A dependent territory, dependent area or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a State, and remains politically outside of the controlling state's integral area.
A dependency is commonly distinguished from other subnational entities in that they are not considered to be part of the integral territory of the governing State. A subnational entity typically represents a division of the State proper, while a dependent territory often maintains a great degree of autonomy from the controlling State. Historically most colonies were considered to be dependencies of their controlling State. Most of these have either become independent or assimilated into the conquering state, the dependencies that remain generally maintain a very high degree of political autonomy. Although dependencies retain a degree of autonomy, not all autonomous entities are considered to be dependencies.
Many of political entities have a special position recognized by international treaty or agreement resulting in a certain level of autonomy or differences in immigration rules. These are sometimes[weasel words] considered dependencies, but are officially considered by their controlling states to be integral parts of the state. Examples are Åland of Finland, Svalbard of Norway, and Hong Kong and Macau of the People's Republic of China. Such territories are not included in the list below.
Lists of dependent territories
Dependency claims without general international recognition, including all claims in Antarctica, are listed in italics. The list includes several territories that are not included in the list of non-self-governing territories listed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, as well as those that are not legally classified as dependencies by their respective sovereign government.
Although all territories of Australia are considered to be fully integrated in its federative system, and the official status of an external territory does not differ largely from that of a mainland territory (except in regards to immigration law), debate remains as to whether the external territories are integral parts of Australia, due to their not being part of Australia in 1901, when its constituent states federated. They are often listed separately for statistical purposes.
|Christmas Island||Administered from Canberra by the Attorney-General's Department.|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands|
|Coral Sea Islands|
|Norfolk Island||Commonwealth responsibilities administered from Canberra through the Attorney-General's Department.|
|Ashmore and Cartier Islands||Administered from Canberra by the Attorney-General's Department.|
|Australian Antarctic Territory||Administered from Canberra by the Australian Antarctic Division of the Department of the Environment and Heritage.|
| Heard Island |
and McDonald Islands
|Faroe Islands||Self-governing overseas administrative division since 1948. Part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but not of the European Union.|
|Greenland||Self-governing overseas administrative division since 1979. Part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Withdrew from the European Economic Community in 1986.|
Overseas France consists of five overseas departments (Départements d'outre-mer) and all overseas territories (Territoires d'outre-mer). Overseas departments (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion and French Guiana), along with those of Metropolitan France, are constituent units of the French Republic. Overseas territories are listed below.
|French Polynesia||Overseas collectivity since 2003; Overseas country since 2004.|
|New Caledonia||"Sui generis" collectivity since 1999; appears on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.|
|Saint Barthélemy||Overseas collectivities since 2007.|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||Territorial collectivity since 1985; overseas collectivity since 2003.|
|Wallis and Futuna||Overseas territory since 1961; overseas collectivity since 2003.|
|Clipperton Island||Island administered by the Minister for Overseas Territories. No permanent population.|
|French Southern and Antarctic Lands||The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (called TAAF for Terres australes et antartiques françaises) is an Overseas territory since 1955, administered from Paris by an Administrateur Supérieur. No permanent population. Includes the French territorial claim in Antarctica: Adelie Land.|
Following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in October 2010, Bonaire, Saba and Saint Eustatius became legally integrated with the Netherlands as special municipalities. Curaçao and Sint Maarten (listed below) became constituent countries of the kingdom.
|Aruba||Defined as a "country" ("land") within the Kingdom of the Netherlands by the Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba obtained full autonomy in internal affairs upon separation from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986. Curaçao and Sint Maarten were part of the Netherlands Antilles until it was dissolved in October 2010. The government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands virtually but not entirely coincides with the government of the Netherlands, and is responsible for defence, foreign affairs and nationality law. Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands but not of the European Union although its citizens are Citizens of the European Union.|
|In free association||Administration|
|Cook Islands||Self-governing state in free association with New Zealand since 1965. The Cook Islands are fully responsible for their internal affairs; New Zealand, in consultation, retains some responsibility for external affairs and defence. As of 2005, the Cook Islands have diplomatic relations in their own name with eighteen countries.|
|Niue||Self-governing state in free association with New Zealand since 1974. Niue is fully responsible for its internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defence. New Zealand's responsibilities confer no rights of control and are only exercised at the request of the Government of Niue.|
|Tokelau||Territory of New Zealand. As it moves toward free association with New Zealand, Tokelau and New Zealand have agreed to a draft constitution. A UN-sponsored referendum on self-governance in February 2006 did not produce the two-thirds supermajority necessary for changing the current political status. Another one was in October 2007, which failed to reach the 2/3 margin.|
|Ross Dependency||No permanent population. New Zealand's Antarctic claim.|
|Bouvet Island||No permanent population. Dependency administered from Oslo by the Polar Affairs Department of the Ministry of Justice and the Police.|
|Peter I Island||No permanent population. Dependencies (subject to the Antarctic Treaty System) administered from Oslo by the Polar Affairs Department of the Ministry of Justice and the Police.|
|Queen Maud Land|
|Anguilla||British overseas territories.|
|Turks and Caicos Islands|
|Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha|
|South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands|
|Bermuda||British overseas territory or self-governing territory as defined by the UK.|
|British Antarctic Territory||No permanent population. The UK's Antarctic claim.|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||No indigenous inhabitants. British overseas territory administered by a commissioner resident in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London.|
|British Virgin Islands||British overseas territory with internal self-government.|
|Falkland Islands||British overseas territory. Falkland Islands also administers South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands through the Governor of the Falkland Islands as representative of the British monarch.|
|Gibraltar||British overseas territory.|
|Sovereign Base Areas||Administration|
|Akrotiri and Dhekelia||British overseas territory administered by the Commander of British Forces, Cyprus. Note SBAs are primarily required as military bases and not ordinary dependent territories.|
|Guernsey||Responsibility for defence and international representation rests with the United Kingdom. Though, the Parliament of the United Kingdom can legislate on their behalf, if it deems necessary.|
