Provinces of Poland

POLSKA mapa woj z powiatami - Map provided by Aotearoa

Poland is divided into 16 administrative divisions since 1999 and is now based on three levels of governance. The territory of Poland is divided into voivodeships (provinces or regions); these are then further divided into 314 powiats, 66 cities and towns with powiat status (counties or districts), and these in turn are divided into 2,479 gminas (communes or municipalities). On this site we have decided to use the Polish title for the name of these provinces with alternative names used somewhere on the page.

Public Administration System in Poland

The public administration system in Poland works on the decentralization principle, which ensures that the decision making and executing processes take place at the lowest possible level and closest to the citizen.

The Polish public administration system has many common qualities with systems of other European countries but also has typical elements exclusive to the Polish nation, due to historical, social and economic reasons.

There are 16 Voivodships (provinces) in Poland, 314 rural districts (Powiats), 66 municipal districts and 2,479 communes. The provinces of Poland today are mostly named after the historical and geographical regions of the country, while those in existence prior to 1998 generally took their names from the cities on which they were centred.

A Powiat (pronounced povyat) is the second level of Polish administrative division, between Voivodships and Communes. As such it is roughly equivalent to counties or districts in the United Kingdom. There is no official equivalent of the name in English.

Some of the towns in a Voivodship can be centres of more than one powiat. The reason is that in several cases the town itself and its surroundings form separate entities of administrative division. This is usually the case for large Polish cities, but can also apply to several smaller towns.

The term Voivodeship is an area administered by a Governor in several countries of central and eastern Europe. Voivodeships have existed since medieval times in Poland, Wallachia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Russia and Serbia.

For more information you can refer to the Central Statistical Office of Poland website.

The Sixteen Provinces of Poland are:

 

Polish Name & Link English Name Voivodeship Link
Województwo Dolnośląskie Lower Silesia Lower Silesian
Województwo Kujawsko-Pomorskie Kujawsko-Pomorskie Kuyavian-Pomeranian
Województwo Łódzkie Łódź Province Łódź
Województwo Lubelskie Lublin Province Lublin
Województwo Lubuskie Lubuskie Province Lubusz
Województwo Małopolskie Małopolska Province Lesser Poland 
Województwo Mazowieckie Masovia Province Masovian
Województwo Opolskie Opole Province Opole
Województwo Podkarpackie Podkarpackie Province Subcarpathia
Województwo Podlaskie Podlasie Province Podlaskie
Województwo Pomorskie Pomerania Province Pomeranian 
Województwo Śląskie Silesia Province Silesian
Województwo Świętokrzyskie Holy Cross Province Świętokrzyskie
Województwo Warminsko-Mazurskie Warmia-Masuria Warmian-Masurian
Województwo Wielkopolskie Wielkopolska Province Greater Poland
Województwo Zachodniopomorskie West Pomerania West Pomeranian

 

Provinces of Poland Coat of Arms

Dolnoslaskie

Dolnoslaskie Coat of Arms

Kujawsko-Pomorskie

Kujawsko-Pomorskie Coat of Arms

Łódzkie

województwo-łódzkie-COA

Lubelskie

Lubelskie Coat of Arms

 

Lubuskie

Lubuskie Coat of Arms

Małopolska

Małopolska Coat of Arms

Mazowieckie

Mazowieckie Coat of Arms

Opolskie

Opolskie Coat of Arms

 

Podkarpackie

Podkarpackie Coat of Arms

Podlaskie

Podlaskie Coat of Arms

Pomorskie

Pomorskie Coat of Arms

Śląskie

województwo-slaskie-COA

 

Świętokrzyskie

województwo-swietokrzyskie-COA-small

Warmińsko-Mazurskie

Warminsko-Mazurskie Coat of Arms small

Wielkopolskie

Wielkopolskie Coat of Arms

Zachodniopomorskie

Zachodniopomorskie Coat of Arms

 

Provinces of Poland – Poland Travel Guide

Tatra Mountains in southern Poland