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An autonomous area or autonomous entity is an area of a country that has a degree of autonomy, or freedom from an external authority. Typically it is either geographically distinct from the rest of the country or populated by a national minority. Countries that include autonomous areas are often federacies. Autonomous areas can be divided into territorial autonomies, subregional territorial autonomies and local autonomies.
Iraqi Kurdistan is the only region that has gained official recognition internationally as an autonomous federal entity.
China (PRC) has five types of autonomous areas.
Found only as divisions of Inner Mongolia. In effect, these are autonomous counties (see below).
The most numerous type of autonomous area in China, found both within and outside the larger autonomous prefectures and regions.
China has 30 prefectures that are autonomous, mostly in the periphery of the country.
A first-level administrative subdivision of China. There are five ARs in China. They are Inner Mongolia AR, Tibet AR, Ningxia Hui AR, Xinjiang Uyghur AR, and Guangxi Zhuang AR. Regardless of the names, these regions are in fact less autonomous than the special administrative regions of China.
Apart from its republics, which by definition have a degree of autonomy, Russia has two types of autonomies:
Okrug is a transliterated Slavic loanword usually translated as "district". Okrugs, however, vary more widely in size than other areas commonly identified as "districts", from large first-level divisions to third-level divisions within cities. As of 2008, Russia has four autonomous okrugs.
The other types of autonomous areas to be found in the world are:
Five cities are formally designated by their countries as autonomous: the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent; the capital of Belgium, Brussels; the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla; and the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. Another Argentine city that has been pressing for autonomous status is Rosario, a city of around one million inhabitants that receives less subsidy than the smaller provincial capital Santa Fe.
Four countries formally designate areas of their territory as autonomous provinces:
In addition to the autonomous regions of China mentioned above, various other areas of the world are formally described as autonomous regions:
The Palestinian Authority exercises certain sovereign powers within its borders, but is not a fully independent government. The PA-administrated territories are internationally recognized as occupied by Israel, and not a proper part of that country.
Ostensibly Moldova has two autonomous territories: Gagauzia and Transnistria. However, this nominal status obscures the fact that the central government of Moldova has no effective authority in Transnistria, which although unrecognized by any other nation, effectively governs itself as a sovereign state. Gagauzia, on the other hand, is an actual autonomous territory, with a degree of control being exercised by the central government.
In Ethiopia, "special woredas" are a subgroup of woredas or districts that are organized around the traditional homelands of an ethnic minority, and are outside the usual hierarchy of a Region or kilil. These woredas have many similarities to autonomous areas in other countries.
ang:Selfrīcsiendlica landbūnessa es:Anexo:Región autónoma fr:Autonomie territoriale hu:Autonómia (szociológia) id:Daerah swatantra no:Autonom region pt:Região autônoma ro:Regiune autonomă sk:Autonómna oblasť sv:Autonom region th:เขตปกครองตนเองอิสระ za:Swcigih zh:自治地方