Difference Wiki

County vs. Province: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on September 27, 2023
A county is a local governmental division in the US and the UK, while a province is a primary administrative division in countries like Canada and China.

Key Differences

A county and a province are both administrative regions, but their prominence in governmental hierarchy differs. While a county is a secondary division found primarily in countries like the US and the UK, a province often represents a primary or major subdivision in several other nations.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023
The role of a county in administration is typically more localized. In places like the US, counties might have their own sheriff departments or courts, handling matters pertinent to their borders. On the other hand, a province usually has a broader spectrum of powers, often equivalent to what a state might have in the US.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023
Geographically, the size of a county and a province can differ vastly. Provinces are usually much larger and can even consist of various counties or similar smaller divisions within them. For instance, Canadian provinces encompass vast territories, whereas counties in the UK cover smaller regions.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023
Historically, the concept of a county traces back to medieval Europe, especially in the British Isles, signifying territories ruled by counts or earls. Provinces have Roman origins, signifying territories outside the Italian peninsula, and have since been used by various empires and countries to indicate major territorial divisions.
Sara Rehman
Sep 27, 2023
In terms of governance, a county might be overseen by a council or a board of supervisors, whereas provinces typically have provincial governments headed by premiers or governors, possessing legislative powers on matters not exclusively under national jurisdiction.
Harlon Moss
Sep 27, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Level

Secondary division
Primary division
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Sep 27, 2023

Geographic Size

Generally smaller
Typically larger
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Sep 27, 2023

Historical Origin

Medieval Europe (count or earl territories)
Roman (territories outside the Italian peninsula)
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

Governance

County council or board of supervisors
Provincial government (premiers or governors)
Sara Rehman
Sep 27, 2023

Examples

Los Angeles County, West Yorkshire
Ontario (Canada), Guangdong (China)
Sara Rehman
Sep 27, 2023
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County and Province Definitions

County

A region with its own local government.
The county board will decide on the new regulations.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

Province

An area under the jurisdiction of an archbishop.
The ecclesiastical province encompassed multiple dioceses.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

County

A district used for judicial and administrative purposes.
The county court handles various local disputes.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 27, 2023

Province

A territorial area of colonial or imperial significance.
The province was under Spanish rule for several centuries.
Janet White
Sep 27, 2023

County

A political and administrative division within a state or country.
Cook County is one of the most populous counties in the US.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

Province

A large geographical area with distinct characteristics.
The province is known for its rich natural resources.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

County

A territory governed by a count or earl.
The county was once ruled by an influential earl.
Sara Rehman
Sep 27, 2023

Province

A region with its own governing body within a country.
The province enacted laws distinct from the national statutes.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

County

The largest administrative division of most states in the United States.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

A territory governed as an administrative or political unit of a country or empire.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

A territorial division exercising administrative, judicial, and political functions in Great Britain and Ireland.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

(Ecclesiastical) A division of territory under the jurisdiction of a metropolitan.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

The territory under the jurisdiction of a count or earl.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

Provinces Areas of a country situated away from the capital or population center.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

The people living in a county.
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Jan 10, 2023

Province

An area of knowledge, activity, or interest
A topic falling within the province of ancient history.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

An administrative region of various countries, including Bhutan, Canada, China, Croatia, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and 48 of the 50 United States (excluding Alaska and Louisiana).
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

The range of one's proper duties and functions; scope.
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Jan 10, 2023

County

A definitive geographic region, without direct administrative functions.
Traditional county
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Province

(Ecology) An area of land, less extensive than a region, having a characteristic plant and animal population.
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County

A jail operated by a county government.
He can't come; he's up in the county for agg assault.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

Any of various lands outside Italy conquered by the Romans and administered by them as self-contained units.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

(historical) The land ruled by a count or a countess.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

A region of the earth or of a continent; a district or country.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

Characteristic of a ‘county family’; representative of the gentry or aristocracy of a county.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

An administrative subdivision of certain countries, including Canada and China.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

An earldom; the domain of a count or earl.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

(Roman history) An area outside Italy which is administered by a Roman governor.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

A circuit or particular portion of a state or kingdom, separated from the rest of the territory, for certain purposes in the administration of justice and public affairs; - called also a shire. See Shire.
Every county, every town, every family, was in agitation.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

(Christianity) An area under the jurisdiction of an archbishop, typically comprising a number of adjacent dioceses.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

A count; an earl or lord.
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Province

(Roman Catholicism) An area under the jurisdiction of a provincial within a monastic order.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

A region created by territorial division for the purpose of local government;
The county has a population of 12,345 people
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

The parts of a country outside its capital city.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

The largest administrative district within a state;
The county plans to build a new road
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

An area of activity, responsibility or knowledge; the proper concern of a particular person or concept.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

County

A geographic area denoting specific boundaries within a state.
The county fair attracts visitors from all over the state.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 27, 2023

Province

A country or region, more or less remote from the city of Rome, brought under the Roman government; a conquered country beyond the limits of Italy.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

A country or region dependent on a distant authority; a portion of an empire or state, esp. one remote from the capital.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

A region of country; a tract; a district.
Over many a tractof heaven they marched, and many a province wide.
Other provinces of the intellectual world.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

A region under the supervision or direction of any special person; the district or division of a country, especially an ecclesiastical division, over which one has jurisdiction; as, the province of Canterbury, or that in which the archbishop of Canterbury exercises ecclesiastical authority.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

The proper or appropriate business or duty of a person or body; office; charge; jurisdiction; sphere.
The woman'sprovince is to be careful in her economy, and chaste in her affection.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

Specif.: Any political division of the Dominion of Canada, having a governor, a local legislature, and representation in the Dominion parliament. Hence, colloquially, The Provinces, the Dominion of Canada.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

The territory occupied by one of the constituent administrative districts of a nation;
His state is in the deep south
Sawaira Riaz
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Province

The proper sphere or extent of your activities;
It was his province to take care of himself
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2023

Province

A primary administrative division in certain countries.
Quebec is a predominantly French-speaking province in Canada.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 27, 2023

FAQs

How does a province differ from a state?

In some countries, a province is similar to a state, acting as a primary territorial division with its own government.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

Are counties exclusive to the US and UK?

No, while prevalent in the US and UK, other countries also have counties or equivalent divisions.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

Which countries primarily use the term "province"?

Countries like Canada, China, and Italy use "province" as a major territorial division.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

Why is the term "province" used in ecclesiastical contexts?

Historically, an ecclesiastical province referred to a grouping of dioceses under an archbishop.
Janet White
Sep 27, 2023

What's a county's primary function?

A county handles local administrative, judicial, and law enforcement tasks.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

Are all counties governed in the same way?

No, governance can vary based on local laws and traditions.
Harlon Moss
Sep 27, 2023

Is there a difference in governance between a county and a province?

Yes, provinces often have broader legislative powers, while counties focus on local administration.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 27, 2023

How did the concept of a county originate?

The concept traces back to medieval Europe, signifying territories ruled by counts or earls.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 27, 2023

How is the size of a county determined?

Counties are formed based on historical, geographical, and administrative factors.
Janet White
Sep 27, 2023

Do provinces have their own capitals?

Yes, provinces usually have a capital city that serves as the administrative center.
Janet White
Sep 27, 2023

Can a province contain multiple counties?

In certain contexts, yes. Provinces can encompass various smaller divisions, which might be called counties.
Janet White
Sep 27, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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