How many cities, towns, districts and counties are there in UK?

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The administrative division of the United Kingdom is far from simple and straightforward.

It’s enough to ponder on the meanings of ‘England’, ‘Great Britain’ and ‘United Kingdom’ to get an insight into the multi-layered, history-influenced, complicated structure of this country. Each of the Home Nations of the United Kingdom has an administrative division of their own.

Home Nations of the UK

Division

England

9 regions

- 48 ceremonial counties 

- or 83 metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties +Greater London + Isles of Scilly

326 districts

51 cities*

853 towns (excluding cities)

10,449 civil parishes

Northern Ireland

11 districts or 6 historic counties 

5 cities*

Scotland

8 electoral regions

32 council areas

7 cities*

Wales

22 counties a.k.a. principal areas or 10 country boroughs, 9 counties, 3 cities

6 cities*

*In UK, city status is granted by the monarch


At the highest level of sub-national division of England there are 9 regions: North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, South East South West.

England is further divided into counties. There are 48 ceremonial counties, known as geographic counties. But when it comes to official administrative division, there are 83 metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties (Greater London and the Isles of Scilly are not included; Greater London is made up of 32 London boroughs and the City of London).

For the purposes of the local government, England is divided into 326 districts. The tier below districts and counties is a civil parish, a unitary authority which can be of  size of a town, village or a neighbourhood.

In England, there are 51 settlements which have the official status of a city.

Scotland is subdivided into 8 electoral regions or 32 council areas. In the past, Scotland used to be divided into 34 counties, also known as shires.

Northern Ireland had been subdivided into 26 councils until April 2015, when councils got replaced by 11 districts. Historically, there used to be 6 counties within Northern Ireland.

Wales is divided into 22 principal areas. Some sources differentiate between the types of principal ares and call them counties, county boroughs and cities.

Did you know?

In total there are 48,076 settlements (villages, towns and cities) in the United Kingdom.

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