish)CataloniaCataloniaMunicipalities
Community of MadridMadridMadridCommunity of MadridCommunity of MadridMunicipalities
Region of MurciaMurciaMurciaRegion of MurciaRegion of MurciaMunicipalities
NavarreNavarre; Nafarroa (Basque); Navarra (Spanish)Pamplona; Iruña (Basque)NavarreNavarreMunicipalities
OurenseOurense(Galician); Orense (Spanish)Ourense(Galician); Orense (Spanish)GaliciaGaliciaMunicipalities
PalenciaPalenciaPalenciaCastilla y LeónCastile and LeónMunicipalities
SalamancaSalamancaSalamancaCastilla y LeónCastile and LeónMunicipalities
Santa Cruz de TenerifeSanta Cruz de TenerifeSanta Cruz de TenerifeCanary IslandsCanary IslandsMunicipalities
SegoviaSegoviaSegoviaCastilla y LeónCastile and LeónMunicipalities
SevilleSeville; Sevilla (Spanish)Seville; Sevilla (Spanish)AndalusiaAndalusiaMunicipalities
SoriaSoriaSoriaCastilla y LeónCastile and LeónMunicipalities
ToledoToledoToledoCastilla-La ManchaCastilla-La ManchaMunicipalities
Valencian CommunityValencia; València (Valencian)Valencia; València (Valencian)Valencia CommunityValencian CommunityMunicipalities
ValladolidValladolidValladolidCastilla y LeónCastile and LeónMunicipalities
ZamoraZamoraZamoraCastilla y LeónCastile and LeónMunicipalities
ZaragozaZaragoza; Saragossa (English)Zaragoza; Saragossa (English)AragonAragonMunicipalities

See also

  • List of Spanish provinces by population

  • List of Spanish provinces by area

  • Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces

  • Autonomous communities of Spain

  • Comarcas of Spain

  • ISO 3166-2:ES


  • Political divisions of Spain


Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgIn other languages of Spain: Catalan províncies (IPA: [pɾuˈβinsiəs]), sing. província. Galician provincias (IPA: [pɾoˈβinθjɐs]), sing. provincia. Basque probintziak (IPA: [pɾobints̻iak], sing. probintzia.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:11 PM
Citation Linkwww.maps.data-spain.comMaps of the provinces of Spain
Sep 26, 2019, 10:11 PM
Citation Linkwww.ine.esList of municipalities of Spain listed by province
Sep 26, 2019, 10:11 PM
Citation Linkwww.ine.esINE
Sep 26, 2019, 10:11 PM
Citation Linkwww.maps.data-spain.comMaps of the provinces of Spain
Sep 26, 2019, 10:11 PM
Citation Linkwww.ine.esList of municipalities of Spain listed by province
Sep 26, 2019, 10:11 PM
Citation Linkwww.ine.esINE
Sep 26, 2019, 10:11 PM
Citation Linken.wikipedia.orgThe original version of this page is from Wikipedia, you can edit the page right here on Everipedia.Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.Additional terms may apply.See everipedia.org/everipedia-termsfor further details.Images/media credited individually (click the icon for details).
Sep 26, 2019, 10:11 PM