Special municipalities
  County-administered cities

A county-administered city [I] is a third-level administrative division in the Republic of China (Taiwan) below a county, which in turn is below of a province.[1][2] Under the administrative structure of the ROC, it is at the same level as a township or a district. Such cities are under the jurisdiction of counties. It is also the lowest-level city in Taiwan, below a city and a special municipality. There are 14 county-administered cities currently under ROC control.


See also: Political divisions of Taiwan (1895–1945) and Provincial city (Taiwan)

The first administrative divisions entitled "city" were established in the 1920s when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. At this time cities were under the jurisdiction of prefectures. After the World War II, nine (9) out of eleven (11) prefectural cities established by the Japanese government were reorganized into provincial cities based on the Laws on the City Formation (市組織法).

However, the populations of Hualien (Karenkō) and Yilan (Giran) were too low to become a provincial city, but they were of more importance than urban townships. Thus the Scheme on the Local Rules in Various Counties and Cities of Taiwan Province (臺灣省各縣市實施地方自治綱要) provided for the creation of county-administered cities along with urban townships and rural townships.

Spelling changes of provincial cities in 1945
County-administered cities formed in 1945 County-administered cities formed in 1951
Character Japanese
(before 1945)
(after 1945)
Character Japanese
(before 1945)
(after 1945)
宜蘭 Giran Yilan 新竹 Shinchiku Hsinchu
花蓮(港) Karenkō Hualien 彰化 Shōka Changhua
嘉義 Kagi Chiayi
屏東 Heitō Pingtung

In 1951, a large scale administrative division reorganization took place in Taiwan. The size of counties shrink and the county-administered districts were abolished. This puts county-administered cities and townships into the same level in the hierarchy. Four provincial cities were also downgraded to county-administered cities after this reorganization. Since county-administered cities are based on the law for Taiwan Province, Kinmen and Lienchiang Counties of Fukien Province do not have any city under their jurisdiction.

The population criterion was originally 50,000 in the 1940s, but was raised to 100,000 in 1959, again in 1977 to 150,000, and in 2015 it was lower back to 100,000. Under the current. Currently, the Local Government Act regulates the creation of a county-administered city, in which a city needs to have a population between 100,000 and 500,000 and occupies major political, economical and cultural roles. Not all existing county-administered cities are qualified for the population test, they were built for historical reasons.

Current county-administered cities

There are currently fourteen (14) county-administered cities, all in Taiwan Province:

Name[3] Chinese Hànyǔ
Wade–Giles Tongyòng
County Establishment
Changhua 彰化市 Zhānghuà Chang¹-hua⁴ Jhanghuà Chiong-hòa or
Chông-fa Changhua 1951-12-01
Douliu 斗六市 Dǒuliù Tou³-liu⁴ Dǒuliòu Táu-la̍k Téu-liuk Yunlin 1981-12-25
Hualien 花蓮市 Huālián Hua¹-lien² Hualián Hoa-lian or
Fâ-lièn Hualien 1946-01-16
Magong 馬公市 Mǎgōng Ma³-kung¹ Mǎgong Má-keng Mâ-kûng Penghu 1981-12-25
Miaoli 苗栗市 Miáolì Miao²-li⁴ Miáolì Biâu-le̍k or
Mèu-li̍t Miaoli 1981-12-25
Nantou 南投市 Nántóu Nan²-tʻou² Nántóu Lâm-tâu Nàm-thèu Nantou 1981-12-25
Pingtung 屏東市 Píngdōng Pʻing²-tung¹ Píngdong Pîn-tong Phìn-tûng Pingtung 1951-12-01
Puzi 朴子市 Púzǐ Pʻu²-tzŭ³ Púzǐh Phò-chú Phú-chṳ́ Chiayi 1992-09-10
Taibao 太保市 Tàibǎo Tʻai⁴-pao³ Tàibǎo Thài-pó Thai-pó Chiayi 1991-07-01
Taitung 臺東市 Táidōng Tʻai²-tung¹ Táidong Tâi-tang Thòi-tûng Taitung 1976-01-01
Toufen 頭份市 Tóufèn Tʻou²-fên⁴ Tóufèn Thâu-hūn Thèu-fun Miaoli 2015-10-05
Yilan 宜蘭市 Yílán I²-lan² Yílán Gî-lân Ngì-làn Yilan 1946-01-16
Yuanlin 員林市 Yuánlín Yüan²-lin² Yuánlín Oân-lîm Yèn-lìm Changhua 2015-08-08
Zhubei 竹北市 Zhúběi Chu²-pei³ Jhúběi Tek-pak Chuk-pet Hsinchu 1988-10-31

Each county-administered city has its own local self-government bodies as stipulated in the Local Government Act: a city office (市公所) and a city council (市民代表大會). The mayor (市長) and members of the city council (市民代表) are elected by the residents of the city. A county-administered city is further divided into urban villages ().


