Municipalities of Germany

Municipalities (German: Gemeinden, singular Gemeinde) are the lowest level of official territorial division in Germany. This is most commonly the third level of territorial division, ranking after the Land (state) and Kreis (district). A Gemeinde is one level lower in those states which also include Regierungsbezirke (singular: Regierungsbezirk) as an intermediate territorial division. The Gemeinde is one level higher if it is not part of a Samtgemeinde. Only 10 municipalities in Germany have fifth level administrative subdivisions and all of them are in Bavaria. The highest degree of autonomy may be found in the Gemeinden which are not part of a Kreis. These Gemeinden are referred to as Kreisfreie Städte or Stadtkreise, sometimes translated as having "city status". This can be the case even for small municipalities. However, many smaller municipalities have lost this city status in various administrative reforms in the last 40 years[clarification needed] when they were incorporated into a Kreis. In some states they retained a higher measure of autonomy than the other municipalities of the Kreis (e.g. Große Kreisstadt). Municipalities titled Stadt (town or city) are urban municipalities while those titled Gemeinde are classified as rural municipalities.

Municipalities of Germany
Deutsche Gemeinden (German)
Found inDistrict (Kreis)
Populations7 (Gröde) - 3,400,000 (Berlin)
The vertical (federal) separation of powers across the federal government (white), the states (yellow), and the municipalities (brown).Federal LevelFederal StatesCity States(Governmental Districts)(Rural) Districts(Collective Municipalities)Municipalities(Municipalities)Urban Districts
Administrative divisions of Germany. (Clickable image).


With more than 3,400,000 inhabitants, the most populated municipality of Germany is the city of Berlin; and the least populated is Gröde in Schleswig-Holstein. The cities of Aachen and Saarbrücken have a special status, which is why the numbers in the respective states North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland appear in brackets in the table.

Municipalities per federal stateEdit

List updated on August 1, 2009.

Federal state Municipalities Municipalities
that are
urban districts
Average no. of
area (km2)[2]
List (Cities, Towns,
Baden-Württemberg 1,101 9 9,764 32.41 C, T, M
Bavaria 2,056 25 6,090 33.03 C, T, M
Berlin 1 1 3,416,255 891.02 Berlin
Brandenburg 419 4 6,052 70.36 C, T, M
Bremen 2 2 331,541 202.14 Bremen, Bremerhaven
Hamburg 1 1 1,770,629 755.16 Hamburg
Hesse 426 5 14,255 48.80 C, T, M
Lower Saxony 1,022 9 7,800 45.25 C, T, M
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 818 2 2,053 28.34 C, T, M
North Rhine-Westphalia 396 22 (23) 45,446 86.08 C, T, M
Rhineland-Palatinate 2,306 12 1,754 8.61 C, T, M
Saarland 52 (1) 19,935 49.40 C, T, M
Saxony 491 3 8,595 37.51 C, T, M
Saxony-Anhalt 851 3 2,835 24.03 C, T, M
Schleswig-Holstein 1,116 4 2,542 14.07 C, T, M
Thuringia 955 6 2,397 16.93 C, T, M
Germany 12,013 108 (110) 6,844 29.35 C, T, M

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Source: Statistisches Bundesamt (as of December 31, 2007)
  2. ^ Source: Statistisches Bundesamt (as of December 31, 2006), excluding the municipality-free areas