Administrative geography of Bangladesh

Subdivisions of Bangladesh
বাংলাদেশের প্রশাসনিক অঞ্চল
Location Bangladesh


Type Number
Division 8
District 64
City Corporation 11
Municipal Corporation 323
Upazila 490
Union Parishads ~4,553
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Bangladesh is divided into 8 Divisions (Bibhag) and 64 Districts(Jela, Zila, Zela), although these have only a limited role in public policy. For the purposes of local government, the country is divided into Upazila, Thana and Union Council. The diagram below outlines the five tiers of government in Bangladesh.

Central government
8 Division
64 District
490 Subdistrict
11 City Corporations
4,553 Union Council
(Rural area)
323 Municipalities


Bangladesh is divided into eight major administrative divisions (Bengali: বিভাগ Bibhag). Each division is named after the major city within its jurisdiction that serves as the administrative capital of that division:


Formerly Bangladesh was also divided into 21 regions, which formed an additional administrative level between the levels of the divisions and the districts:


The divisions are divided into 64[2] districts, or zila (Bengali: জেলা jela). Each district is run by a Deputy Commissioner (popularly abbreviated to "DC") who is appointed by the government from a Deputy secretary of B.C.S. Administration Cadre.

Division Number Districts
Barisal 6
Chittagong 11
Dhaka 13
Khulna 10
Mymensingh 4
Rajshahi 8
Rangpur 8
Sylhet 4
Total 64


The districts are divided into subdistricts called Upazila (Bengali: উপজেলা upojela). Upazilas are similar to the county subdivisions found in some Western countries. At present Bangladesh has 490 upazilas. The Local Government Ordinance of 1982 was amended a year later, redesignating and upgrading many existing thanas as upazilas.[3]

Local level

City Corporations

The cities with a city corporation, having mayoral elections, include Dhaka South, Dhaka North, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Barisal, Rangpur, Comilla and Gazipur. The city corporation are divided into wards, which are further divided into mahallas. Direct elections are held for each ward, electing a councillor. The city mayors are elected for a span of five years.

Municipal Corporations

In the metropolitan areas, excluding the cities with city corporations, have municipal corporations, also known as Pourasabha. Pourasabhas are divided into wards, which are further divided into Mauzas and Mahallas. Direct elections are held for each ward, electing a chairperson and a number of members. The municipal heads are elected for a span of five years.

Union Councils

Further information: Union Councils of Bangladesh

Union Councils (or Union Parishads or Unions) are the smallest rural administrative and local government units in Bangladesh.[4] Each Union is made up of nine Wards. Usually one village is designated as a Ward. There are 4,553 Unions in Bangladesh.[1] A Union Council consists of a Chairman and twelve members including three members exclusively reserved for women. Union Parishads are formed under the Local Government (Union Parishads) Act, 2009.[5] The boundary of each Union is demarcated by the Deputy Commissioner of the District. A Union Council is the body primarily responsible for agricultural, industrial and community development within the local limits of the union.

Lowest level


Further information: Villages of Bangladesh


Further information: Mahalla (Bangladesh)


Further information: Wards of Bangladesh


Further information: Mouza

See also


  1. 1 2
  3. Siddiqui, Kamal (2012). "Local Government". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  4. Khan, Dr. Mohammad Mohabbat. "Functioning of Local Government (Union Parishad): Legal and Practical Constraints" (PDF). Democracywatch. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  5. "Local Government (Union Parishads) Act, 2009 (in Bangla).". Bangladesh Code. Ministry of Law, Government of Bangladesh.
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