A capital district, capital region or capital territory is normally a specially designated administrative division where a country's seat of government is located. As such, in a federal model of government, no state or territory has any political or economic advantage relative to the others because of the national capital lying within its borders. A capital territory can be a specific form of federal district.
A distinction should be made from administrative divisions which include national capitals, but have no special designated status legally (for example, Île de France has no distinct quality from other regions of France). Some federal countries (like Belgium and Germany), give their national capitals the status as full, equal federal units.
Some federal countries have made no distinction administratively for the territory around the capital. A few federal countries have their national capitals located in the capital city of a federal state: Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is also the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of federal units and de jure capital of Republika Srpska, the other federal unit; further, Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is the capital of the Canton of Bern.
Two national capitals in federal countries are neither federal units, special capital districts, nor capitals of federal units: Ottawa, the capital of Canada, and Palikir, the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia. The Canadian government does designate the Ottawa area as the National Capital Region, although this term merely represents the jurisdictional area of the government agency that administers federally owned lands and buildings, and is not an actual political unit. The city of Ottawa is governed as a regular city.
In some non-federal countries there are capital cities that do not belong to any region, but has a special status, for example Oslo in Norway. In some countries the region including the capital does not have special significance, but have names hinting that. For example, the Capital Region of Denmark is a name of a normal national region.
The following have a special administrative district or territory for their national capital cities:
|Class name||Term for capital||Example|
|Capital area||Yes||Seoul Capital Area|
|Capital district||Yes||Distrito Capital (Colombia); Capital District (Venezuela); Capital District, New York; Niamey Capital District|
|Capital region||Yes||Capital Region of Denmark|
|Capital territory||Yes||Australian Capital Territory, Islamabad Capital Territory|
|Federal capital territory||Yes||Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria|
|Federal district||No||Distrito Federal (Mexico)|
|National capital district||Yes||National Capital District (Papua New Guinea)|
|National capital region||Yes||National Capital Region (Canada), National Capital Region (India), National Capital Region (Japan), National Capital Region (Philippines)|
|National capital territory||Yes||National Capital Territory of Delhi|
|Neutral municipality||No||Neutral Municipality|
The Buenos Aires city, previously in the Federal District of Argentina. In 1996, under the 1994 reform of the Argentine Constitution, the city gained autonomous city status, and changed its formal name to Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, and held its first mayoral elections. Buenos Aires is represented in the Argentine Senate by three senators and in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies by 25 national deputies.
The Australian Capital Territory is one of two self-governing internal territories of the Commonwealth of Australia, the other being the Northern Territory. Created in 1911, the ACT was originally called the Federal Capital Territory, the current name being acquired in 1938. The ACT was constituted specifically to house the seat of government, the goal being to avoid situating the new nation's capital Canberra in either New South Wales or Victoria, the two most populous states. The ACT is an enclave of New South Wales.
Although the ACT has its own Chief Minister and its own legislature (the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly), the Federal Parliament retains the right to overrule ACT legislation. While governing the entire ACT, the Legislative Assembly acts as a municipal/state government. The Governor-General of Australia exercises certain rights that in the states would be exercised by the governor, such as the power to issue writs for elections.
At a federal level, the ACT and the NT both elect two members of the House of Representatives and two Senators. The terms of the territory senators are tied to the term of the House of Representatives, not to the term of the Senate. This means that if there is an election for the Senate only (as last happened in 1970), this would involve only half the state senators, and the territory senators' terms would continue. Conversely, if there is an election for the House of Representatives only (as last happened in 1972), this would also involve the territory senators but not the state senators.
Brasília, the capital of Brazil, is set within the Federal District. Its territory includes several other cities, officially called administrative regions, since the Federal District cannot be divided into municipalities in the same manner as the states of Brazil.
The Federal District is a special unit of the federation, as it is not organized the same manner as a municipality, does not possess the same autonomy as a state (but is ranked among them) and is closely related to the central power.
