Provinces of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is made up of 34 provinces (ولايت, wilåyat). The provinces of Afghanistan are the primary administrative divisions. Each province encompasses a number of districts or usually over 1,000 villages.

Provinces of Afghanistan
Also known as:
CategoryUnitary state
LocationIslamic Republic of Afghanistan
Number34 provinces
Populations147,964 (Nimruz) – 4,372,977 (Kabul)
Areas1,840 km2 (711 sq mi) (Kapisa) – 58,580 km2 (22,619 sq mi) (Helmand)
GovernmentProvincial government, National government

Provincial governments are led by a governor who is appointed by the President of Afghanistan.[1] Each province is represented in the government of Afghanistan by two members in the House of Elders. One is elected by the provincial council to a four-year term while the second is elected by the district councils to a three-year term. Representation in the House of the People is directly from the districts, although in each province, two or more of the representatives must be women. They are appointed by the President of Afghanistan.

Provincial governors have played a critical role in the reconstruction of the Afghan state following the creation of the new government under Hamid Karzai.[2] According to international security scholar, Dipali Mukhopadhyay, many of the provincial governors are former warlords who have been incorporated into the political system.[2]

Provinces of Afghanistan

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Provinces of Afghanistan[3]
Province Map # ISO 3166-2:AF[4] Centers Population (2015)[5] Area (km²) # Districts U.N. Region
Badakhshan30AF-BDSFayzabad950,95344,05929North East Afghanistan
Badghis4AF-BDGQala i Naw495,95820,5917West Afghanistan
Baghlan19AF-BGLPuli Khumri910,78421,11816North East Afghanistan
Balkh13AF-BALMazar-i-Sharif1,325,65917,24915North West Afghanistan
Bamyan15AF-BAMBamyan487,21814,1757Central Afghanistan
Daykundi10AF-DAYNili507,33918,0888South West Afghanistan
Farah2AF-FRAFarah507,40548,47111West Afghanistan
Faryab5AF-FYBMaymana998,14720,29314North West Afghanistan
Ghazni16AF-GHAGhazni1,228,83122,91519South East Afghanistan
Ghor6AF-GHOChaghcharan790,29636,47910West Afghanistan
Helmand7AF-HELLashkargah924,71158,58413South West Afghanistan
Herat1AF-HERHerat1,890,20254,77815West Afghanistan
Jowzjan8AF-JOWSheberghan540,25511,7989North West Afghanistan
Kabul22AF-KABKabul4,372,9774,46218Central Afghanistan
Kandahar12AF-KANKandahar1,226,59354,02216South East Afghanistan
Kapisa29AF-KAPMahmud-i-Raqi441,0101,8427Central Afghanistan
Khost26AF-KHOKhost574,5824,15213South East Afghanistan
Kunar34AF-KNRAsadabad450,6524,94215North East Afghanistan
Kunduz18AF-KDZKunduz1,010,0378,0407North East Afghanistan
Laghman32AF-LAGMihtarlam445,5883,8435East Afghanistan
Logar23AF-LOGPul-i-Alam392,0453,8807Central Afghanistan
Nangarhar33AF-NANJalalabad1,517,3887,72723East Afghanistan
Nimruz3AF-NIMZaranj164,97841,0055South West Afghanistan
Nuristan31AF-NURParun147,9679,2257North East Afghanistan
Paktia24AF-PIAGardez551,9876,43211South East Afghanistan
Paktika25AF-PKASharana434,74219,48215South East Afghanistan
Panjshir28AF-PANBazarak371,9023,6107North East Afghanistan
Parwan20AF-PARCharikar664,5025,9749Central Afghanistan
Samangan14AF-SAMSamangan387,92811,2625North West Afghanistan
Sar-e Pol9AF-SARSar-e Pol559,57716,3607North West Afghanistan
Takhar27AF-TAKTaloqan983,33612,33316North East Afghanistan
Urozgan11AF-URUTarinkot386,81812,6966Central Afghanistan
Wardak21AF-WARMaidan Shar596,2879,9349Central Afghanistan
Zabul17AF-ZABQalat304,12617,3439South East Afghanistan

Former Provinces of Afghanistan

See also


  1. Ahmed, Azam (8 December 2012). "For Afghan Officials, Facing Prospect of Death Is in the Job Description". New York Times. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  2. Mukhopadhyay, Dipali. Building a Theory of Strongman Governance in Afghanistan. p. 43. doi:10.1017/cbo9781139161817.001.
  3. References and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual provincial articles.
  4. ISO 3166-2:AF (ISO 3166-2 codes for the provinces of Afghanistan)
  5. Afghanistan at GeoHive

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