Provinces of Thailand
Changwat ( Thai: จังหวัด, pronunciation: [ ʨaŋwàt ] ) is the Thai name for the province, it is the largest administrative unit in Thailand.
Thailand is administratively into 76 Changwat ( province ) divided, each headed by a governor. The governor is appointed by the Minister of the Interior, only in Bangkok, he is directly elected. Bangkok is not a province but a special administrative region (English: special administrative area). However, it is listed as the 77th province since it is administered at the same level as all the other provinces.
The Changwat are named after the respective provincial capital, with the exception of Songkhla also the largest city of the province.
The area size of 417 km ² Changwat varies between ( Samut Songkhram ) and 20,494 km ² ( Nakhon Ratchasima ). The population numbers between 180,000 rank ( Ranong ) and 2.6 million ( Nakhon Ratchasima ). The capital, Bangkok, which has a special statute, has 5.7 million inhabitants.
Most provinces go to local, tributary principalities or kingdoms ( Müang ) back from before the 18th century. Under the first Interior Minister of Thailand, Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, the administrative structure was modernized and unified in the period 1892 until 1915. Was an appointed and paid by the central government position from the hitherto often hereditary title of provincial governor. Several small provinces neighboring provinces were added, as well as other administrative unit introduced the Monthon that span more provinces. The latter were abolished after the transition to Thailand's constitutional monarchy in 1932.
The latest province is Bueng Kan. She received in 2011 its independence from Nong Khai.