Municipalities of Germany

Municipalities[1] (German: Gemeinden, singular Gemeinde) are the lowest level of official territorial division in Germany. This can be the second, third, fourth or fifth level of territorial division, depending on the status of the municipality and the Land (federal state) it is part of. The city-states Berlin and Hamburg are second-level divisions. A Gemeinde is one level lower in those states which also include Regierungsbezirke (singular: Regierungsbezirk) as an intermediate territorial division (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia). The Gemeinde is one level higher if it is not part of a Gemeindeverband ("municipal association").[1]

Municipalities of Germany
Deutsche Gemeinden (German)
CategoryMunicipality
LocationGermany
Found inDistrict (Kreis)
Regierungsbezirk
Populations11 (Gröde) - 3,600,000 (Berlin)
Federal LevelFederal StatesCity States(Governmental Districts)(Rural) Districts(Collective Municipalities)Municipalities(Municipalities)Urban Districts
Administrative divisions of Germany. (Clickable image).

The highest degree of autonomy may be found in the Gemeinden which are not part of a Kreis ("district").[1] These Gemeinden are referred to as Kreisfreie Städte or Stadtkreise, often translated as "urban district". 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.

With more than 3,600,000 inhabitants, the most populous municipality of Germany is the city of Berlin; and the least populous is Gröde in Schleswig-Holstein.