Municipalities of Germany

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Municipalities (Gemeinden, more accurately translated as "communities") are the lowest level of official territorial division in Germany. This is most commonly the fourth level of territorial division, ranking after the Land (state), Kreis (district) and Samtgemeinde (collective municipality). The Gemeinde which is one level lower in those states also includes 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 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.


With more than 3,400,000 inhabitants, the most populated municipality of Germany is the city of Berlin; and the least populated is Wiedenborstel (8 inhabitants in 2010), 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 state

List updated on August 1, 2009.

Federal state Municipalities Municipalities
city status
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 236 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 also


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

External links

Media related to Municipalities of Germany at Wikimedia Commons