|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||North East England|
|Unitary Authority||1 April 2009|
|• Local Authority||Durham County Council|
|• MPs||Mary Foy (L)|
Dehenna Davison (C)
Paul Howell (C)
Grahame Morris (L)
Kevan Jones (L)
Richard Holden (C)
|• Total||521,346 (Ranked 10th)|
|• Ethnicity||98.2% White 1.8% Other|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)|
|ONS code||00EJ (ONS)|
County Durham is a local government district in North East England. It is governed by Durham County Council, a unitary authority. The district has an area of 2,232.6 km2 (862 sq m), and contains 135 civil parishes. It forms part of the larger ceremonial county of Durham, together with boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, and the part of Stockton-on-Tees north of the River Tees.
Between 1974 and 1 April 2009 County Durham was governed as a two-tier non-metropolitan county, with a county council and district councils. The original eight districts were Chester-le-Street, Darlington, Derwentside, Durham (city), Easington, Sedgefield, Teesdale, and Wear Valley. In 1997 Darlington was removed from the non-metropolitan county and became a separate unitary authority. In 2009 the remaining districts were abolished and replaced by a single district covering the non-metropolitan county, with Durham County Council as the sole local authority.
The district has multiple hamlets and villages. Settlements with town status include Consett, Barnard Castle, Peterlee, Seaham, Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Shildon, Chester-le-Street, Crook, Stanley, Willington, Stanhope, Spennymoor, Ferryhill and Sedgefield while Durham is the only city in the district.
|Local authority||In relation to the district|
|City of Sunderland||North east|
|Westmorland and Furness||West|
Following the 2021 United Kingdom local elections, the council is now under control of a coalition of the Liberal Democrats, Conservative Party, Independents and North East Party.
Further information: List of schools in County Durham
Durham LEA has a comprehensive school system with 36 state secondary schools (not including sixth form colleges) and five independent schools (four in Durham and one in Barnard Castle). Easington district has the largest school population by year, and Teesdale the smallest with two schools. Only one school in Easington and Derwentside districts have sixth forms, with about half the schools in the other districts having sixth forms.