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Autonomous communities of Spain

First-level political and administrative division of Spain / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In Spain, an autonomous community (Spanish: comunidad autónoma) is the first sub-national level of political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish Constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain.[1][2]

Quick facts: Autonomous communities Spanish comunidad a...
Autonomous communities

Spanish: comunidad autónoma[lower-alpha 1]
Basque: autonomia erkidegoa[lower-alpha 2]
Catalan: comunitat autònoma[lower-alpha 3]
Galician: comunidade autónoma[lower-alpha 4]
Occitan: comunautat autonòma
Aragonese: comunidat autonoma
Asturian: comunidá autónoma

CategoryAutonomous administrative division
LocationFlag_of_Spain.svg Spain
Created bySpanish Constitution of 1978
  • 1979–1983
Number17 autonomous communities
2 autonomous cities
PopulationsAutonomous communities:
319,914 (La Rioja) – 8,464,411 (Andalusia)
Autonomous cities:
84,202 (Ceuta) – 87,076 (Melilla)
AreasAutonomous communities:
4,992 km2 (Balearic Islands) – 94,223 km2 (Castile and León)
Autonomous cities:
12.3 km2 (Melilla) – 18.5 km2 (Ceuta)

There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla) that are collectively known as "autonomies" or regions.[lower-roman 1] The two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities.

The autonomous communities exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy,[lower-roman 2] which broadly define the powers that they assume.

Each statute sets out the devolved powers (Spanish: competencia) for each community; typically those communities with stronger local nationalism have more powers, and this type of devolution has been called asymmetrical which is on the whole seen as advantageous, able to respond to diversity.[3]

Despite the Constitution not setting a mandatory legislative chamber framework, all autonomous communities have chosen unicameralism. All such governments have legislative and executive branches of government but not judicial.