Rural district

Rural districts were a type of local government area – now superseded – established at the end of the 19th century in England, Wales, and Ireland for the administration of predominantly rural areas at a level lower than that of the administrative counties.

Rural district
CategoryLocal government district
LocationEngland and Wales and Ireland
Found inAdministrative county
Created byLocal Government Act 1894
Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898
CreatedEngland Wales 1894
Ireland 1899
Abolished byLocal Government Act 1925
Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971
Local Government Act 1972
AbolishedRepublic of Ireland 1925/1930
Northern Ireland 1973
England Wales 1974
GovernmentRural district council
SubdivisionsCivil parish: England / Ireland
District Electoral Division

England and Wales

In England and Wales they were created in 1894 (by the Local Government Act 1894) along with urban districts. They replaced the earlier system of sanitary districts (themselves based on poor law unions, but not replacing them).

Rural districts had elected rural district councils (RDCs), which inherited the functions of the earlier sanitary districts, but also had wider authority over matters such as local planning, council housing, and playgrounds and cemeteries. Matters such as education and roads were the responsibility of county councils.

Until 1930 the rural district councillors were also poor law guardians for the unions of which they formed part. Each parish was represented by one or more councillors.

Originally there were 787 rural districts in England and Wales, as they were based directly upon the sanitary districts and poor law unions which had preceded them. Gradual urbanisation over the following decades led to some rural districts being redefined as urban districts or merging with existing urban districts or boroughs. Other rural districts proved to be too small or poor to be viable, and under the Local Government Act 1929, 236 rural districts were abolished and merged or amalgamated into larger units.[1] Further mergers took place over following decades and by 1965 the number of districts had been reduced to 473.

The typical shape of a rural district was a doughnut-shaped ring around a town (which would be either an urban district or a municipal borough). A good example of this is Melton and Belvoir Rural District, which surrounded the town of Melton Mowbray. Some rural districts were fragmented, consisting of a number of detached parts, such as Wigan Rural District. Some rural districts had a more rounded shape and had a small town or village as the administrative centre.

A few rural districts consisted of only one parish (for example, Tintwistle Rural District, Alston with Garrigill Rural District, South Mimms Rural District, King's Lynn Rural District, Disley Rural District and Crowland Rural District). In such districts there was no separate parish council, and the rural district council exercised its functions.

All rural districts in England and Wales were abolished in 1974 (by the Local Government Act 1972) and were typically merged with nearby urban districts or boroughs to form "districts", which included both urban and rural areas.

See Rural districts formed in England and Wales 1894–1974 for the districts created in 1894; List of rural and urban districts in England, and List of rural and urban districts in Wales for a list of rural districts at abolition in 1974.


In Ireland, rural districts were created in 1898 by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898. They were subdivided into district electoral divisions.

Following the partition of Ireland, rural districts in the Irish Free State were abolished in 1925, by the Local Government Act 1925, amid widespread accusations of corruption. Their functions were transferred to the county councils[2] (in County Dublin they remained intact until 1930).[3] The former boundaries of the rural districts in the Republic of Ireland continue to be used for statistical purposes and defining constituencies.[4][5]

In Northern Ireland, rural districts continued to exist until 1973 when they were abolished (along with all other local government of the old pattern) and replaced with a system of unitary districts.


  1. ^ "Vision of Britain - Administrative Units Typology - Status definition: Rural District".
  2. ^ Local Government Act, 1925. Irish Statute Book.
  3. ^ "Irish Statute Book, Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1930".
  4. ^ "Census - CSO - Central Statistics Office" (PDF).
  5. ^ (eISB), electronic Irish Statute Book. "electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB)".
Administrative divisions of Iran

The first level of country subdivisions of Iran are the (Persian: استان‌ها‎; ostānhā) provinces.

Each province is further subdivided into counties called shahrestan (Persian: شهرستان‎, romanized: shahrestān), and each shahrestan is subdivided into districts called bakhsh (Persian: بخش‎, romanized: bakhsh). There are usually a few cities (Persian: شهر‎, romanized: shahr) and rural districts (Persian: دهستان‎, romanized: dehestān) in each county. Rural districts are a collection of a number of villages. One of the cities of the county is appointed as the capital of the county.

