Provinces of Cuba

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The provinces of Artemisa and Mayabeque were created in 2010. The new provinces are assigned codes in Update 4 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes, the successor to FIPS PUB 10-4, issued on 2011-04-30. "Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, issued on 2014-03-31, also gives codes for the new provinces. ISO 3166-2 incorporated the same codes on 2014-10-29.

Sorin Cosoveanu sent me a link to source [12], with the results of the 2012 census.

Country overview: 

Short nameCUBA
ISO codeCU
GEC codeCU
LanguageSpanish (es)
Time zone-5 ~


Cuba was liberated from Spanish rule in the Spanish-American War, just before the beginning of the 20th century. The United States dominated the Cuban administration for about a decade, but Cuba has been considered an independent country throughout the century.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Cuba
  2. Dutch: Cuba, Republiek Cuba (formal)
  3. English: Republic of Cuba (formal)
  4. Finnish: Kuuba
  5. French: Cuba f
  6. German: Kuba n
  7. Icelandic: Kúba
  8. Italian: Cuba f
  9. Norwegian: Cuba, Republikken Cuba (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Cuba, República f de Cuba f (formal) (n in Portugal)
  11. Russian: Республика Куба (formal)
  12. Spanish: Cuba, República f de Cuba f (formal)
  13. Swedish: Cuba, Kuba
  14. Turkish: Küba Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

A native called the island Colba when questioned by Columbus, possibly misunderstanding him

Primary subdivisions: 

Cuba is divided into fifteen provincias (provinces) and one municipio especial (special municipality).

Ciego de ÁvilaCU.CA08CU07426,0546,7832,619Ciego de Ávila
Isla de la JuventudCU.IJ99CU0484,7512,419934Nueva Gerona
La HabanaCU.CH03CU022,106,146721278Havana
Las TunasCU.LT10CU13532,6456,5882,544Victoria de las Tunas
MayabequeCU.MQ16CU18376,8253,7681,455San José de las Lajas
Pinar del RíoCU.PD01CU01587,0268,8853,430Pinar del Río
Sancti SpíritusCU.SS07CU14463,4586,7372,601Sancti Spíritus
Santiago de CubaCU.SC13CU151,049,0846,1562,377Santiago de Cuba
Villa ClaraCU.VC05CU16791,2168,4123,248Santa Clara
16 divisions11,167,325109,88642,427

Further subdivisions:

See the Municipios of Cuba page.

The provinces are subdivided into municipios (municipalities). Their number has stayed constant since 1976, except for a reduction by one in 2010. Just before 1976, there were six provinces, divided into 51 regiones (regions), which in turn were divided into 326 municipalities. The provinces had been quite stable, but the lower-level subdivisions had undergone extensive changes over the years. In 1906, the six provinces had been subdivided into 83 términos municipales (municipal boundaries).

Territorial extent: 

  1. Cuba is separated from the Bahamas by the Nicholas Channel and Old Bahama Channel; from Haiti by the Windward Channel; from Jamaica by the Cayman Trench; from the Cayman Islands and Mexico by the Yucatan Channel and Yucatan Basin.
  2. Ciego de Ávila includes, along its south shore, islands in the Archipiélago de los Jardines de la Reina from its western end to Cayo Caballones, and the Cayos de Ana María. Along its north shore, it contains Cayo Coco and a number of small islands, mostly west of Cayo Coco and east of Cayo Santa María.
  3. Camagüey includes, along its south shore, islands in the Archipiélago de los Jardines de la Reina from Cayo Anclitos to its eastern end, and Cayo Media Luna. Along its north shore, it includes islands in the Archipiélago de Camagüey as far west as Cayo Romano.
  4. Guantánamo surrounds an enclave leased to the United States, containing the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station. GENC assigns the codes A2 and AX2 to this enclave.
  5. Isla de la Juventud includes the adjacent small islands in the Archipiélago de los Canarreos as far east as Cayo Largo, and as far north as Islas de Mangles.
  6. Artemisa and Mayabeque include most islands in the Ensenada de la Broa and the Golfo de Batabanó as far south as Cayos del Hambre.
  7. Matanzas includes about the western third of the Archipiélago de Sabana.
  8. Pinar del Río includes the Cayos de San Felipe.
  9. Villa Clara includes islands in the Archipiélago de Sabana and the Archipiélago de Sabana Camagüey as far east as Cayo Santa María.

