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Territorial structure

(based on Small Statistical Yearbook 2008)

As of 1st January 1999, a new, three-level territorial division of the state was introduced, according to which the state consists of: communes (gminas), districts (poviats) and provinces (voivodeships). This division is still effective as of now.

According to the statistical yearbook of 2008, by the end of 2007 there were 2,478 gminas, 314 poviats, 65 cities of poviat status and 16 voivodeships: Dolnośląskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Łódzkie, Małopolskie, Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Pomorskie, Śląskie, Świętokrzyskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Wielkopolskie and Zachodniopomorskie.

A subdivision of a gmina is a sołectwo (the lowest unit of local administration, usually comprising a single village). As of 31st December 2007, there were 40,398 such units.

The largest gmina in terms of area is the gmina of Pisz (634 km²) in the poviat of Pisz and the smallest is the urban gmina of Górowo Iławeckie (3 km²), located in the Bartoszycki poviat in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship.

The gmina with the largest population is the city of Warsaw (1706.6 thousand) which is also a city having poviat status, located in the Mazowieckie voivodeship, while the gmina with the smallest population is Krynica Morska (1.4 thousand) in the Nowodworski poviat in the Pomorskie voivodeship.

The largest poviat is the Białostocki poviat (2,976 km²) in the Podlaskie voivodeship and the smallest poviat is the Bieruńsko-Lędziński poviat (158 km²) located in the Śląskie voivodeship.

The poviat with the greatest population is the Poznański poviat (303.6 thousand) in the Wielkopolskie voivodeship while the poviat with the smallest population is the Sejneński poviat (21.2 thousand) in the Podlasikie voivodeship.

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