Libya - Administrative Divisions and Cities

Administrative Divisions and Cities

Main articles: Subdivisions of Libya and Districts of Libya See also: List of cities in Libya

Historically the area of Libya was considered three provinces (or states), Tripolitania in the northwest, Barka (Cyrenaica) in the east, and Fezzan in the southwest. It was the conquest by Italy in the Italo-Turkish War that united them in a single political unit. Under the Italians Libya, in 1934, was divided into four provinces and one territory (in the south): Tripoli, Misrata, Benghazi, Bayda, and the Territory of the Libyan Sahara.

After independence, Libya was divided into three governorates (muhafazat) and then in 1963 into ten governorates. The governorates were legally abolished in February 1975, and nine "control bureaus" were set up to deal directly with the nine areas, respectively: education, health, housing, social services, labor, agricultural services, communications, financial services, and economy, each under their own ministry. However, the courts and some other agencies continued to operate as if the governorate structure were still in place. In 1983 Libya was split into forty-six districts (baladiyat), then in 1987 into twenty-five. In 1995, Libya was divided into thirteen districts (shabiyah), in 1998 into twenty-six districts, and in 2001 into thirty-two districts. These were then further rearranged into twenty-two districts in 2007:

Arabic Transliteration Pop (2006) Land area (km2) Number
(on map)
البطنان Butnan 159,536 83,860 1
درنة Derna 163,351 19,630 2
الجبل الاخضر Jabal al Akhdar 206,180 7,800 3
المرج Marj 185,848 10,000 4
بنغازي Benghazi 670,797 43,535 5
الواحات Al Wahat 177,047 6
الكفرة Kufra 50,104 483,510 7
سرت Sirte 141,378 77,660 8
مرزق Murzuq 78,621 349,790 22
سبها Sabha 134,162 15,330 19
وادي الحياة Wadi al Hayaa 76,858 31,890 20
مصراتة Misrata 550,938 9
المرقب Murqub 432,202 10
طرابلس Tripoli 1,065,405 11
الجفارة Jafara 453,198 1,940 12
الزاوية Zawiya 290,993 2,890 13
النقاط الخمس Nuqat al Khams 287,662 5,250 14
الجبل الغربي Jabal al Gharbi 304,159 15
نالوت Nalut 93,224 16
غات Ghat 23,518 72,700 21
الجفرة Jufra 52,342 117,410 17
وادي الشاطئ Wadi al Shatii 78,532 97,160 18

Libyan districts are further subdivided into Basic People's Congresses which act as townships or boroughs. The following table shows the largest cities, in this case with population size being identical with the surrounding district (see above).

No. City Population (2010)
1 Tripoli 1,800,000
2 Benghazi 650,000
3 Misrata 350,000
4 Bayda 250,000
5 Zawiya 200,000

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