Administrative division

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An administrative division, administrative unit, administrative entity or country subdivision (or, sometimes, geopolitical division or subnational entity) is a portion of a country or other region delineated for the purpose of administration. Administrative divisions are each granted a certain degree of autonomy and are usually required to manage themselves through their own local governments. Countries are divided up into these smaller units to make managing their land and the affairs of their people easier. For example, a country may be divided into provinces, which, in turn, are divided into counties, which, in turn, may be divided in whole or in part into municipalities; and so on.

Administrative divisions are conceptually separate from dependent territories, with the former being an integral part of the state and the other being only under some lesser form of control. However, the term "administrative division" can include dependent territories as well as accepted administrative divisions (for example, in geographical databases).

For clarity and convenience the standard neutral reference for the largest administrative subdivision of a country is called the "first-level administrative division" or "first administrative level". Next smaller is called "second-level administrative division" or "second administrative level".

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