In Morocco, the 75 second-level administrative subdivisions are 13 prefectures and 62 provinces. They are subdivisions of the 12 regions of Morocco. Each prefecture or province is subdivided into arrondissements (only in prefectures of some metropolitan areas), municipalities (communes, sing. commune) or urban municipalities (communes urbaines, sing. commune urbaine) in other urban areas, and districts (cercles, sing. cercle) in rural areas. The districts are subdivided into rural municipalities (communes rurales, sing. commune rural). One prefecture (Casablanca) is also subdivided into préfectures d'arrondissements (sing. préfecture d'arrondissements), similar to districts (cercles) except they are grouping a few arrondissements instead of rural municipalities.
Note: The arrondissements and (urban) municipalities should probably be thought of as fourth-level subdivisions, on the same level as the rural municipalities, but they are not part of any district.
The United Nations considers the territory to be disputed, as it was not legally transferred by Spain when it abandoned its former colony in 1975, and several states (notably members of the African Union) either recognize the SADR as the sole legitimate government of Western Sahara, or consider that the status of the region (either as an independent state, or as part of Morocco, or as part of Mauritania that initially claimed a part of it) has still not been autodetermined by the local population prior to its annexation. The United Nations has no legal instruments confirming the claims on the region made by the governments of Morocco or the self-proclaimed SADR, and in international treaties it is still a formal part of Spain that remains to be properly decolonized, even though Spain and Mauritania no longer claim any part of it.
Since the annexation, the situation is worsened by the fact that most of the historic Western Saharan population has fled either to the remaining free zone (now isolated by the Moroccan militarized berm), or to refugee camps in neighbouring countries (notably Algeria), due to lack of resources in the free zone. The remaining native Western Saharan population now lives as a minority among the new Moroccan occupants. The absence of a legal government with a permanent administration in the free zone has also introduced a threat to the security of the surrounding countries in the Saharan and Sahel regions, including Morocco itself.
In Morocco, a wilaya is an administrative division created since 1981 that "brings together many provinces or prefectures or both at the same time, and is intended to endow big urban units such as Casablanca with an administrative organization capable of meeting the needs that emerge from these expanding cities and their growing populations." Therefore, strictly speaking, the level of wilayas are between the regions and prefectures/provinces (although wilayas only cover urban areas). However, they are often used synonymous with regions or prefectures/provinces in common usage.
This is a list of the second-level administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Morocco including all provinces and prefectures in descending order of their total areas as per the Census Report of 2004.
Note: Most areas of some divisions are shown combined.
This is a list of the second-level administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Morocco including all provinces and prefectures in descending order of their total populations as per the Census Report of 2004.
Regions are currently the highest administrative divisions in Morocco. Since 2015, Morocco officially administers 12 regions, including one (Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab) that lies completely within the disputed territory of Western Sahara and two (Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra and Guelmim-Oued Noun) that lie partially within it. The regions are subdivided into a total of 75 second-order administrative divisions, which are prefectures and provinces.A region is governed by a directly elected regional council. The president of the council is responsible for carrying out the council's decisions. Prior to the 2011 constitutional reforms, this was the responsibility of the Wali, the representative of the central government appointed by the King, who now plays a supporting role in the administration of the region.
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