According to the government of Iran, as of March 2016 (Iranian calendar 1394), the figures are as follows:

According to the Statistical Center of Iran, the figures are as follows, as of March 2016 (end of Iranian calendar 1394):

To better understand such subdivisions, the following table may be helpful. Assume that province P is divided into two counties: A and B. County A has 3 districts: Central, X, and Y. The Central district is the district that contains City M, the capital of the county. Each district might contain one or more cities or one or more RDs (rural districts). In our example, the Central district contains City M, City N, and RD T composed of the villages V1, V2, V3, and V4, in turn; district X contains City O and RD U; and district Y has no cities and one RD V. The minimal county consists of only one city as the only district, named Central, which is most common. The county B in the following table is of such type, containing only one city Q.

Bakeshluchay Rural District

Bakeshluchay Rural District (Persian: دهستان بکشلوچای‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in the Central District of Urmia County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 22,672, in 6,208 families. The rural district has 50 villages.

Bangalore Rural district

Bengaluru Rural District is one of the 30 districts in Karnataka, India. It was formed in 1986, when Bengaluru was divided into Bengaluru (Rural) and Bengaluru (Urban). Presently in Bengaluru Rural district, there are 2 divisions, 4 Talukas, 35 Hoblis (cluster of villages), 1,713 inhabited and 177 uninhabited villages, 9 towns, and 229 Gram Panchayats. Proximity to the city of Bengaluru has its own impact on the district, with a considerable daily commuting population. The rural people are mostly agriculturists, although with the advent of SEZs in the area, service and IT industries are booming. Devanahalli is set to be the site of a 95 billion Devanahalli Business Park, near the Bengaluru International Airport.According to the 2001 census, the total population of the district was, 1,881,514 of which 21.65% were urban with a population density of 309 persons per km2. Bangalore Rural district has 22.5% of its population belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe. Hinduism is the major religion of this district. The Bengaluru Rural district is essentially an agriculture district but it has sufficient scope for Industrialisation, Dairy development and Sericulture.

It is the second least populous district in Karnataka (out of 30), after Kodagu.The district is endowed with agricultural and horticultural crops such as ragi, rice, groundnut, sugarcane, castor, grapes, mulberry, etc. There are adequate infrastructural facilities such as transport and communications, banking, credit, and marketing. Though the region is not rich in mineral resources, its non-metallic mineral resources are utilised for bricks, tiles, and stoneware manufacture. For many years, weaving has also been a major occupation for a large section of the population. The soil and such climatic conditions are congenial for the cultivation of mulberry, rearing of silkworms, and production of silk, besides other agro-based industries. There are a number of wineries and quantity of production of wine has been increasing. There is a proposal by the Government of Karnataka to rename Bengaluru Rural district to Kempe Gowda. In September 2007, the taluks of Kanakapura, Ramanagara, Magadi and Channapatna were merged to form the Ramanagara district.

Civil parishes in Cheshire

A civil parish is a country subdivision, forming the lowest unit of local government in England. There are 333 civil parishes in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, most of the county being parished. At the 2001 census, there were 565,259 people living in 332 parishes, accounting for 57.5 per cent of the county's population.

Civil parishes in Cornwall

A civil parish is a country subdivision, forming the lowest unit of local government in England. There are 218 civil parishes in the ceremonial county of Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow), which includes the Isles of Scilly. The county is effectively parished in its entirety; only the unpopulated Wolf Rock is unparished. At the 2001 census, there were 501,267 people living in the current parishes, accounting for the whole of the county's population. The final unparished areas of mainland Cornwall, around St Austell, were parished on 1 April 2009 to coincide with the structural changes to local government in England.

Population sizes within the county vary considerably, Falmouth is the most populous with a population of 25,223, recorded in 2001, and St Michael's Mount the least with 29 residents. The county is governed by two separate unitary authorities; Cornwall Council covers mainland Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are administered by their own unitary authority.