The District Governor is elected directly for a 4-year term. Local laws are issued by a legislative chamber also elected by the local population. Judiciary affairs are carried out by the Union, instead of being appointed by the governor as in the other states of Brazil. The Federal District has the status of a federal state in many aspects. It has representatives both in the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of congress) and in the Federal Senate (upper house of congress).
The Brazilian federal government was transferred to the current Federal District, separate from the state of Goiás and the border with the state of Minas Gerais on April 21, 1960, when the planned city of Brasília was inaugurated. Before the transfer, the Brazilian capital was the city of Rio de Janeiro. After the transfer, the territory where the former Federal District was located became the state of Guanabara, where the city of Rio de Janeiro was included, this state that existed from 1960 to 1975, when the state of Guanabara was merged with the state of Rio de Janeiro.
In Dominican Republic the Nacional District, containing the city of Santo Domingo de Guzman was created as a special district in 1922. In 1844 it was the Santo Domingo Province and then the constitution of the Dominican Republic decided that the country needed the capital to be in a special district.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi is a special Union Territory of India. The territory encompasses three statutory towns: New Delhi (the capital of India), Delhi and Delhi Cantonment, along with 59 census towns and 165 villages.
The NCT was set up as a federally administered Union Territory on 11 November 1956. In December 1991, the NCT was given a legislative assembly headed by a Chief Minister. The territory is not classified as a true Union territory, though the central government does have limited control over the functioning of the territory much like other Union territories.
The NCT is unique in India in that the municipal control is handled by a locally elected government, major areas such as the police, and administration are handled by the central government.
In Indonesia, the national capital Jakarta is within the Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta (Jakarta Special Capital Region). Jakarta is considered as one of Indonesia's provinces, therefore Jakarta is headed by a governor and not a mayor. However, Jakarta is divided into 5 smaller "administration-cities" (kota administrasi) and one "administration-regency" (kabupaten administrasi). The administration-cities are Central, North, East, West, and South Jakarta respectively. The Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) administration-regency is also included in the formal definition of Jakarta Capital District. All of these sub-units have its own degree of autonomy. Mayors of the five administration-cities and the regent of Kepulauan Seribu administration-regency are not elected, but directly appointed by the Governor of Jakarta and members of the Provincial Parliament of Jakarta Special Capital District. Furthermore, these sub-units do not have local parliament as opposed to other cities or regencies in Indonesia.
In Malaysia, the national capital of Kuala Lumpur lies within the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (since 1974) while the federal government administrative centre of Putrajaya, 40 km (25 mi) to the south of Kuala Lumpur, lies within the Federal Territory of Putrajaya (since 2001). Both federal territories are enclaves within the state of Selangor.
The Federal District since 1824 is a federal district serving as the capital of Mexico, Mexico City and which is administered by the Mexican Federal Government. The Federal District encompasses the historical center of Mexico City, but is much larger than the historical municipality of Mexico City abolished in 1928. The urbanized area of Mexico City covers only the north of the Federal District, while the south of the Federal District is made up of rural areas and mountains. Although the Federal District is not a municipality or state. The name "Ciudad de México" is used by Mexican authorities as a synonym for the "Distrito Federal". Mexico City as a municipality was abolished in 1928, and the name "Mexico City" can now refer to two things.
This is actually a fairly recent reform (dating from 1993) of Article 44 of the Constitution, and it was aimed at ending two centuries of discussions (and occasional problems on jurisdiction) about whether one concept engulfed the other or even if one of the two entities really had any legal existence in lieu of the other. The complete text of the aforementioned reform also states that Mexico City is the seat of the Powers of the Union (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) and capital of the United Mexican States.
North Korea's capital city, Pyongyang, while traditionally located within South P'yŏng-an Province, is currently seen as a "directly governed city" (Chikalshi 직할시). For a time, P'yŏng-yang was considered a "special city" (T'ŭkpyŏlshi 특별시), to make it equivalent to its South Korean counterpart, Seoul.
