Suvarna Garge (Editor)


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A territory is a term for types of administrative division, usually an area that is under the jurisdiction of a state. In most countries' terminology, such as the United States and Nigeria, it refers to an organized division of an area that is under control of a country but not formally developed into, or incorporated into, a political unit of that country of equal status to other political units such as states or provinces. In international politics, the term is used particularly in reference to a non-sovereign geographic area which has come under the authority of another government; which has not been granted the powers of self-government normally devolved to secondary territorial divisions; or both.



Common types of territory include:

  • Capital territory
  • Federal territory
  • Overseas territory
  • Dependent territory
  • Special areas
  • Unorganized territory, a region of land without a "normally" constituted system of government. This does not mean that the territory has no government at all or that it is unclaimed territory. In practice, such territories are always sparsely populated.
  • Disputed territory, a geographic area claimed by two or more rival governments. For example, the territory of Kashmir is claimed by the governments of both India and Pakistan; for each country involved in the dispute, the territory is claimed as part of the existing state. Another example is the Republic of China (commonly labeled "Taiwan"), whose sovereignty status is disputed by and territory claimed by the People's Republic of China.
  • Occupied territory, a region that is under the military control of an outside power that has not annexed the region. Current examples are Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel. Other examples of occupied territory include the country of Kuwait after it was briefly invaded by Iraq in 1990, Iraq after the American invasion of 2003, Germany after World War II and Kosovo after 1999.
  • Capital territory

    A capital territory or federal capital territory is usually a specially designated territory where a country's seat of government is located. As such, in the federal model of government, no one state or territory takes pre-eminence because the capital lies within its borders. A capital territory can be one specific form of federal district.

  • In Australia, the capital Canberra lies within the Australian Capital Territory. Originally called FCT.
  • The National Capital Territory is where New Delhi, the capital of India is located.
  • Nigeria has its capital Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory.
  • In Pakistan, the capital city Islamabad lies within the Islamabad Capital Territory.
  • Overseas territory

    Overseas territory is a broad designation for a territorial entity that is separated from the country that governs it by an ocean. An overseas territory may be either a constituent part of the governing state or a dependent territory.

    Examples include:

  • The five overseas collectivities of France are broadly autonomous territories which form part of the French Republic.
  • Greenland and the Faeroe Islands are constituent parts of the Kingdom of Denmark which are internally self-governing.
  • The 14 British Overseas Territories are dependent territories of the United Kingdom with varying degrees of self-governance.
  • American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico are dependent territories of the government of the United States with varying local autonomy.
  • Bouvet Island, Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land are uninhabited dependent territories of Norway.
  • Claimed parts of Antarctica.
  • Dependent territory

    Dependent territory is a designation for a territory that is not an independent sovereign state, yet remains politically outside of the governing state's integral area. Presently, all dependent territories are either overseas territories or non-sovereign associated states. Only four countries currently possess dependent territories: the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Norway and the United States.

    Examples include:

  • The 14 British Overseas Territories are dependent territories of the United Kingdom with varying degrees of self-governance.
  • Bouvet Island, Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land are uninhabited dependent territories of Norway.
  • The three Crown dependencies are associated states of the United Kingdom.
  • Cook Islands and Niue are associated states of New Zealand.
  • Special areas of a country

    In a country, a territory may be the equivalent of a state or province which has less local control. For example, the major difference between a Canadian province and a Canadian territory is that the federal government has more direct control over the territories, while the provinces are run by provincial governments empowered by the constitution. The same distinction applies between states and territories of Australia, territories of the United States (and former territories of the United States which later became states), and former national territories of Argentina.

    A less common usage of the term "territory" refers to any administrative division of a country or subunit. Examples:

  • A federated state such as the Länder of Germany, the states of the United States, or the States of Austria
  • A unit of local government, such as a county. For example, the district of the Chatham Islands Council is termed the Chatham Islands Territory, although it is in all legal senses an integral part of New Zealand.
  • A Union Territory of India
  • Special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China: Hong Kong and Macao.
  • Territories of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are not unincorporated units, but are regular subdivisions of the country.
  • References

    Territory Wikipedia