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Egypt is divided, for the purpose of public administration, according to a three-layer hierarchy and some districts are further subdivided, creating an occasional fourth layer.
The top-level of the hierarchy are 27 governorates (singular: محافظة muḥāfẓa, plural: محافظات muḥāfẓat). The second-level, beneath and within governorates, are marakiz (singular: مركز markaz, plural: مراكز marakiz) or aqsam (singular: قسم qism, plural: أقسام aqsam). The third-level is composed of districts (singular: حي ḥay, plural: أحياء aḥya') and villages (singular: قرية qarya, plural: قرى qura). There is a governing structure at each of these levels. Districts may be further divided into sub-districts as a fourth level.
There are also seven economic regions used for planning purposes, defined by the General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP).
Main article: Governorates of Egypt
Egypt is divided into 27 governorates (muhāfazāt) and each has a capital and at least one city. Each governorate is administered by a governor, who is appointed by the President of Egypt and serves at the president's discretion. Most governorates have a population density of more than one thousand per km2, while the three largest have a population density of less than two per km2. The governorates of Egypt are:
At the municipal-level are markaz, kism, police-administered areas, and new cities. Generally, rural areas are divided into markaz whereas urban areas are divided into kism. As of 2013, there were 351 subdivisions, of which 177 were kism, 162 markaz, 9 new cities, and 3 police-administered areas. There are also unorganized areas in Alexandria, Aswan, Asyut, Beheira, Beni Suef, Cairo, Dakahlia, Damietta, Faiyum, Giza, Ismailia, Kafr El Sheikh, Luxor, Minya, Port Said, Qalyubia, Qena, Sharqia, Sohag, Suez governorates.
k - kism m - markaz n - new city p - police-administered
The village is the smallest local unit in rural communities, and is the equivalent of a district in urban areas. However, villages differ from each other in terms of legal status. The heads of villages or districts are appointed by the respective governors. In addition to this, districts are occasionally further divided into sub-district neighborhoods called sheyakha in rural areas, or residential districts (singular: حي سكني ḥay sakani, plural: أحياء سكنية aḥya' sakaniya) in urban areas.