Below, unless noted otherwise in parentheses, the newly created cities were towns that exceeded the 150,000 criteria.

Date Addition Removal No. Description
1946-01 Hualien
2 Reorganized from the prefectural cities (州轄市; Zhōuxiá Shì) in the period under Japanese rule.
1950-08-16 Chiayi 3 Downgraded from provincial city (省轄市; Shěngxiá Shì).
1951-12-01 Changhua
6 Downgraded from provincial cities (省轄市; Shěngxiá Shì).
1962-04-01 Sanchong 7 The population requirement of county-administered cities is set to 100,000.
Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
1967-07-01[4] Zhongli 8 Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
1971-04-21 Taoyuan 9 Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
1972-07-01 Banqiao
11 Originally urban townships (; Zhèn).
1976-01-01 Taitung 12 Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
1976-03-01 Fengyuan 13 Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
1979-01-01 Yonghe
15 The population requirement of county-administered cities changed to 150,000.
[Yonghe] Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
[Zhonghe] Originally rural township (鄉; Xiāng).
1980-01-15 Xindian
17 Originally urban townships (; Zhèn).
1981-12-25 Douliu
22 All county seats in Taiwan Province were upgraded from urban township ( Zhèn) to county-administered cities.
1982-07-01 Chiayi
20 Upgraded to provincial cities (省轄市; Shěngxiá Shì).
1988-10-31 Zhubei 21 Originally rural township (鄉; Xiāng), county seat.
1991-07-01 Taibao 22 Originally rural township (鄉; Xiāng), county seat.
1992-03-01 Pingzhen 23 Originally rural township (鄉; Xiāng).
1992-09-10 Puzi 24 Originally rural township (; Xiāng), county seat.
1993-05-01 Yongkang 25 Originally rural township (; Xiāng).
1993-06-26 Tucheng 26 Originally rural township (; Xiāng).
1993-11-01 Dali 27 Originally rural township (; Xiāng).
1995-01-01 Bade 28 Originally rural township (; Xiāng).
1996-08-01 Taiping 29 Originally rural township (; Xiāng).
1997-10-06 Luzhou 30 Originally rural township (; Xiāng).
1999-07-01 Xizhi 31 Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
1999-10-04 Shulin 32 Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
2010-08-01 Yangmei 33 Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
2010-12-25 Banqiao
17 New special municipalities established in Taipei County, Taichung, Tainan, and
Kaohsiung; all county-administered cities in such places were upgraded into districts (; Qū).
2014-06-03 Luzhu 18 Originally rural township (; Xiāng).
2014-12-25 Bade
12 New special municipality established in Taoyuan County; all county-administered cities
in such places were upgraded into districts (; Qū).
2015-08-08 Yuanlin 13 The population requirement of county-administered cities changed to 100,000.
Originally urban township (; Zhèn).
2015-10-05 Toufen 14 Originally urban township (; Zhèn).

Populous Townships

Townships with population more than 90,000, close to the upgrading criterion (as of March 2017)

See also

Overview of administrative divisions of the Republic of China
Republic of China
Free area[i] Mainland area[ii]
Special municipalities[α][iii] Provinces[iv] Not administered[v]
Counties[α] Autonomous municipalities[α][vi]
Districts[β] Mountain
Townships[α][β][vii] Districts[β]
  1. ^ a b c d e f Has an elected executive and an elected legislative council.
  2. ^ a b c Has an appointed district administrator for managing local affairs and carrying out tasks commissioned by superior agency.
  3. ^ Has an elected village administrator for managing local affairs and carrying out tasks commissioned by superior agency.


  1. ^ Also known as the Taiwan area or Tai–Min area (Chinese: 臺閩地區; lit. 'Taiwan–Fujian area')
  2. ^ The mainland area consists of Mainland China, Tibet and (previously) Outer Mongolia
  3. ^ Special municipalities, cities, and county-administered cities are all called shi (Chinese: ; lit. 'city')
  4. ^ Nominal; provincial governments have been abolished
  5. ^ Constitutionally having the same structure as the free area, these are currently under the Chinese Communist Party control with a different structure
  6. ^ Sometimes called cities (Chinese: ) or provincial cities (Chinese: 省轄市) to distinguish them from special municipalities and county-administered cities
  7. ^ There are two types of townships: rural townships or xīang (Chinese: ) and urban townships or zhèn (Chinese: )
  8. ^ Villages in rural townships are known as cūn (Chinese: ), those in other jurisdictions are known as (Chinese: )

Words in native languages

  1. ^


  1. ^ "Local governments". Office of the President Republic of China (Taiwan). Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  2. ^ "The Township and County-Administered City Mediation Act". Laws & Regulations Database of The Republic of China. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Glossary of Names for Admin Divisions" (PDF). Taiwan Geographic Names Information Systems. The Ministry of Interior of ROC. Retrieved 6 June 2015.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2014-12-28.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)