Oslo does not belong to any county of Norway. The counties of Norway have two ways of management. The county councils are elected by the people and are responsible for example for health care, but Oslo has no county council, instead the city handles such tasks. The other way is the governor, a national representative in the counties. The governor of Akershus is responsible also for Oslo.
The capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, is a planned city within the Islamabad Capital Territory, which was created in 1960 out of the Punjab Province. The Territory elects representatives to both houses of the legislature. Before Islamabad was made the capital, Karachi was located in the Federal Capital Territory, which later reverted to the Sindh Province.
Lima, the nation's capital is contained entirely within Lima Province, the only province in the country not belonging to any of the twenty-five regions. It is surrounded by the Lima Region on all sides but west.
The National Capital Region of the Philippines is Metro Manila, the country's seat of government containing Manila, the country's capital. Created in 1975 out of four cities and twelve municipalities of the province of Rizal and one municipality of the province of Bulacan, the region is administered by seventeen separately elected mayors and their councils which are coordinated by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, a national government agency headed by a chairperson directly appointed by the Philippine President. Quezon City, the country's former capital from 1948 to 1976, is also located within this region.
South Korea's capital city, Seoul, while traditionally located within Gyeonggi Province, is currently seen as a "special city" (Teukbyeolsi/T'ŭkpyŏlshi 특별시). Seoul's mayor is seen as the equivalent of any provincial governor.
Historically, until 1967, Stockholm did not belong to any county of Sweden. Instead, there was an Governor that had the normal responsibilities of the County Administrative Boards and its managers, the governors. This did not mean there was a large practical difference. There was no County Council (which is elected by the people and is responsible for example for health care); instead, the Stockholm city handled such tasks.
As provided by Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, the seat of the United States government is a federal district known as the District of Columbia. When created in 1790, the District comprised 100 square miles (260 km2) of land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Columbia was a poetic name for the United States used at the time.
The City of Washington was built in the center of the District, but other towns were also located in the territory such as Georgetown and Alexandria. The United States Congress returned the Virginia portion of the District back to that state in 1846. The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 revoked the charters of the individual cities of Washington and Georgetown, and instead created a single government for the whole District of Columbia. The City of Washington no longer exists; however, the name continues in use and the District is often referred to as just Washington, D.C. Georgetown now exists as a historic district within District of Columbia.
Since the Home Rule Act of 1973, the District of Columbia has been run by an elected mayor and district council. Congress retains ultimate authority over the District and has the right to review the local budget and taxes, overturn laws passed by the district council, and terminate home rule. District residents pay federal taxes and are represented by a single, non-voting member in the United States House of Representatives.
Because of the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, the people of the District of Columbia are allowed to vote for President of the United States. The District is allotted three electoral votes, equal to that of the least populous state.
ACT Policing is the portfolio of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) responsible for providing policing services to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The Australian Capital Territory Police was an independent police force responsible for policing the ACT until 19 October 1979, when it was merged with the Commonwealth Police to form the AFP.Asunción
Asunción (UK: , US: , Spanish: [asunˈsjon]) is the capital and largest city of Paraguay.
The city is located on the left bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the River Pilcomayo, on the South American continent. The Paraguay River and the Bay of Asunción in the northwest separate the city from the Occidental Region of Paraguay and Argentina in the south part of the city. The rest of the city is surrounded by the Central Department.
The city is an autonomous capital district, not a part of any department. The metropolitan area, called Gran Asunción, includes the cities of San Lorenzo, Fernando de la Mora, Lambaré, Luque, Mariano Roque Alonso, Ñemby, San Antonio, Limpio, Capiatá and Villa Elisa, which are part of the Central Department. The Asunción metropolitan area has around two million inhabitants. The Municipality of Asunción is listed on the Asunción Stock Exchange, as BVPASA: MUA.