Council of the Isles of Scilly

The Council of the Isles of Scilly is a sui generis unitary local government authority covering the Isles of Scilly off the west coast of Cornwall. It is currently made up of 16 seats, with all councillors being Independents as of 2 May 2013. The council was created in 1890 as the Isles of Scilly Rural District Council and was renamed in 1974.

Dasht Rural District (West Azerbaijan Province)

Dasht Rural District (Persian: دهستان دشت‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in Silvaneh District, Urmia County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 8,647, in 1,541 families. The rural district has 26 villages.

Districts of Germany

In most German states, the primary administrative subdivision is the Landkreis ("rural district"); the exceptions are the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, which use the term Kreis. Most major cities in Germany are not part of any Kreis, but instead themselves perform functions like those of the Kreise; such a city is referred to as a Kreisfreie Stadt (literally "district-free city") or Stadtkreis ("urban district").

Kreise stand at an intermediate level of administration between each German state (Land, plural Länder) and the municipal governments (Gemeinde, plural Gemeinden) within it. These correspond to level-3 administrative units in the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS 3), and are roughly equivalent to counties in the United States.

Previously, the similar title Reichskreis (Imperial Circle) referred to groups of states in the Holy Roman Empire. The related term Landeskommissariat was used for similar administrative divisions in some German territories until the 19th century.

Eslamabad Rural District (Jiroft County)

Eslamabad Rural District (Persian: دهستان اسلام آباد‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in the Central District of Jiroft County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 11,289, in 2,314 families. The rural district has 27 villages.

Gevar Rural District

Gevar Rural District (Persian: دهستان گور‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in Sarduiyeh District, Jiroft County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 5,050, in 1,234 families. The rural district has 77 villages.

Halil Rural District

Halil Rural District (Persian: دهستان هليل‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in the Central District of Jiroft County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 5,856, in 1,343 families. The rural district has 43 villages.

List of civil parishes in Lincolnshire

This is a list of civil parishes and unparished areas in the ceremonial county of Lincolnshire, England.

List of civil parishes in the East Riding of Yorkshire

This is a list of civil parishes in the ceremonial county of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England.

Maskun Rural District

Maskun Rural District (Persian: دهستان مسكون‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in Jebalbarez District, Jiroft County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 3,290, in 773 families. The rural district has 68 villages.

North Somerset

North Somerset () is a unitary authority area in England. Its area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county. Its administrative headquarters is in the town hall in Weston-super-Mare.

North Somerset borders the local government areas of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, Mendip and Sedgemoor. The area comprises the parliamentary constituencies of Weston-super-Mare and North Somerset.

Rezvan Rural District (Jiroft County)

Rezvan Rural District (Persian: دهستان رضوان‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in Jebalbarez District, Jiroft County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 2,555, in 573 families. The rural district has 55 villages.

Rowzeh Chay Rural District

Rowzeh Chay Rural District (Persian: دهستان روضه‌چای‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in the Central District of Urmia County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 36,556, in 8,178 families. The rural district has 34 villages.

Sarduiyeh Rural District

Sarduiyeh Rural District (Persian: دهستان ساردوئيه‎) is a rural district (dehestan) in Sarduiyeh District, Jiroft County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 12,594, in 2,326 families. The rural district has 98 villages.

South Somerset

South Somerset is a local government district in Somerset, England.

The South Somerset district covers and area of 370 square miles (958 km2) ranging from the borders with Devon, Wiltshire and Dorset to the edge of the Somerset Levels. It has a population of approximately 158,000. The administrative centre of the district is Yeovil.

The district was formed on 1 April 1974, and was originally known as Yeovil, adopting its present name in 1985. It was formed by the merger of the municipal boroughs of Chard, Yeovil, along with Crewkerne and Ilminster urban districts and the Chard Rural District, Langport Rural District, Wincanton Rural District and Yeovil Rural District.

The district covers the whole of the Yeovil constituency, and part of Somerton and Frome. The district is governed by the South Somerset District Council.

It is currently Liberal Democrat controlled, and has Beacon Council status.

District status in the United Kingdom
County districts
Pre-1894 districts
Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

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