Administrative division Electoral district Village

An arrondissement (UK: /æˈrɒndsmɒ̃, ˌærɒnˈdsmɒ̃/,[1][2] US: /æˌrɒndsˈmɒ̃, -ˌrn-, əˈrɒndɪsmənt/,[2][3] French: [aʁɔ̃dismɑ̃] (About this soundlisten)) is any of various administrative divisions of France,[3] Belgium,[4] Haiti,[5] certain other Francophone countries, as well as the Netherlands.



The 101 French departments are divided into 342 arrondissements,[6] which may be roughly translated into English as districts. The capital of an arrondissement is called a subprefecture. When an arrondissement contains the prefecture (capital) of the department, that prefecture is the capital of the arrondissement, acting both as a prefecture and as a subprefecture. Arrondissements are further divided into cantons and communes.

Municipal arrondissement

A municipal arrondissement (French: arrondissement municipal, pronounced [aʁɔ̃dismɑ̃ mynisipal]), is a subdivision of the commune, used in the three largest cities: Paris, Lyon, and Marseille. It functions as an even lower administrative division, with its own mayor. Although usually referred to simply as an "arrondissement," they should not be confused with departmental arrondissements, which are groupings of communes within one département. The official translation into English is "district".


Belgium is a federalized country which geographically consists of three regions, of which only Flanders (Flemish Region) and Wallonia (Walloon Region) are subdivided into five provinces each; the Brussels-Capital Region is neither a province nor is it part of one.

In Belgium, there are administrative, judicial and electoral arrondissements. These may or may not relate to identical geographical areas.


In the Netherlands an arrondissement is a judicial jurisdiction.


Subdivisions of the canton of Bern include districts since 2010, which are called arrondissements administratifs in French.

Post-Soviet states

In some post-Soviet states, there are cities that are divided into municipal raioni similarly to how some French cities are divided into municipal arrondissements (see e.g. Raions of cities in Ukraine, Municipal divisions of Russia, Administrative divisions of Minsk).

Francophone Africa

Most nations in Africa that have been colonised by France have retained the arrondissement administrative structure. These are normally subunits of a department, and may either contain or be coequal with communes (towns). In Mali the arrondissement is a subunit of a Cercle, while in some places arrondissements are essentially subdistricts of large cities.

North America


As of 2015, Haiti's ten departments are sub-divided into 42 arrondissements.[5]


In the Canadian province of Quebec, eight cities are divided into arrondissements, known as boroughs in English. In Quebec, boroughs are provincially organized and recognized sub-municipal entities that have mayors and councillors.


  1. ^ "arrondissement". Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b "ARRONDISSEMENT". Cambridge English Dictionary. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b "arrondissement". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Belgium Arrondissements (as of 2010)". Statoids.
  5. ^ a b "Mars 2015 Population Totale, Population de 18 ans et Plus Menages et Densites Estimes en 2015" (PDF). Institut Haïtien de Statistique et d’Informatique (IHSI). Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 November 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Circonscriptions administratives au 1er janvier 2015 : comparaisons régionales" [Administrative constituencies of 1 January 2015: regional comparisons] (in French). INSEE. Archived from the original on 30 April 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2015.