The UN LOCODE page  for Cuba lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Cienfuegos: Spanish cien fuegos: a hundred fires, but named after an inhabitant.
  2. Granma: Named for the yacht which brought Fidel Castro back to Cuba on 1956-12-02.
  3. Isla de la Juventud: Island of youth, because of a cohort of young settlers.
  4. La Habana: named San Cristóbal de la Habana by Diego Velásquez. Habana may be an ethnic name, or related to Middle Dutch havene: port. In common usage, La Habana is translated when it refers to the city (Havana in Dutch, English, Portuguese, and Turkish; La Havane in French; L'Avana in Italian; Habana in German), but not when it refers to the province (present or former).
  5. Matanzas: Killings
  6. Oriente: East
  7. Sancti Spíritus: Latin for Holy Spirit.

Change history: 

  1. 1827: Spanish colonial government created three departamentos administrativos (administrative departments): Central, Occidental, and Oriental.
  2. ~1878: Spanish colonial government reorganized Cuba into six provincias administrativas (administrative provinces).
  3. 1898-12-10: Cuba attained independence from Spain (administered by U.S. until 1902-05-20).
  4. 1899: Name of Puerto Principe province changed to Camagüey.
  5. 1905: Name of Santiago de Cuba province changed to Oriente by the Provincial Council of that province.
  6. 1940: Name of Santa Clara province changed to Las Villas by the new constitution. As a result, the primary subdivisions of Cuba were:
ProvinceGECArea(km.²)CapitalDivided into
CamagüeyCU0520,623CamagüeyCamagüey, Ciego de Ávila, parts of Las Tunas and Sancti Spíritus
La HabanaCU028,252HavanaCiudad de La Habana, Isla de Pinos, most of La Habana
Las VillasCU0418,837Santa ClaraCienfuegos, Villa Clara, most of Sancti Spíritus, part of Matanzas
MatanzasCU0312,033Matanzasmost of Matanzas
OrienteCU0636,601Santiago de CubaGranma, Guantánamo, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, most of Las Tunas
Pinar del RíoCU0110,859Pinar del RíoPinar del Río, part of La Habana
6 provinces107,205
  • GEC: Code from FIPS PUB 10-1.
  • Divided into: provinces formed from this area in 1976.
  1. 1976-06-05: Cuba reorganized from six provinces to fourteen provinces and one special municipality (Isla de Pinos).
  2. 1978-06-28: Name of Isla de Pinos changed to Isla de la Juventud.
Ciego de ÁvilaCU.CA08CU07411,7666,7832,619Ciego de Ávila65-69
Ciudad de la HabanaCU.CH03CU022,201,610721278Havana10-19
Isla de la JuventudCU.IJ99CU0486,5592,419934Nueva Gerona25-29
La HabanaCU.LH02CU11711,0665,7322,213Havana30-34
Las TunasCU.LT10CU13525,4856,5882,544Victoria de Las Tunas75-79
Pinar del RíoCU.PR01CU01726,57410,9044,210Pinar del Río20-24
Sancti SpíritusCU.SS07CU14460,3286,7372,601Sancti Spíritus60-64
Santiago de CubaCU.SC13CU151,036,2816,1562,377Santiago de Cuba90-94
Villa ClaraCU.VC05CU16817,3958,4123,248Santa Clara50-54
15 divisions11,177,743109,88642,427
  • Province: except for Isla de la Juventud, which is a special municipality.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • GEC: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Population: 2002-09-06 census.
  • C.P.: Cuba uses five-digit Códigos Postales (postal codes). The first two digits correspond to
    the province. The ranges shown here are extrapolated from numerous examples.
  1. 2010-09-02: Artemisa province formed from part of La Habana province and part of Pinar del Río province. Mayabeque province formed from the remainder of La Habana province. Name of Ciudad de la Habana province changed to La Habana. That means the new La Habana province has nothing in common with the old one, which could lead to confusion.

Population history:

La Habana427,514538,010697,583985,5001,235,9391,538,8032,335,344
Las Villas356,536457,431657,697815,412938,5811,030,1621,362,179
Pinar del Río170,354240,372261,198343,480398,794448,422542,423


Source [11] gives the census data for 1899 to 1953.

Most current online sources say that the population of Cuba, according to the 1970 census, was 8,569,121, but they don't give the breakdown by provinces. I have five printed sources for the 1970 census, including sources [1]-[3], but they're all defective in one way or another. The data above follow source [1]. Source [2] agrees, except that it gives La Habana province a population of 2,305,241. Source [2] may have failed to take into account the 30,103 people in Isle of Pines, as Isla de la Juventud was then called, in both the population of La Habana and the country total.

Ciego de Ávila272,930321,015411,766426,054
Ciudad de la Habana1,761,4561,929,4322,201,610
Isla de la Juventud30,10358,05886,55984,751
La Habana524,101585,912711,0662,106,146
Las Tunas383,785437,198525,485532,645
Pinar del Río547,378640,726726,574587,026
Sancti Spíritus366,156400,026460,328463,458
Santiago de Cuba798,490914,1071,036,2811,049,084
Villa Clara701,214765,823817,395791,216


Sources: 1970 census (proleptic) from source [9], with an adjustment to Ciudad de la Habana. The population of Havana given there, by exception to the rest of the data, is a 1975 estimate. I changed it to make the total come out right. 1981 census from source [5]; 2002 census from source [6]; 2012 census from source [12].


  1. [1] The Statesman's Year-Book 1977-78, ed. John Paxton. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1977.
  2. [2] Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1980 edition. G. & C. Merriam, Springfield, MA, 1980.
  3. [3] Junta Central de Planificación, Censo de Población y Viviendas 1970. Editorial ORBE, Havana, 1975
  4. [4] CubaGenWeb  is the source for the change history up to 1905 (retrieved by 2003-11-27).
  5. [5] Thomas Brinkhoff's page  (retrieved 2007-11-03).
  6. [6] Oficina Nacional de Estadística  (retrieved 2007-11-03).
  7. [7] "La división politico-administrativa de la República de Cuba y la denominación aprobada de sus provincias y sus municipios y cabeceras", in Fourth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, Vol. II. United Nations, New York, 1987.
  8. [8] "Listado de nombres geográficos uniformados de los lugares habitados de Cuba con oficina de correos", in Fifth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, Vol. II, pp. 103 ff. United Nations, New York, 1991.
  9. [9] Almanaque Abril 1979. Editora Abril, Säo Paulo, 1978.
  10. [10] Table 1.4: Area, Population and Population Density, year 2008, in "Anuario Estadística de Cuba 2008". Retrieved 2010-11-26 from Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas .
  11. [11] Cifras Censales Comparadas 1899-1953 . This document cites República de Cuba, Trib. Sup. Electoral ONCDE: "Censos de Población, Viviendas y Electoral, Informe General 1953," La Habana, 1955, pp. 1, 3. (Retrieved from the website of Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas 2011-12-05).
  12. [12] Resumen Adelantado de Resultados Definitivos de Indicadores Seleccionados en Cuba, Provincias y Municipios  (Advance Summary of Final Results of Selected Indicators in Cuba, its Provinces and Municipalities) from the 2012 Census of Population and Housing. Table 1 (retrieved 2013-11-16).
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