Administrative divisions of Portugal

The administrative divisions of Portugal is the vertical administrative structure of the Republic of Portugal. The country is divided in continental Portugal and two Autonomous Regions. Continental Portugal 's 18 districts ( distritos ) divided. The districts and the Autonomous Regions there are a total of 308 municipios ( districts), which in turn in 4260 Freguesias (municipalities) are divided. The additional allocation of continental Portugal in regions has only statistical and development of industrial importance.

Autonomous regions

The most important division was established in 1976 by ​​the separation of continental Portugal autonomous from the two island regions,

  • Região Autónoma dos Açores and
  • Região Autónoma da Madeira

Introduced. The autonomous regions are subdivided directly into circles (19 in the Azores and Madeira eleven ), while continental Portugal divides into a series of different subdivisions.


Portugal is divided into five continental regions, which, however, correspond to any administrative facilities. They are used only for statistical and planning purposes and parent were originally developed by the committees for regional development ( comissões de Desenvolvimento Regional Coordenação e, CCDRs ) was created. They were equated with the also formed for statistical purposes NUTS II. Importance addition, they have, unlike the autonomous regions, never attained.

The continental regions are further divided into the statistical sub-regions.

Besides occur nor the two autonomous regions


In addition to the regions of continental Portugal is divided into 18 districts ( distritos ), but they are not always congruent with the regions. The districts are the highest administrative unit below the government.

Prior to 1976, the two island groups were also integrated into the district structure. There were three districts in the Azores and one on Madeira:

Statistical subregions

The regions are subdivided into statistical sub-regions that have no significant administration. Rather, they serve the collection of data and planning economic measures.

The 28 sub-regions in detail:

  • Norte ( 8) Alto Trás -os- Montes
  • Ave
  • Cávado
  • Douro
  • Entre Douro e Vouga
  • Grande Porto
  • Minho -Lima
  • Tamego
  • Baixo Mondego
  • Baixo Vouga
  • Beira Interior Norte
  • Beira Interior Sul
  • Cova da Beira
  • Dão Lafões
  • Medio Tejo
  • Oeste
  • Pinhal Interior Norte
  • Pinhal Interior Sul
  • Pinhal Litoral
  • Serra da Estrela
  • Grande Lisboa
  • Península de Setúbal
  • Alentejo Central
  • Alentejo Litoral
  • Alto Alentejo
  • Baixo Alentejo
  • Lezíria do Tejo
  • Algarve

Comunidades Intermunicipais

The basis of laws of 2003 intended further administrative division in areas Urbana and the further sub-divided in Grandes Aereas Urbanos' Metropolitanas ( GAM), Comunidades Urbanas ( ComUrb ) and Comunidades Intermunicipais ( COMINTER ) was carried out only in some cases, above all in the GAM GAM de Lisboa and do Porto. Thanks to the law of 27 August 2008, the applicable securities laws and thus the provided dividers were lifted. Now, the municipios of the sub-regions (NUTS III) Comunidade Intermunicipal an abbreviated CIM, form an association as general purpose ( associação de municipios de fins múltiplos, community association ). Such special-purpose associations can establish municipios, and joint pursuit of certain specified purposes other lying outside the sub-region municipios. The associations are separate public bodies, where a council is added, in the sending of the Munizipalversammlungen Mitgliedsmunicípios representative. The virtue of the foregoing laws incurred as GAM associations of Grande Lisboa e da Península de Setúbal and Grande Porto e Douro e Vouga de Entre- were transferred separately into a Área Metropolitana under the new law.

The historical provinces (1936-1976)

The semi- fascist Estado Novo regime announced continental Portugal in 1936 in eleven provinces. They insisted to the territorial reorganization with the Constitution of Portugal in 1976.

The provinces can find today still occasionally in colloquial language as a regional reference points use because their boundaries were drawn by the dictatorship for historical, cultural and traditional aspects. The province names could position itself as a simplified regional names in the current language, detached from actual management skills.

In the administrative practice of the provinces, however, have not been successful, mainly due to lack of skills or overlapping with other agencies and levels of government responsibilities. Some did not respect provincial boundaries, the boundaries of the circles so that circuits could be heard several provinces in parts.

The provinces were, from north to south:

  • Minho ( province )
  • Trás -os- Montes e Alto Douro
  • Douro Litoral
  • Beira Alta
  • Beira Litoral
  • Beira Baixa
  • Ribatejo
  • Estremadura
  • Alto Alentejo ( province )
  • Baixo Alentejo ( province )
  • Algarve ( province )