The term municipality may also mean the governing body of a given municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district.
The English word is derived from French municipalité, which in turn derives from the Latin municipalis, based on the word for social contract (municipium), referring originally to the Latin communities that supplied Rome with troops in exchange for their own incorporation into the Roman state (granting Roman citizenship to the inhabitants) while permitting the communities to retain their own local governments (a limited autonomy).
The territory over which a municipality has jurisdiction may encompass:
Powers of municipalities range from virtual autonomy to complete subordination to the state. Municipalities may have the right to tax individuals and corporations with income tax, property tax, and corporate income tax, but may also receive substantial funding from the state. In some European countries, such as Germany, municipalities have the constitutional right to supply public services through municipally-owned public utility companies.
Terms cognate with "municipality", mostly referring to territory or political structure,[clarification needed] are Spanish municipio (Spain) and municipalidad (Chile), Catalan municipi, Portuguese município.
In many countries, terms cognate with "commune" are used, referring to the community living in the area and the common interest. These include terms:
The same terms "Gemeente" (Dutch) or "Gemeinde" (German) may be used for church congregations or parishes, for example, in the German and Dutch Protestant churches.
In Greece, the word Δήμος (demos) is used, also meaning 'community'; the word is known in English from the compound democracy (rule of the people).
In some countries, the Spanish term ayuntamiento, referring to a municipality's administration building, is extended via synecdoche to denote the municipality itself. In Moldova and Romania, both municipalities (municipiu; urban administrative units) and communes (comună; rural units) exist, and a commune may be part of a municipality.
In many countries, comparable entities may exist with various names.
|Country||Term||Example||Subdivision of||Quantity||Notes||Further reading|
|Brazil||município||Blumenau,||a state (estado), which is part of a region (região)||5,570||A municipality usually is divided in the urban part, the city (cidade), and the rural part.||List of municipalities of Brazil|
|Ireland||bardas, contae or comhairle||Baile Átha Cliath||a province (cúige) or a county (contae)||31||A municipality usually has authority of the whole county. In some cases however, authority is reduced to a subdivision of the county for highly populated regions, especially in Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath)||Local governments in the Republic of Ireland|
|Italy||comune||Montefiascone||a province (provincia) which is part of a region (regione).||7,982||Solely used for subdivisions of larger comuni, especially in Rome; municipio indicates the city hall; in some case, they are joined in mountain communities (comunità montane)||List of municipalities of Italy|
|India||municipality, or nagar palika, or nagar parishad||Darjeeling Municipality, English Bazar Municipality||It is an administrative unit that governs a specific urban area, such as a town or city. Municipalities are established under state legislation and operate under the framework of the relevant state municipal acts. Municipalities have their own elected bodies, which typically include a mayor or chairperson and councilors representing different wards or constituencies within the urban area.||Municipal governance in India|
|Philippines||bayan, munisipyo or munisipalidad||Janiuay||a province (lalawigan or probinsya, except for Pateros)||1,488||A municipality is the official name for a town and is divided into barangays. Municipalities with a larger population and income may become a city through a city charter.||Municipalities of the Philippines|
|Portugal||município||Lisbon,||18 districts and 2 autonomous regions (Azores and Madeira)||308||Usually a municipality is named after its largest or historically most important town or city. Municipalities are typically much larger than the city or town after which they are named.||List of municipalities of Portugal|
|Puerto Rico||municipio||Arecibo||none||78||municipality consists of an urban area (termed a city or town) plus all of its surrounding barrios comprising the municipality. It has a popularly elected administration and a municipal mayor. The seat of the municipal government is located in such urban area and serves the entire municipal jurisdiction.||Municipalities of Puerto Rico|
||a region (region), the 21 self-governing areas consisting of one or more municipalities)
a county (län), subdivision of the national state into 21 areas administered by County administrative boards.
Regions and counties often follow the same geographical borders.
|290||According to the Instrument of Government, Swedish democracy is realised through a parliamentary form of government and through local selfgovernment. Municipalities are independent of the regions and counties in which they are located.
Before 1971, municipalites were incorporated as either cities (stad), market towns (köping) or rural municipalities (landskommun). The city-label is still used for marketing purposes, but lacks legal status and cannot be used in formal governing documents.
For resident and land registration purposes, Sweden is also divided in 2 523 districts (distrikt), based on the historic Church of Sweden parishes of 1999. The districts lack authority, governing body and agency.
|Municipalities of Sweden|
All public power in Sweden proceeds from the people. Swedish democracy is founded on the free formation of opinion and on universal and equal suffrage. It is realised through a representative and parliamentary form of government and through local selfgovernment. Public power is exercised under the law.