Subdivisions of Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) is a relatively decentralised state. The country divided into 14 districts, of which two are cities organised as autonomous districts. The other 12 districts are subdivided into 31 second-level regions. The autonomous districts and the regions are divided into 111 third-level departments. The departments are divided into 510 fourth-level sub-prefectures. Sub-prefectures contain villages and, in some instances, several villages are combined into fifth-level communes. There are 197 communes.

Districts of Ivory Coast, the highest-level subdivision

History edit

Independent Ivory Coast was first divided into administrative subdivisions in 1961, when four departments were created.[1] In 1963, two additional departments were created, and in 1969, the six departments were reorganised into 24. Over the years, the departments continued to divide as the population grew until there were 50 by 1995.

In 1997, a comprehensive system of multiple administrative levels was created for the first time.[2] Sixteen regions were created as new first-level subdivisions; each region contained two or more departments, which became the second-level administrative subdivisions. In 2000, three more regions were created.

By 2011, there were 90 second-level departments within the 19 first-level regions of Ivory Coast.

In 1978, 28 communes had been created, and many more were created in the years following. However, the communes were not organised as a systematic administrative level covering all portions of the country until 1997, when they became the national third-level subdivisions. By 2011, the departments were divided into over 1300 communes.

2011 decentralisation reorganisation edit

In 2011, Ivory Coast instituted a reorganisation of its subdivisions with the goal of further decentralising the state.[3] Immediately prior to the reorganisation, the country was divided into 19 first-level regions, 90 second-level departments, and more than 1300 third-level communes.

The reorganisation was implemented in September 2011.[3][4] First, 14 districts were created, which replaced regions as the first-level subdivision of the country. Some of the new districts had the same boundaries and names as some of the old regions, but overall the number of first-level subdivisions was decreased from 19 to 14. Second, the number of regions was increased to 30, and they were converted into second-level subdivisions. Third, the departments were reorganised, with the number being increased from 90 to 95; they were converted into third-level subdivisions. Fourth, 498 sub-prefectures were created as new fourth-level subdivisions. The more than 1300 communes were retained, but they were converted from third-level subdivisions into fifth-level subdivisions. In March 2012, the number of communes was drastically reduced to 197 on the grounds that in many cases, they were now an economically unfeasible level of government. As was the case prior to 1997, today not all areas of the country are divided into communes.

Since the 2011 reorganisation, one additional region has been created, bringing the total to 31.[5][6] Thirteen more departments have been created, bringing the total to 108. Twelve new sub-prefectures have been created, bringing the total to 510. The number of communes remains 197.

The two autonomous districts are not subdivided into regions, but they do contain departments, sub-prefectures, and communes.

Maps of current subdivisions edit

Maps of subdivisions through time edit

Map Years effective First-level subdivisions Second-level subdivisions Third-level subdivisions Changes
  1961–63 4 departments Four departments created as first-level subdivisions.
  1963–69 6 departments Two departments added.
  1969–74 24 departments All previous departments abolished. 24 new departments established as first-level subdivisions.
  1974–80 26 departments Two departments added.
  1980–88 34 departments Eight departments added.
  1988–95 49 departments 15 departments added.
  1995–97 50 departments One department added.
  1997–98 16 regions 50 departments 16 regions created as new first-level subdivisions. Departments converted to second-level subdivisions.
  1998–2000 16 regions 58 departments Eight departments added.
  2000–05 19 regions 58 departments Three regions added.
  2005–08 19 regions 70 departments 12 departments added.
  2008–09 19 regions 81 departments 11 departments added.
  2009–11 19 regions 90 departments 9 departments added.
  2011–12 14 districts 30 regions 95 departments 14 districts created as new first-level subdivisions. Regions increased to 30 and converted to second-level subdivisions. Departments converted to third-level subdivisions. Five departments added. Two areas removed from regional jurisdiction. One area removed from departmental jurisdiction.
  2012–13 14 districts 31 regions 107 departments One region added. 12 departments added.
  2013– 14 districts 31 regions 108 departments One department added.

Templates edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ At independence in 1960, Ivory Coast was informally divided into 19 traditional cercles, but the cercles were not official administrative subdivisions.
  2. ^ In the 1980s, ten regions were set up as regional groupings for census purposes, but these "regions" were not administrative subdivisions of the country and existed only for statistical purposes.
  3. ^ a b "Décentralisation : Le gouvernement créé 12 districts et 30 régions",, 29 September 2011.
  4. ^ Décret n° 2011-263 du 28 septembre 2011 portant organisation du territoire national en Districts et en Régions.
  5. ^ "Council of Ministers on Wednesday, July 4, 2012: New administrative entities created",, 5 July 2012.
  6. ^ Décret n° 2012-612 du 04 juillet 2012 portant création de la Région du Moronou.

External links edit

  • "Republique de Côte d'Ivoire: Carte Administrative",, November 2011. Official administrative map of Ivory Coast. (Several changes have been made to the subdivisions of Ivory Coast since this map was produced: Moronou Region has been created from N'Zi Region; 13 new departments have been created; and 12 sub-prefectures have been created.)