List of counties of the United Kingdom
This is a list of the counties of the United Kingdom. The history of local government in the United Kingdom differs between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the subnational divisions within these which have been called counties have varied over time and by purpose. The county has formed the upper tier of local government over much of the United Kingdom at one time or another, and has been used for a variety of other purposes, such as for Lord Lieutenants, land registration and postal delivery. This list is split by constituent country, time period and purpose.
Changes dated between the 1990s and 2009 subdivided the 20th century short-lived non-metropolitan counties of Cleveland and Humberside into unitary authorities but the once-county names continue for fire services and police forces, (see Non-metropolitan county § List of non-metropolitan counties). Similarly the short-lived county of Avon provides part of the area and name of Avon and Somerset Police and its area is roughly that of Avon Fire and Rescue Service.
The historic counties of Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Huntingdonshire and Middlesex are the five defunct ceremonial counties of a traditional county size. After their ceremonial abolition, Yorkshire has become ceremonially subdivided along the four compass point axes, Cumberland and Westmorland were added to a detached part of Lancashire to form Cumbria, Huntingdonshire merged ceremonially into Cambridgeshire and the vast majority of Middlesex became part of Greater London.
Contemporary reference to the Isle of Ely and nearby Soke of Peterborough is very rare since the early 20th century and they have scant public resonance. The counties marked in italics below are neither ceremonial nor historic.
♠ denotes a counter-intuitive pronunciation. See list of places in the United Kingdom and Ireland with counterintuitive pronunciations.
|City of Belfast||Part of counties Antrim and Down||CB||Special post town|
|City of Derry||Part of County Londonderry||CB||Special post town|
|City of Aberdeen||1900||Special post town|
|City of Dundee||1894||Special post town|
|East Lothian (Haddingtonshire)|
|City of Edinburgh||Special post town|
|City of Glasgow||1893||Special post town|
|Midlothian (County of Edinburgh)|
|Ross and Cromarty|
|West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)|
♠ denotes counter-intuitive pronunciation.
♠ denotes counter-intuitive pronunciation for counties of English etymology which all have Welsh language counterparts. Welsh etymology county names reflect standard Welsh pronunciation rules. In Welsh most of the counties ending '-shire' are instead preceded by the Welsh near-homophone translation 'Sir'.
- HMSO, Aspects of Britain: Local Government, (1996)
- Lieutenancies Act 1997
- Local Government Act 1972
- Royal Mail - PAF Digest Issue 6.0[permanent dead link] Since 1996 these have been known as "former postal counties", and need no longer be used in addressing mail. Post Towns created since 1996 are not allocated to a postal county. The PAF also includes an "Alias File" that includes postally not required information including "Traditional County" and "Administrative County" fields. The list is not comprehensive and Royal Mail does not guarantee its accuracy.
- The Berkshire (Structural Change) Order 1996; SI 1996 No. 1879
- For ceremonial purposes only
- Non-metropolitan district with the powers of a county, following the Local Government Act 1992
- The Metropolis was an ad hoc administrative area covering parts of three counties
- AFD Software - Latest PAF Data News
- Appointed a Lord Lieutenant, but not a county under the Local Government Act 1888
- Northern Ireland (Lieutenancy) Order 1975 (SI 1975 No. 156)
- County styled as county borough by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898
- Registers of Scotland - Land Register Counties Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
- Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 S.1 - Principal areas styled as a county