Asunción is one of the oldest cities in South America and the longest continually inhabited area in the Río de la Plata Basin; for this reason it is known as "the Mother of Cities". From Asunción the colonial expeditions departed to found other cities, including the second foundation of Buenos Aires and other important cities such as Villarrica, Corrientes, Santa Fe and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Asunción is considered a 'gamma city' by the study GaWC5. It is the home of the national government, principal port, and the chief industrial and cultural center of the country. Near Asunción are the headquarters of the CONMEBOL, the continental governing body of association football in South America. Asunción is said to be one of the cheapest cities in the world for foreign visitors.Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory, formerly known as the Federal Capital Territory until 1938 and commonly referred to as the ACT, is a federal territory of Australia containing the Australian capital city of Canberra and some surrounding townships. It is located in the south-east of the country and is an enclave within the state of New South Wales. Founded after federation as the seat of government for the new nation, all important institutions of the Australian federal government are centred in the Territory.
On 1 January 1901, federation of the colonies of Australia was achieved. Section 125 of the new Australian Constitution provided that land, situated in New South Wales and at least 100 miles (160 km) from Sydney, would be ceded to the new federal government. Following discussion and exploration of various areas within New South Wales, the Seat of Government Act 1908 was passed in 1908 which specified a capital in the Yass-Canberra region. The territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by New South Wales in 1911, two years prior to the capital city being founded and formally named as Canberra in 1913.
While the overwhelming majority of the population reside in the city of Canberra in the ACT's north-east, the Territory also includes some surrounding townships such as Williamsdale, Naas, Uriarra, Tharwa and Hall. The ACT also includes the Namadgi National Park which comprises the majority of land area of the Territory. Despite a common misconception, the Jervis Bay Territory is not part of the ACT although the laws of the Australian Capital Territory apply as if Jervis Bay did form part of the ACT. The Territory has a relatively dry, contintental climate experiencing warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.
The Australian Capital Territory is home to many important institutions of the federal government, national monuments and museums. This includes the Parliament of Australia, the High Court of Australia, the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Australian War Memorial. It also hosts the majority of foreign embassies in Australia as well as regional headquarters of many international organisations, not-for-profit groups, lobbying groups and professional associations. Several major universities also have campuses in the ACT including the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, the University of New South Wales, Charles Sturt University and the Australian Catholic University.
A locally elected legislative assembly has governed the Territory since 1988. However, the Commonwealth maintains authority over the Territory and may overturn local laws. It still maintains control over the area known as the Parliamentary Triangle through the National Capital Authority. Residents of the Territory elect three members to the House of Representatives and two Senators to the Australian Senate.
With 419,200 residents, the Australian Capital Territory is second smallest mainland state or territory by population. At the 2016 census, the median weekly income for people in the Territory aged over 15 was $998 and higher than the national average of $662. The average level of degree qualification in the ACT is also higher than the national average. Within the ACT, 37.1% of the population hold a bachelor's degree level or above education compared to the national figure of 20%.Bamako
Bamako is the capital and largest city of Mali, with a population of 2,009,109. In 2006, it was estimated to be the fastest-growing city in Africa and sixth-fastest in the world. It is located on the Niger River, near the rapids that divide the upper and middle Niger valleys in the southwestern part of the country.
Bamako is the nation's administrative centre. The city proper is a cercle in its own right. Bamako's river port is located in nearby Koulikoro, along with a major regional trade and conference center. Bamako is the seventh-largest West African urban center after Lagos, Abidjan, Kano, Ibadan, Dakar, and Accra. Locally manufactured goods include textiles, processed meat, and metal goods. Commercial fishing occurs on the Niger River.
The name Bamako (Bàmakɔ̌ in Bambara) comes from the Bambara word meaning "crocodile tail".Bridgetown
Bridgetown (UN/LOCODE: BB BGI) is the capital and largest city of Barbados. Formerly The Town of Saint Michael, the Greater Bridgetown area is located within the parish of Saint Michael. Bridgetown is sometimes locally referred to as "The City", but the most common reference is simply "Town". As of 2014, its metropolitan population stands at roughly 110,000.
