The word district is derived from the French verb arrondir (Eng. round ) and is used to denote different administrative regions in France, Belgium, Canada and other countries.


Data as of January 1, 2012

Subdivision of the départements

The 101 departments are territorially and organizationally subdivided into 343 arrondissements. They should relieve the department administrations at lower levels and seem to resemble the German (country ) circles and the Austrian districts. They were formed in 1800 and replaced it with the districts.

The main town ( chef-lieu ) of an arrondissement is also the seat of the competent administrative authority, the sub-prefecture ( sous- préfecture ) with the sub-prefects ( sous- préfet; comparable to the District Administrator ) at the top.

Are subordinated to the arrondissements of the 4,055 cantons (canton ), which are divided into 36,700 communes ( commune).

Breakdown of communities

The municipalities with special status Paris, Marseille and Lyon are divided into districts ( arrondissements municipaux ).

  • Arrondissement (Paris)
  • Arrondissement of Lyon
  • Arrondissement of Marseille


The ten Belgian provinces are divided into 43 districts as part of the middle management structure, arrondissementen in Dutch and in French are called arrondissements.


The 10 departments of Haiti are divided into 41 arrondissements.

Quebec (Canada)

Similarly, some cities in Quebec are divided into arrondissements. These are Montreal ( see arrondissement of Montreal), Gatineau, Quebec, Saguenay, Longueuil and Sherbrooke.

Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, for example, the cities of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso are divided into arrondissements.


In Morocco, the cities of Casablanca, Fez, Rabat, Marrakech, Meknes and Tangier are divided into arrondissements.


In the Netherlands, the District Court of the 2nd stage (ie something like a German regional court district) called arrondissement.


The Republic of Niger was divided from 1964 to 1998 according to the French model in départements and arrondissements. Since 2010, the city districts of Niamey, Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder are called arrondissements.


According to the model of the city of Paris, which has 20 arrondissements, the four cities in the metropolitan region of Dakar were divided in 43 Communes d' arrondissement since 1996. In the city of Dakar itself accounts for 19 of these arrondissements.


The cantons Waadt (Vaud), Wallis (Valais) and Freiburg (Fribourg) are divided into arrondissements, which serve as judicial districts.


In Tunisia, only the capital Tunis is divided into fifteen arrondissements.

Central African Republic

In the Central African Republic capital Bangui is the only divided into eight arrondissements.