Contents 1 Types of districts 2 Responsibilities 3 District council 4 District administration 5 See also 6 Notes

Types of districts[edit] Administrative divisions of Germany The majority of German districts are "rural districts"[3] (German: Landkreise), of which there are 294 as of 2017[update]. Cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants (and smaller towns in some states) do not usually belong to a district, but take on district responsibilities themselves, similar to the concept of independent cities. These are known as "urban districts" (German: Kreisfreie Städte or Stadtkreise)—cities which constitute a district in their own right—and there are 107 of them,[4] bringing the total number of districts to 401. As of 2016[update], approximately 26 million people live in these 107 urban districts.[5] In North Rhine-Westphalia, there are some cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants which are not urban districts, for example Recklinghausen, Siegen, Paderborn, Bergisch Gladbach, Neuss and Moers. Nevertheless, these cities take over many district responsibilities themselves, although they are still part of a larger rural district. Midsize towns can perform particular administrative functions of the district as well, especially to provide common services to the local citizens. The classification as "midsize" town is usually based on a town's registered population, but varies from state to state. A special type of rural districts are the three so-called Kommunalverbände besonderer Art (Municipal unions of special kind), a fusion of a district-free town with its adjacent rural district: Besides the Regionalverband Saarbrücken (Saarbrücken regional association), from 1974 until 2007 called "Stadtverband Saarbrücken" (Saarbrücken town association), there is the Hanover Region since 2001 and the Städteregion Aachen (Aachen region of towns) since 2009. Aachen, Hanover and Göttingen retain certain rights of an urban district (Kreisfreie Stadt); Saarbrücken has not explicitly determined a similar provision in its legislation.

Responsibilities[edit] Map of German districts. Urban districts are shown in yellow, rural in white. According to common federal and state laws, the districts are responsible for the following tasks: The building and upkeep of "district roads" (German: Kreisstraßen) Other building plans which cover more than one local authority's area Caring for national parks Social welfare Youth welfare The building and upkeep of hospitals The building and upkeep of state schools of secondary education Household waste collection and disposal Car registration Accommodation of foreign refugees Electing the Landrat or Landrätin, the chief executive and representative of the district Districts can perform additional functions, based on varying local laws in each region: Financial support for culture The building of pedestrian zones and bicycle lanes Financial support for school exchanges The building and upkeep of public libraries Revitalisation of the economy Encouraging tourism The management of state-run adult education colleges (German: Volkshochschulen) All these tasks are carried out by local (municipal) authorities operating together. Urban districts have these responsibilities and also those of the municipalities.

District council[edit] The district council (German: Kreistag) is the highest institution of a rural district and is responsible for all fundamental guidelines of regional self-administration. This council is elected directly every five years, except in Bavaria where it is elected every six years. Usually the administrative seat of a rural district is located in one of its largest towns. However, district council and administrative seat of some rural districts are not situated within the district proper, but in an adjacent district-free city. Most of those rural districts are named after this central city as well (e.g. Bamberg and Karlsruhe). Moers is the biggest city in Germany (and at present time the only one with more than 100,000 inhabitants) that is neither an urban district, nor the district seat of an adjacent rural district.

District administration[edit] The highest administrative position of a rural district is an officer known as Landrat or Landrätin, who is responsible for the district's day-to-day administration and acts as its representative for official purposes. In parts of northern Germany, Landrat is also the name of the entire district administration, which in southern Germany is known as Kreisverwaltung or Landratsamt. In urban districts similar administrative functions are performed by a mayor, in most greater cities usually by the Lord Mayor. Rural districts in some German states have an additional administrative commission called Kreisausschuss. This commission is generally led by the Landrat and includes a number of additional voluntary members. It takes over certain administrative functions for the district, following decisions of the district council. However, the exact role and regulations of this panel vary greatly between different states.

See also[edit] List of districts of Germany States of Germany List of rural districts with populations and area in km² (in German) List of urban districts with populations and area in km² (in German)

Notes[edit] ^ (In either case, the plural of the noun is formed by suffixing it with "e".) In Germany, the term Kreis is also used informally for any rural district, and (e.g. in statistical summaries) for a district of any type. ^ A Kreis is not to be confused with a Regierungsbezirk", a state administrative subdivision which exists in only a few of the German states. ^ "Country Compendium, A companion to the English Style Guide" (PDF). European Commission Directorate-General for Translation (EC DGT). February 2017. pp. 50–51.  ^ This number includes the "city-states" of Berlin and Hamburg, and two urban districts of the city-state Bremen. ^ "Kreisfreie Städte und Landkreise nach Fläche und Bevölkerung auf Grundlage des ZENSUS 2011 und Bevölkerungsdichte - Gebietsstand: 31.12.2015" (XLS) (in German). Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland. July 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.  v t e Germany articles History Timeline Historiography Military history Germanic peoples Migration Period Frankish Empire Holy Roman Empire Ostsiedlung (East Colonisation) Confederation of the Rhine German Confederation Frankfurt Constitution North German Confederation Unification of Germany German Empire World War I Weimar Republic Nazi Germany World War II Divided Germany Allied occupation Flight and expulsions East Germany West Germany Reunification Reunified Germany Geography Administrative divisions States Districts Cities and towns Earthquakes Geology Islands Lakes Mountains Rivers Politics Bundestag Bundesrat Bundeswehr (military) Cabinet Chancellor Constitution Court system Elections Foreign relations Human rights Intersex LGBT Transgender Law Law enforcement Political parties President Economy Agriculture Automobile industry Banking Central bank Chemical Triangle Economic history Energy Exports German model German states by GDP Manufacturing Mining Mittelstand companies Science and technology Stock exchange Taxation Telecommunications Tourism Trade unions Transport Welfare Society Crime Demographics Drug policy Education Germans Ethnic groups Healthcare Immigration Pensions Religion Social issues Culture Anthem Architecture Art Arts Cinema Coat of arms Cuisine Dance Fashion Festivals Flag Language Literature Internet Media Music Names Philosophy Prussian virtues Sport Television World Heritage Outline Index Book Category Portal v t e Articles on second-level administrative divisions of European countries Albania Austria Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France1 Georgia2 Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Kazakhstan1 Kosovo3 Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Moldova Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia1 Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey1 Ukraine United Kingdom 1 Has part of its territory outside Europe. 2 Partially or entirely in Asia, depending on the definition of the border. 3 Partially recognised. List of administrative divisions by country Authority control GND: 4073976-4 Retrieved from "" Categories: Districts of GermanySubdivisions of GermanyCountry subdivisions in EuropeSecond-level administrative country subdivisionsThird-level administrative country subdivisionsHidden categories: Articles containing German-language textCS1 German-language sources (de)Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2017All articles containing potentially dated statementsArticles containing potentially dated statements from 2016Articles with German-language external linksWikipedia articles with GND identifiers

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