Administrative divisions of Moldova
According to the Moldovan law on territorial administrative organisation, Moldova is divided administratively into the following administrative territorial units: districts (Romanian: raioane; see also raions), cities/towns (Romanian: orașe) and villages (Romanian: sate). The administrative territorial organization of Moldova is made on 2 levels:
- villages (communes), sectors and cities/towns (municipalities) constitute the first level,
- districts, Chișinău municipality, Bălți municipality and Bender municipality constitute the second level.
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Currently, Moldova is divided into the following first-tier units, which include 32 districts:
two autonomous territorial units:
- Gagauzia (officially "Autonomous Territorial Unit Gagauzia")
- Transnistria (officially "Territorial administrative units from the left part of Nistru river")
The final status of the latter has not been settled yet, as the region, such as defined administratively, in fact is not under the control of Moldovan authorities. The cities of Comrat and Tiraspol also have municipality status, but are not among first-tier units of Moldova; they are the seats of Gagauzia and Transnistria, respectively. Besides Chișinău, Bălți, Bender, Comrat, and Tiraspol, on 13 April 2017 eight more became municipalities: Cahul, Ceadîr-Lunga, Edineț, Hîncești, Orhei, Soroca, Strășeni, and Ungheni.
Moldova has a total of 1,682 localities; from these 982 are incorporated (de jure with 982 mayors and 982 local councils), including 53 cities/towns, other 13 cities with municipality status (see municipiu), and 916 rural localities. They cover the entire area of the country. A number of villages are self-governed, while others 700 villages are too small to have a separate administration, and are part of either cities/towns/municipalities (41 of them) or communes (659). Few localities are inhabited.
The status of Chișinău, Bălți, and Bender as municipalities and first-level territorial units of the country allows their suburb villages to have, when large enough, their own mayor and local council. By contrast, the villages that are administratively part of (some of) the other cities do not retain self-rule.
- Districts (32):
|Name of district||District seat||President||Area|
|Anenii Noi||Anenii Noi||Vladimir Vâzdoagă||892||83,100||93.2||45|
|Ștefan Vodă||Ștefan Vodă||Vasile Buzu||998||71,900||72.0||26|
- Municipalities of first-tier (3):
- Autonomous territories (2):
|Name of autonomy||Autonomy Seat||Leader||Area|
Areas not under central government control include:
- Transnistria, which with the exception of six communes (comprising a total of ten localities) corresponds to the geographic part of Moldova situated to the east of the Dniestr (Romanian: Nistru) river, is de jure a part of Moldova, but in fact is governed by breakaway authorities (see also: War of Transnistria). The city of Dubăsari (geographically and administratively in Transnistria, and not in the Dubăsari District), and six communes (administratively in the Dubăsari District of Moldova, and not in the administrative definition of Transnistria), all controlled by the central authorities (except the village of Roghi in commune Molovata Nouă, which is controlled by Tiraspol), form the northern part of the security zone set at the end of the war.
- Bender municipality (the city itself, plus the commune Proteagailovca), and three communes (five localities) of Căușeni District (Gîsca, Chițcani, and Cremenciug) are de facto controlled by the breakaway regime of Transnistria. Together with the commune Varnița of Anenii Noi District and the commune Copanca of Căușeni District under Moldovan control, these localities form the southern part of the security zone set at the end of the war. The city of Bender has both a Moldovan police force (mostly symbolic) and a Transnistrian militsiya force (practically in charge in most instances).
- The smallest entity electing a mayor is the commune of Salcia, in Taraclia District (population 441). It consists of the village of Salcia, population 382, and the village of Orehovca, population 59. The largest entity is the municipality of Chișinău, electing a mayor for 712,218 inhabitants.
- The largest number of localities governed by a single commune or city government in Moldova is 6. This is the case for:
- On the opposite end, 42 of the 66 cities, and about half the communes of Moldova have local administration providing services for a single locality.
- There are four or five localities in Moldova with a zero population:
- The village of Schinoasa was outlined within commune Țibirica, Călărași District in 2007, and information is not available yet whether it has any population.
- Village (hamlet) Ivanovca, commune Natalievca, Fălești District, population 19, inhabited by 14 Russians and 5 Ukrainians, is the only inhabited locality in Moldova without any ethnic Moldovans. On the opposite end, one commune, Cigîrleni, Ialoveni District, population 2,411, and 42 villages of sub-commune level (population varying from 1 to 673), have a 100% Moldovan population.
There are 147 settlement names shared by multiple localities in Moldova. Most notable cases includes these:
- A town Mărculești, and a different commune Mărculești, both situated in the Florești District
- A city Dondușeni, and a different commune Dondușeni, both situated in the Dondușeni District
- A city Drochia, and a different commune Drochia, both situated in the Drochia District
- A town Costești, in Rîșcani District, with a population of 2,247 (4,109 with 4 suburb villages), the 8th smallest city in Moldova, and a commune (village) Costești, in Ialoveni District, population 11,128, the 2nd largest village in Moldova
- A town Cornești, in Ungheni District, and a different village Cornești in the same Ungheni District, and also a village Cornești in Hîncești District
Between 1998 and February 2003, Moldova was divided into 12 territorial units, including 1 municipality, 1 autonomous territorial unit, 1 territorial unit, and 9 counties (Romanian: județe; seats in brackets):
- Chișinău municipality, surrounded by Chișinău county, but different from it
- Bălți County (Bălți)
- Cahul County (Cahul)
- Chișinău County (Chișinău)
- Edineț County (Edineț)
- Lăpușna County (Hîncești)
- Orhei County (Orhei)
- Soroca County (Soroca)
- Tighina County (Moldova) (Căușeni)
- Ungheni County (Ungheni)
- Găgăuzia, autonomous territorial unit (Comrat)
- Stânga Nistrului, territorial unit (Dubăsari)
Cities and districts (1991-1998)
- Anenii Noi
- Ștefan Vodă
- ISO 3166-2:MD, ISO subdivision codes for Moldova
- Law no. 764-XV from 27.12.2001 on territorial administrative organisation of the Republic of Moldova, article 4 para. 1 (in Romanian)
- Law no. 764-XV from 27.12.2001 on territorial administrative organisation of the Republic of Moldova, article 4 para. 4 (in Romanian) [public domain]
- Administrative-territorial organization of Moldova
- Law no. 764-XV from 27.12.2001 on territorial administrative organisation of the Republic of Moldova, article 5 para. 2
- Administrative-territorial units of Moldova
- LEGE Nr. 248 din 03.11.2016 pentru modificarea și completarea Legii nr. 764-XV din 27 decembrie 2001 privind organizarea administrativ-teritorială a Republicii Moldova (in Romanian)
- Clasificatorul unităţilor administrativ-teritoriale (CUATM) (in Romanian)
- Report on the Territorial Administrative Structure Options for the Republic of Moldova. March 2015
- Moldovan Ministry of Local Public Administration
- Law № 764-XV/2001 on the administrative organization of the Republic of Moldova available on Wikisource.
- Moldovan Law 431-XIII from April 19, 1995, Monitorul Oficial al Republicii Moldova, no. 31-32/340, June 9, 1995