The Bridgetown port, found along Carlisle Bay (at 13.106°N 59.632°W / 13.106; -59.632 (Bridgetown port)) lies on the southwestern coast of the island. Parts of the Greater Bridgetown area (as roughly defined by the Ring Road Bypass or more commonly known as the ABC Highway), sit close to the borders of the neighbouring parishes Christ Church and St. James. The Grantley Adams International Airport for Barbados, is located 16 kilometres (10 mi) southeast of Bridgetown city centre, and has daily flights to major cities in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and the Caribbean. There is no longer a local municipal government, but it is a constituency of the national Parliament. During the short-lived 1950s-1960s Federation of the British West Indian Territories, Bridgetown was one of three capital cities within the region being considered to be the Federal capital of region.The present-day location of the city was established by English settlers in 1628; a previous settlement under the authority of Sir William Courten was at St. James Town. Bridgetown is a major West Indies tourist destination, and the city acts as an important financial, informatics, convention centre, and cruise ship port of call in the Caribbean region. On 25 June 2011, "Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison" was added as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.Capital District
Capital District may refer to:
Capital District, New York, metropolitan area surrounding Albany
Capital districts and territories, specially designated administrative divisions
Capital region, a region or district surrounding a capital city
Capital District (Venezuela), a federal district
Capital Regional District, a local government administrative district in British Columbia, CanadaCapital District (Venezuela)
The Capital District (Spanish: Distrito Capital) is a federal district of Venezuela. It has an area of 433 km2 and there is only one administrative division (municipio), Libertador, which contains about half of Caracas, the Venezuelan capital city, which is also the seat of the three branches of the federal government of Venezuela. The population in 2004 was 2,073,768. The District borders on the states of Vargas and Miranda.Capital region
A capital region, also called a national capital region, capital district or capital territory, is a region or district surrounding a capital city. It is not always the official term for the region, but may sometimes be used as an informal synonym.Distrito Nacional
The Distrito Nacional (Spanish pronunciation: [disˈtɾito nasjoˈnal]) (D.N.) is a subdivision of the Dominican Republic enclosing the capital Santo Domingo. It is not in any of the provinces, but in practice, it acts as a province on its own. Before October 16, 2001, the Distrito Nacional was much larger, including what is now known as Santo Domingo Province. Published statistics and maps generally show the former, larger, Distrito Nacional. The Distrito Nacional has no rural or undeveloped areas.Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria
The Federal Capital Territory, commonly known as FCT, or loosely as FCT-Abuja, is a federal territory in central Nigeria. Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, is located in this territory. FCT was formed in 1976 from parts of the states of old Kwara, Niger, Kaduna and Plateau States with the bulk of landmass carved out of Niger State. It is within the Middle Belt region of the country. Unlike the States of Nigeria, which are headed by elected Governors, it is administered by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, headed by a minister appointed by the President.Federal Capital Territory (Pakistan)
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) around Karachi was the original capital territory of Pakistan. The FCT was created in 1948 from the city of Karachi and surrounding areas as the location for Pakistan's capital following independence. The FCT was bordered by the province of Sind to the northeast and the princely state of Las Bela to the northwest with the Arabian Sea to the south.Federal District (Brazil)
The Federal District (Portuguese: Distrito Federal [d͡ʒisˈtɾitu fedeˈɾaṷ]) is one of 27 federative units of Brazil. Located in the Center-West Region, it is the smallest Brazilian federal unit and the only one that has no municipalities, being divided into 31 administrative regions, totaling an area of 5,779,999 km². In its territory, is located the federal capital of Brazil, Brasília, that is also the seat of government of the Federal District.Federalization of Buenos Aires
Federalization, in Argentine law, is the process of assigning federal status to a territory with the purpose of making that territory the national capital.