|Isle of Man|
|American Samoa||Unincorporated and unorganized territory administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Appears on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.|
|Guam||Unincorporated organized territory; policy relations between Guam and the U.S. conducted under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Appears on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Commonwealth in political union with the U.S.; federal funding administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior.|
|Puerto Rico||Unincorporated organized territory of the U.S. with commonwealth status; policy relations between Puerto Rico and the U.S. conducted under the jurisdiction of the Office of the President.|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||Unincorporated organized territory; policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the U.S. conducted under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Appears on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.|
|Baker Island||Unorganized and unincorporated territory administered from Washington, D.C. by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior.|
|Bajo Nuevo Bank||Unincorporated territory of the U.S. administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Also claimed by Colombia, Jamaica and Nicaragua.|
|Howland Island||Unorganized and unincorporated territory administered from Washington, D.C. by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior.|
|Navassa Island||Unincorporated territory of the U.S. administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior from the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Boquerón, Puerto Rico. Claimed by Haiti and privately via the Guano Islands Act.|
|Serranilla Bank||Unincorporated territory of the U.S. administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Also claimed by Colombia and Nicaragua. Beacon Cay is occupied by Colombia.|
|Wake Island||Supervised by the U.S. Air Force, administered from Washington, D.C. by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and is claimed by the Marshall Islands.|
Three Crown dependencies are in a form of association with the UK. They are independently administrated jurisdictions, although the British Government is solely responsible for defence and international representation. They do not have diplomatic recognition as independent states, but they are not part of the UK, nor do they form part of the European Union. None of the Crown dependencies has representatives in the UK Parliament. Bermuda and Gibraltar have similar relationships to the UK as the Crown dependencies. While Britain is officially responsible for defence and international representation, these jurisdictions maintain their own militaries and have been granted limited diplomatic powers, in addition to having internal self-government. Nevertheless, they are British overseas territories.
Puerto Rico (since 1952) and Northern Mariana Islands (since 1986) are non-independent states freely associated with the USA. Northern Marianas are designated as non-independent state freely associated with the USA. In 1976, it was approved the mutually negotiated Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in Political Union with the United States. The Covenant was fully implemented November 3, 1986, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation no. 5564, which conferred United States citizenship on legally qualified CNMI residents.
Puerto Rico is designated as non-independent state freely (willingly) associated with the USA. Under the Constitution of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico is described as a Commonwealth and Puerto Ricans have a degree of administrative autonomy similar to citizens of a U.S. state. Puerto Ricans "were collectively made U.S. citizens" in 1917 as a result of the Jones-Shafroth Act. The commonly used name in Spanish of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, literally "Associated Free State of Puerto Rico", which sounds similar to "free association" particularly when loosely used in Spanish, is sometimes erroneously interpreted to mean that Puerto Rico's relationship with United States is based on a Compact of Free Association and at other times erroneously held to mean that Puerto Rico's relationship with United States is based on an Interstate compact. This is a constant source of ambiguity and confusion when trying to define, understand and explain Puerto Rico's political relationship with the United States. For various reasons Puerto Rico's political status differs from that of the Pacific Islands that entered into Compacts of Free Association with the United States. As sovereign states, these islands have full right to conduct their own foreign relations, while the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has territorial status subject to United States congressional authority under the Constitution's Territory Clause, “to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory… belonging to the United States.”. Puerto Rico does not have the right to unilaterally declare independence, and at the last referendum (1998) the narrow majority voted for "none of the above", which was a formally undefined alternative used by commonwealth supporters to express their desire for an "enhanced commonwealth" option.
This kind of relationship also can be found in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is a federacy. The continental part is organized like a unitary state but the status of its territories (Aruba, since 1986, and the Netherlands Antilles, since 1954 until 2010) can be considered dependencies or "associated non-independent states". After the split-up of the Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao and Saint Maarten are separate associated states like Aruba.
- Associated state
- List of autonomous areas by country
- List of current dependent territory leaders
- List of sovereign states
- List of special entities recognized by international treaty or agreement
- Table of administrative divisions by country
- Territorial claims in Antarctica
- United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
- United Nations Trusteeship Council
- For the list, see Special Committee on Decolonization (2002). "Non-Self-Governing Territories". United Nations, Department of Political Affairs. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
- Carney, Gerard (2006). The constitutional systems of the Australian states and territories. Canberra: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521863056.
- First Assistant Secretary, Territories Division (2008-01-30). "Territories of Australia". Attorney-General's Department. Retrieved 2008-02-07.
The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General's Department administers Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Jervis Bay, and Norfolk Island as Territories.
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- CIA (2010-07-15). "Guernsey at the CIA's page". CIA. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- CIA (2010-07-15). "Jersey at the CIA's page". CIA. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- CIA (2010-07-15). "The Isle of Man at the CIA's page". CIA. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- CIA (2010-07-15). "Northern Mariana Islands at the CIA's page". CIA. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- [The Louisiana Purchase and American Expansion: 1803-1898. By Sanford Levinson and Bartholomew H. Sparrow. New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. 2005. Page 166, 178.]"U.S. citizenship was extended to residents of Puerto Rico by virtue of the Jones Act, chap. 190, 39 Stat. 951 (1971) (codified at 48 U.S.C. § 731 (1987)")
- CIA (2010-07-15). "Puerto Rico at the CIA's page". CIA. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- December 2005 report of the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status
- George Drower, Britain's Dependent Territories, Dartmouth, 1992
- George Drower, Overseas Territories Handbook, TSO, 1998
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