The districts of Afghanistan, known as wuleswali (Pashto: ولسوالۍ, wuləswāləi; Persian: شهرستان, shahrestān), are secondary-level administrative units, one level below provinces. The Afghan government issued its first district map in 1973. It recognized 325 districts, counting wuleswalis (districts), alaqadaries (sub-districts), and markaz-e-wulaiyat (provincial center districts). In the ensuing years, additional districts have been added through splits, and some eliminated through merges. In June 2005, the Afghan government issued a map of 398 districts. It was widely adopted by many information management systems, though usually with the addition of Sharak-e-Hayratan for 399 districts in total. It remains the de facto standard as of late 2018, despite a string of government announcements of the creation of new districts.
The latest announced set includes 421 districts. The country's Central Statistics Office (CSO) and the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) came up with a joint, consolidated list of Afghan districts. It has handed this list over to the Independent Election Commission (IEC), which has used it in preparing the elections. The set contains 387 "districts" and 34 "provincial center districts" for 412 districts in total.
This article does not correspond with any particular district set; it lacks a number of districts currently recognized by the Afghan government, and some others that are popularly, but not officially, recognized.[why?]