Federalization of Buenos Aires politically separated the city from the Buenos Aires Province to put it under direct control of the national government. It was a constant aspiration of the other provinces of Argentina since the formation of the national state. However, harsh political debates around the issue prevented federalization until 1880, more than sixty years later.Islamabad Capital Territory
Islamabad Capital Territory (Urdu: وفاقی دارالحکومت) is the one and only federal territory of Pakistan. The territory is bounded by Punjab on the south, west and east and by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the north. The territory includes Islamabad, the federal capital of Pakistan, which covers 906 km2 (349.8 mi2) out of the total of 1165.5 km2 (450 mi2). The territory is represented in the National Assembly constituencies NA-52, NA-53 and NA-54.Law enforcement in Mexico City
Law enforcement in Mexico City is provided by two primary agencies; the Secretariat of Public Security of Mexico City (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública de la ciudad de México), who provides uniformed or preventative police, and the Office of the Attorney General of Mexico City (Procuraduría General de Justicia de la ciudad de México) who provides plainclothes detectives and crime lab services.National Capital District (Papua New Guinea)
The National Capital District of Papua New Guinea is the incorporated area around Port Moresby, which is the capital of Papua New Guinea. Although it is surrounded by Central Province, where Port Moresby is also the capital, it is technically not a part of that province. It covers an area of 240 km² and has a population of 364,125 (2011 census). It is represented by three open MPs and an NCD-wide representative in the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea who acts as Governor of the National Capital District; however, these MPs do not have the same powers as elsewhere in the country due to the role of the National Capital District Commission.Neutral Municipality
The Neutral Municipality (Portuguese: Município Neutro), more formally known in the imperial era as the Neutral Municipality of the Court (Município Neutro da Corte), in reference to the Imperial Court, was an administrative unit created in the Empire of Brazil, that existed in the territory corresponding to the current location of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro between August 12, 1834 (when it was proclaimed the Additional Act to the Constitution of 1824) and November 15, 1889, when was proclaimed the republic in Brazil. But it only officially ceased to exist with the promulgation of the 1891 Constitution. By the republican constitution, this administrative unit became the Federal District in 1891, whose political situation changed again when it became the state of Guanabara in 1960, and later, with the fusion of this with the state of Rio de Janeiro in 1975.Niamey
Niamey (French pronunciation: [njamɛ]) is the capital and largest city of the West African country of Niger. Niamey lies on the Niger River, primarily situated on the east bank. It is an administrative, cultural and economic centre. Niamey's population was counted as 978,029 as of the 2012 census; the Niamey Capital District, covering 670 km2, had 1,026,848 people. As of 2017, population projections show the capital district growing at a slower rate than the country as a whole, which has the world's highest fertility rate.The city is located in a pearl millet growing region, while manufacturing industries include bricks, ceramic goods, cement and weaving.Port Moresby
Port Moresby (; Tok Pisin: Pot Mosbi), also referred to as Pom City or simply Moresby, is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea and the largest city in the South Pacific outside of Australia and New Zealand. It is located on the shores of the Gulf of Papua, on the south-western coast of the Papuan Peninsula of the island of New Guinea. The city emerged as a trade centre in the second half of the 19th century. During World War II it was a prime objective for conquest by the Imperial Japanese forces during 1942–43 as a staging point and air base to cut off Australia from Southeast Asia and the Americas.
In 2000 it had a population of 254,158. As of 2011, it had a population of 364,145, giving it an annual growth rate of 2.1% over a nine-year period. The place where the city was founded has been inhabited by the Motu-Koitabu people for centuries. The first Briton to see it was Captain John Moresby in 1873. It was named in honour of his father, Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby.
Although Port Moresby is surrounded by Central Province, of which it is also the capital, it is not part of that province, but forms the National Capital District.
Port Moresby hosted the APEC summit in November 2018, however there were concerns about security given the capital's reputation for violent crime.
Designations for types of administrative territorial entities
1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics.