Provinces of Spain

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Dai Phillips pointed out that I had the 2001 populations in the main table, but the caption said 2011. I updated the populations to the correct figures for 2011.

The NUTS code scheme was revised in 2003. The digit '0' was appended to the codes for Canary Islands and Madrid, considered as autonomous communities. Ceuta and Melilla (formerly shown as ES631 and ES632, respectively) were given NUTS-2 level codes. The province codes were right-padded with zeros to make all NUTS-3 codes the same length. The system was changed again circa 2010. The codes for the insular provinces—Baleares, Las Palmas, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife—were split up by island.

The official names of Álava, Guipúzcoa, and Vizcaya provinces have been changed to Araba/Álava, Gipuzkoa, and Bizkaia, respectively, by Spanish law. In other words, their Spanish names have been superseded by their Basque names. The name with a slash may appear on documents and signs, but I don't believe that ordinary people will start using "Araba/Álava" in conversation.

An update to ISO 3166-2 dated 2014-10-30 eliminates the Spanish names of the provinces Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya from the selection of alternate names. Álava and Araba are still both listed.

Secondary subdivisions:

The division of Spain into provincias (provinces) has endured, essentially unchanged, since 1833. The constitution of 1978 mandated the creation of autonomous communities. They were implemented by statute, and created by stages from 1979 to 1983, each consisting of one or more provinces. The smallest administrative divisions of Spain are the municipios (municipalities). There are various groupings of municipalities below the provincial level, varying by autonomous community: comarcas (counties), cabildo insular or consell insular (island council), and others. Ceuta and Melilla are special cases. Officially, they are plazas de soberanía del norte de Africa (places of sovereignty in the north of Africa; Spanish Africa for short). The ISO standard lists them as two separate entities, although it might make more sense to list them as one. Ceuta and Melilla are each municipalities. Formerly, Ceuta was administered as part of Cádiz province, and Melilla as part of Málaga.

Province HASCISOFIPSNUTSAcPcPopulationArea(km.²)CapitalGentilic
A Coruña ES.GA.ACCSP23ES111GA151,141,2867,876A Coruñacoruñés
Álava ES.PV.AAVISP01ES211PV01320,7783,047Vitoria-Gasteiz(1)alavés
Albacete ES.CM.ABABSP02ES421CM02401,58014,858Albacetealbaceteño
Alicante ES.VC.ANASP03ES521VC031,852,1665,863Alicantealicantino
Almería ES.AN.AMALSP04ES611AN04688,7368,774Almeríaalmeriense
Asturias ES.AS.ASOSP34ES120O331,075,18310,565Oviedoasturiano
Ávila ES.CL.AVAVSP05ES411CL05171,6478,048Ávilaabulense
Badajoz ES.EX.BDBASP06ES431EX06691,79921,657Badajozpacense
Baleares ES.PM.BLPMSP07ES531(2)IB071,100,5035,014Palmabalear
Barcelona ES.CT.BRBSP08ES511CT085,522,5657,733Barcelonabarcelonés
Burgos ES.CL.BUBUSP09ES412CL09372,53814,269Burgosburgalés
Cáceres ES.EX.CCCCSP10ES432EX10412,70119,945Cácerescacereño
Cádiz ES.AN.CDCASP11ES612AN111,244,7327,385Cádizgaditano
Cantabria ES.CB.CNSSP39ES130S39592,5425,289Santandercántabro
Castellón ES.VC.CSCSSP12ES522VC12594,4236,679Castellón de la Planacastellonense
Ceuta ES.CE.CECEES630CE5182,37618Ceutaceutí
Ciudad Real ES.CM.CRCRSP13ES422CM13526,62819,749Ciudad Realciudadrealeño
Córdoba ES.AN.COCOSP14ES613AN14802,57513,718Córdobacordobés
Cuenca ES.CM.CUCUSP15ES423CM16215,16517,061Cuencaconquense
Girona ES.CT.GNGISP16ES512CT17751,8065,886Gironagerundense
Granada ES.AN.GDGRSP17ES614AN18922,10012,531Granadagranadino
Guadalajara ES.CM.GJGUSP18ES424CM19257,44212,190Guadalajaraguadalajareño
Guipúzcoa ES.PV.GPSSSP19ES212PV20708,4251,997Donostia-San Sebastián(1)guipuzcoano
Huelva ES.AN.HLHSP20ES615AN21519,89510,085Huelvaonubense
Huesca ES.AR.HSHUSP21ES241AR22225,96215,671Huescaoscense
Jaén ES.AN.JAJSP22ES616AN23667,48413,498Jaénjienense
La Rioja ES.LO.LRLOSP27ES230LO26321,1735,034Logroñoriojano
Las Palmas ES.CN.LPGCSP24ES705(2)CN351,087,2254,065Las Palmas de Gran Canariapalmense
León ES.CL.LNLESP25ES413CL24493,31215,468Leónleonés
Lleida ES.CT.LDLSP26ES513CT25438,42812,028Lleidailerdense
Lugo ES.GA.LGLUSP28ES112GA27348,0679,803Lugolucense
Madrid ES.MD.MDMSP29ES300M286,421,8747,995Madridmadrileño
Málaga ES.AN.MGMASP30ES617AN291,594,8087,276Málagamalagueño
Melilla ES.ML.MEMLES640ML5278,47614Melillamelillense
Murcia ES.MU.MRMUSP31ES620MU301,462,12811,317Murciamurciano
Navarra ES.NA.NVNASP32ES220NA31640,12910,421Pamplonanavarro
Ourense ES.GA.ORORSP33ES113GA32328,6977,278Ourenseorensano
Palencia ES.CL.PLPSP35ES414CL34170,5138,029Palenciapalentino
Pontevedra ES.GA.PVPOSP36ES114GA36954,8774,477Pontevedrapontevedrés
Salamanca ES.CL.SLSASP37ES415CL37350,01812,336Salamancasalmantino
Santa Cruz de TenerifeES.CN.SCTFSP38ES709(2)CN38995,4293,208Santa Cruz de Tenerifetinerfeño
Segovia ES.CL.SGSGSP40ES416CL40163,1716,949Segoviasegoviano
Sevilla ES.AN.SVSESP41ES618AN411,930,94114,001Sevillasevillano
Soria ES.CL.SRSOSP42ES417CL4294,61010,287Soriasoriano
Tarragona ES.CT.TGTSP43ES514CT43807,0446,283Tarragonatarraconense
Teruel ES.AR.TETESP44ES242AR44143,16214,804Teruelturolense
Toledo ES.CM.TDTOSP45ES425CM45705,51615,368Toledotoledano
Valencia ES.VC.VNVSP46ES523VC462,563,34210,763Valenciavalenciano
Valladolid ES.CL.VDVASP47ES418CL47532,7658,202Valladolidvallisoletano
Vizcaya ES.PV.VZBISP48ES213PV481,156,1902,217Bilbaovizcaíno
Zamora ES.CL.ZMZASP49ES419CL49191,61310,559Zamorazamorano
Zaragoza ES.AR.ZGZSP50ES243AR50975,38517,194Saragossazaragozano
52 divisions46,811,930504,782
  • Province: except Ceuta and Melilla. Names are given in Spanish.
  • HASC: Second-level hierarchical administrative subdivision code.
  • ISO: Province codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix "ES-" to the code (ex:
    ES-V represents Valencia).
  • FIPS: Old codes from FIPS PUB 10-4. These were superseded by the FIPS codes for autonomous communities
    in ~1990.
  • NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics ().
  • Ac: ISO code for the autonomous community containing this province.
  • Pc: Spain uses a five-digit código postal (postal code). The first two digits determine the province, as shown.
  • Population: 2011-11-01 census. Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística.
  • Gentilic: Masculine singular name for an inhabitant.


Note 1: Vitoria and San Sebastián are the Spanish names of these cities, and Gasteiz and Donostia, the Basque names. They are often given in this hyphenated form.

Up until ~1970, there was a well-established grouping of provinces into historical regions. Many of the regions could be traced back to kingdoms of the Age of Exploration. In modern times, the historical regions had no administrative functions. Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Basque Country, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, Navarra, and Valencia contained the same provinces as the autonomous communities of the same names. (However, Basque Country and Navarra were often grouped together as "Provincia Vascongadas y Navarra.") Murcia included the provinces of Albacete (now in Castile-La Mancha) and Murcia. The other three historical regions were Leon, New Castile, and Old Castile (Spanish: León, Castilla la Nueva, and Castilla la Vieja). Leon comprised the provinces of León, Salamanca, and Zamora, all now in Castile and Leon. New Castile consisted of Madrid and all the provinces that are now in Castile-La Mancha except Albacete. Old Castile consisted of Castile and Leon, minus the three provinces of Leon, plus the autonomous communities of Cantabria and La Rioja. The Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla were not included among the historical regions.

Note 2: Three provinces are divided into multiple NUTS-3 areas. Baleares contains Eivissa y Formentera (ES531), Mallorca (ES532), and Menorca (ES533). Las Palmas contains Fuerteventura (ES704), Gran Canaria (ES705), and Lanzarote (ES708). Santa Cruz de Tenerife contains El Hierro (ES703), La Gomera (ES706), La Palma (ES707), and Tenerife (ES709).

Territorial extent:

  1. A Coruña includes some small coastal islands: Sálvora, the Islas Sisargas, etc.
  2. Almería includes Alborán Island.
  3. Baleares consists of the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera, Cabrera, and nearby islets.
  4. Burgos includes a large exclave called Condado de Treviño, surrounded by Álava province, as well as three tiny exclaves: two within Logroño, and one within Palencia province.
  5. Cantabria province includes an exclave around La Matanza, within Vizcaya province.
  6. Castellón includes the tiny Islas Columbretes.
  7. Ceuta lies on a peninsula on the coast of Morocco, across the Strait of Gibraltar.
  8. Ciudad Real includes an exclave called Rincón de Anchuras, on the border between Badajoz and Toledo provinces.
  9. Córdoba includes a small exclave around Villar, contained within Sevilla province.
  10. Girona includes the exclave of Llivia, surrounded by Pyrénées-Orientales department of France, as well as a small exclave within Barcelona province.
  11. Guipúzcoa contains the Spanish share of Isla de los Faisanes, a condominium of France and Spain.
  12. Las Palmas consists of the islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Graciosa, Alegranza, Lobos, and Montaña Clara. They all lie in the Canary Islands.
  13. Madrid includes the small exclave of La Cepeda, lying on the border between Ávila and Segovia provinces.
  14. Melilla consists of a small coastal enclave in Morocco around the city of Melilla, and several small islands off the coast of Morocco: Islas Chafarinas (Isabel II, Congreso, Isla del Rey), Peñón de Alhucemas and its neighbors Isla de Mar and Isla de Tierra, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera.
  15. Navarra includes two small exclaves within Zaragoza province, around Petilla de Aragón and Bastanes.
  16. Palencia includes five small exclaves: two within Burgos province, two within Santander, and one on the border between Burgos and Santander.
  17. Pontevedra includes some coastal islands: Arosa, Ons, and the Islas Cíes (Monte Agudo and San Martín).
  18. Santa Cruz de Tenerife consists of the islands of Tenerife, La Palma, Gomera, and Hierro. They all lie in the Canary Islands.
  19. Valencia includes an exclave called Rincón de Ademuz, on the border between Cuenca and Teruel provinces.
  20. Valladolid includes two exclaves, one within León province, and a larger one on the border between León and Zamora.
  21. Vizcaya includes an exclave around Orduña, on the border between Álava and Burgos.

Origins of names:

  1. Álava: possibly from Basque araiiar: land between mountains, or ara ba: low plain
  2. Albacete: Arabic al-Basit: the plain
  3. Alicante: from Greek leuke akte: white cape, through Latin Lucentum and Arabic Alicante, as a city name
  4. Almería: Arabic al-Meriya: the watchtower
  5. Asturias: from Basque asta: rock, ur: water
  6. Badajoz: from city name, from Latin Pax Augusti: peace of Augustus
  7. Baleares: the ancients explained it as a Semitic name meaning "slingers' islands"
  8. Barcelona: from Hamilcar Barca, Carthaginian general
  9. Burgos: Spanish for cities. Burgos, the city, was formed by uniting several smaller cities
  10. Cádiz: from Semitic gadir: walled place
  11. Cantabria: for the Cantabrian Mountains, named for Cantabri (ethnic name)
  12. Ceuta: Latin Castellum ad Septem Fratres: castle of the seven brothers, referring to seven mountains, through Arabic Sebta
  13. Ciudad Real: Spanish for royal city; founded by King Alfonso X of Castille in 1252.
  14. Córdoba: possibly from Phoenician qorteb: oil press
  15. Cuenca: Spanish for basin, from Latin concha: basin; the city is situated in a deep river valley
  16. Granada: Latin granatum: fruit
  17. Guadalajara: Arabic wadi al-hajara: stony river
  18. Guipúzcoa: Basque for the place of Ipuz (person or tribe)
  19. La Coruña: possibly from Latin columna: column, referring to an ancient lighthouse
  20. León: from Latin legionis, genitive case of legio: legion; headquarters of the Seventh Legion
  21. Madrid: possibly from Celtic mago: big + ritu: ford
  22. Málaga: possibly from Phoenician malaka: refuge
  23. Murcia: from Arabic for the firmly founded
  24. Navarra: possibly from Basque naba: mountain pass or valley, Nabarra: tribe from mountain valleys
  25. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: = Holy Cross of Tenerife; Tenerife is the name of the island, from native words tener: island, ife: white, referring to snowy mountain peaks
  26. Santander: probably a corruption of Sant Andres: Saint Andrew
  27. Sevilla: from a Semitic name meaning plain
  28. Valencia: from city name, from Latin Valentia Edetanorum, probably meaning "strong city of the Edetani tribe"
  29. Valladolid: Arabic vali: governor + Walid; the city was the governorate of Walid Abul Abbas
  30. Vizcaya: from Basque bizkar: mountain pass
  31. Zaragoza: city renamed Cæsaria Augusta when it became a military colony in 25 B.C., shortened to Cæsaraugusta, then to Sarakusta by the Moors

Change history:

  1. 1927-09-21: Canary Islands split into Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife provinces.
  2. 1980-06-27: Names of the capitals of Gerona and Lérida provinces changed from Gerona to Girona and from Lérida to Lleida, respectively.
  3. 1980-11-15: Name of Logroño province, but not its capital, changed to La Rioja. (Law passed on this date.)
  4. 1982-01-31: Name of Santander province, but not its capital, changed to Cantabria. (Law passed 1981-12-15, approved by king 1981-12-30, published in Official Bulletin 1982-01-11, took effect 1982-01-31.)
  5. 1983-04-05: Name of Oviedo province, but not its capital, changed to Asturias. (Law passed on this date.)
  6. 1984-09-27: Names of the capitals of La Coruña and Orense provinces changed from La Coruña to A Coruña and from Orense to Ourense, respectively. (Law passed 1983-06-15, decree issued on this date.)
  7. 1992-02-28: Names of Gerona and Lérida provinces changed to Girona and Lérida, respectively. (Law passed on this date.)
  8. 1998-03-03: Names of La Coruña and Orense provinces changed to A Coruña and Ourense, respectively. (Law passed on this date.)
  9. 2011-06-05: Official names of Álava, Guipúzcoa, and Vizcaya provinces changed to Araba/Álava, Gipuzkoa, and Bizkaia, respectively, under law 2011/19.

Other names of subdivisions:

  1. A Coruña: A Corunha (Portuguese-variant); Coruña (variant); Corunha (Portuguese); Corunna (obsolete); La Corogne (French); La Coruña (obsolete); La Corunya (Catalan)
  2. Álava: Àlaba (Catalan); Araba (Basque)
  3. Alicante: Alacant (Catalan)
  4. Asturias: Oviedo (obsolete); see also Asturias autonomous community, above
  5. Ávila: Àvila (Catalan)
  6. Barcelona: Barcellona (Italian); Barcelone (French)
  7. Cáceres: Càceres (Catalan)
  8. Cádiz: Cádice (Italian); Cadis (Catalan); Cádis (Portuguese-variant); Cadix (French)
  9. Cantabria: Cantàbria (Catalan); Cantábria (Portuguese); Santander (obsolete)
  10. Castellón: Castelló (Catalan); Castellón de la Plana (variant)
  11. Córdoba: Cordoue (French); Cordova (English, Italian); Còrdova (Catalan); Córdova (Portuguese)
  12. Cuenca: Conca (Catalan)
  13. Girona: Gerona (obsolete); Gérona (Portuguese); Gérone (French)
  14. Granada: Grenada (English); Grenade (French)
  15. Guipúzcoa: Guipúscoa (Catalan); Gipuzkoa (Basque)
  16. Huesca: Osca (Catalan)
  17. La Rioja: Logronho (Portuguese-variant); Logroño (obsolete)
  18. León: Leão (Portuguese-variant); Lleó (Catalan)
  19. Lleida: Lérida (obsolete, Portuguese)
  20. Madrid: Madri (Brazilian Portuguese)
  21. Málaga: Màlaga (Catalan)
  22. Melilla: Melilha (Portuguese)
  23. Murcia: Múrcia (Catalan, Portuguese); Murcie (French)
  24. Navarra: Navarre (English, French)
  25. Ourense: Orense (obsolete)
  26. Palencia: Palência (Portuguese-variant); Palència (Catalan)
  27. Salamanca: Salamanque (French)
  28. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Santa Cruz de Santiago (variant)
  29. Segovia: Segòvia (Catalan); Segóvia (Portuguese); Ségovie (French)
  30. Sevilla: Sevilha (Portuguese); Seville (English); Séville (French); Siviglia (Italian)
  31. Soria: Sòria (Catalan)
  32. Tarragona: Tarragone (French)
  33. Teruel: Terol (Catalan)
  34. Toledo: Tolède (French)
  35. Valencia: Valence (French); València (Catalan); Valência (Portuguese-variant); Valenza (Italian)
  36. Valladolid: Valhadolid (Portuguese); Valhadolide (Portuguese-variant)
  37. Vizcaya: Biscaia (Portuguese); Biscay (English); Biscaye (French); Bizkaia (Basque); Viscaya (Brazilian Portuguese)
  38. Zamora: Samora (Portuguese-variant)
  39. Zaragoza: Saragoça (Portuguese-variant); Saragossa (Catalan, English-variant); Saragosse (French); Saragozza (Italian)

Population history:

A Coruña658,201767,608883,090998,2671,004,1881,102,3761,110,3021,096,0271,141,286
Ciudad Real368,492491,657530,308588,196507,650477,967478,672478,957526,628
La Rioja188,285203,789221,160234,681235,713262,611264,941276,702321,173
Las Palmas 250,991320,524409,196579,710855,494834,085887,6761,087,225
Santa Cruz de Tenerife419,809304,137359,770454,121590,514759,388772,449806,801995,429


For 1910, Las Palmas is included under Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Figures for 1956 are estimated. Totals do not include Spanish Africa.

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