A Gmina is an administrative unit in Poland. It forms the third stage of local self-government. She stands beneath the unit powiat (, district 'or' county ' ) and above the unit sołectwo (, mayor's office '). The term is derived from the German word community, which it comes close in the administrative structure. In contrast to the German practice, however, it is not regarded as a real Ortsentität, but merely as an administrative unit, similar to the Rhineland-Palatinate community association. So at the official address or place of birth information, the local names of the villages are primarily ( officially called Soltysships, sołectwo ) and not the municipalities used.

Gminas were established in 1972 as a replacement for the smaller Gromadas. In 2006 there were in Poland in 2478 gminas that are associated with three different types of municipalities.

Gmina miejska

A Gmina miejska (, the borough ', literally, urban community ') consists of a single city. This city can also be the seat of a gmina wiejska, rural community ' in the surrounding areas. Because of the legal identity of the city and gmina Gminy be miejskie usually only with the name of the city respectively. In the big cities, as well as historically in several other municipalities is called the mayor Prezydent miasta, Mayor ', in smaller municipalities it is called Burmistrz. The status of a gmina miejska had 2006 307 gminas.

Gmina miejsko - wiejska

A Gmina miejsko - wiejska (, urban and rural community ', literally, urban - rural community ' ) is a town and several villages. With the exception of community Skalmierzyce this city is also the administrative seat of the Gmina. Most often, in this case the city is too small to form an independent Gmina miejska, township '. The name of the Gmina, the ' projecting a Burmistrz, Mayor, is derived from the name of the administrative headquarters and always includes the word Gmina. This status had 2006 582 gminas.

Gmina wiejska

A gmina wiejska (, rural community ', literally, rural community ') consists only of villages. The administrative headquarters is in some cases in a city in the center of Gmina, which is called Gmina miejska, township ' but not part of the gmina wiejska. If there is not a town within the municipality, it is one of the larger villages in the seat of the gmina and community leader wójt (from Vogt '). In this case, the Gmina is also named after this place, the name also starts with the name of Gmina. In 2006 there were in Poland in 1589 this gminas, 160 with headquarters outside the Gmina, so in a city that forms a separate municipality and sometimes a separate urban district.