Political division
A political division is a term of art of geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 defining the concept of a geographic region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 accepted to be in the jurisdiction of a particular government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 entity. The particular government entity varies as each organizes its operations by further divisions (subdivisions of the state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

) to further its tasks and satisfy its responsibilities.

On the large scale, a political division is typically a sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 (colloquially referred to as "country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

"), while on a smaller scale political divisions (sometimes called administrative division
Administrative division
An administrative division, subnational entity, or country subdivision is a portion of a country or other political division, established for the purpose of government. Administrative divisions are each granted a certain degree of autonomy, and are required to manage themselves through their own...

s) include:
  • states,
  • counties
    A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

    , or parishes
    Parish (disambiguation)
    A parish is a territorial unit used for ecclesiastical administrationand, derived from that,A parish may also refer to a secular local government administrative entity:* Parish...

  • districts or provinces
  • cities
    A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

     and town
    A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

    s as well as
  • smaller municipalities such as boros, towns, townships, districts, provinces, and other similar names which are also defined by the cognizant nation-state
    The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...


Other names for such units in various contexts include "Subnational entity", "administrative unit", "administrative area", "province", "district" and "regional government". Overall, all such distinctions are also called subnational entities by the United Nations. It is common to see political divisions drawn out on political maps.
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