Category talk:Subnational entities

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Siebot made a terrible mess of this, could you fix it? -- User:Docu at 18:24, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

  • ✓ Done -- User:Docu at 20:09, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Country categories are much better maintained[edit]

Country categories are much better maintained. People look for subnational entities under country categories. This subnational category will never be adequately maintained.

So it is better to encourage people to categorize various subnational entities under the parent category of Category:Countries. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:50, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

There are no maintenance problems here and almost all categories are categorised anyway in their respective country. Moving them to the general country category does not make sense. Please issue a move request for important moves in stead of forcing a copy by a redirect. It took a lot of work to repair the damage. --Foroa (talk) 07:16, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand this: "It took a lot of work to repair the damage." I added this:
{{category redirect|Countries}}
I did not know that it did anything other than tell people to categorize elsewhere. If I am wrong, then I am sorry, but can you explain?
Also, how can you say there are no maintenance problems? This category has been around since 2004 and only a small percentage of countries are listed as subcategories. Why encourage this category when Category:Countries already exists, and it lists nearly all countries in the countries by continent categories?
5 years is a long time to try to get this category to work. --Timeshifter (talk) 07:30, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
This category works. Subnational entities are entities that have their own government and some autonomy in regards of their country government, but are not really official countries. Obviously, it does not evolve a lot.
{{category redirect|Countries}} is saying that the category will be emptied and all its contents moved to the destination category. Your redirect has been executed by the bot, but by mistake, without respecting the cooldown period of 7 days. --Foroa (talk) 07:58, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
This category does not work. You can say that it works, but it obviously isn't working.
Sorry about the category redirect. I did not know until today that a category redirect caused a bot to step in automatically right away, or after 7 days. I thought all bot moves required a human to approve them. So I did not expect anything other than discussion.
I can manually move all the subcategories to the correct country categories. Does anyone have a problem with this?
There are many subnational entities: States, counties, provinces, districts, cities, villages, towns, municipalities, communes, and so on.
There could be eventually be thousands of subcategories in Category:Subnational entities.
It is much easier to find stuff at Category:Countries, Category:Countries by continent, Category:Countries of Europe, and the individual countries. I think this is a useless category, and wastes valuable time. --Timeshifter (talk) 09:30, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

There were a series of files in the category that which weren't of much use here. I moved them on when cleaning up after the redirect incident. Some of the files were categorized by bot. To avoid this in the future, we might want to add the category to User:Multichill/Category blacklist. -- User:Docu at 10:19, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Multichill, nor anybody else, will maintain this category well. If someone did it thoroughly, there could be eventually be tens of thousands of subcategories. Such a huge category is not much use to anybody.
Here are the subnational entities I have seen so far today: states, counties, provinces, districts, cities, villages, towns, municipalities, communes, departments, regions, province level divisions, prefecture-level divisions, governorates, peripheries, federal Territory, administrative divisions, voivodeships, cantons, and so on..
This category is currently not much use to anybody. In my opinion drilling down from Category:Countries by continent and Category:Countries is better advice for the average reader or editor. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:02, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Err .. think about who made a mess of this recently and who cleaned it up. -- User:Docu at 12:20, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Err .. think about, read, and reply to what I previously wrote. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:22, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Move/merge request to Category:Subdivisions by country[edit]

"English: A subnational entity is an administrative region within a country on an arbitrary level below that of the sovereign state (for example, such includes detached territories and possessions governed as part of a nation state and thus internationally from elsewhere) typically with a local government encompassing multiple municipalities, counties, or provinces with a certain degree of autonomy."
"Subnational" does not span countries or continents. A dependent territory can be categorized under the appropriate country in Category:Countries. The current English definition is too vague to be much good. Most people understand "subdivision" fine. This is just another one of those weird made-up categories that serves no purpose that other categories don't already serve better. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:49, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - I have read the discussion above twice now, and still have a hard time grasping why this category allegedly "does not work" or supposedly "is hard to maintain". I also disagree that "subnational entity" is a made-up term (see the suggestion made below). While subnational entities are a type of country subdivision, the two terms are not interchangeable, and the former typically has a degree of autonomy that not all types of subdivisions enjoy. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:22, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Subdivision is a term that is more commonly used. "Subnational entity" seems only to be used on Wikipedia. See this Google definition search:
The only thing it comes up with is en:Subnational entity and that redirects to, guess what, en:Administrative division. It says "This article is about the country subdivisions..."
en:Category:Subdivisions by country says this: "en:Country subdivisions, including political, administrative, statistical and census divisions."
en:Category:Administrative divisions does not include the specific named counties, provinces, etc.. For those it refers to en:Category:Subdivisions by country. Read the introductions to both categories.
So, by definition and current use, the category "Subdivisions by country" here on the Commons already includes administrative divisions (also known as subnational entities).
Also, we use the most common English words in categories in order to help non-native speakers of English. "Subdivision" and "division" are the common terms. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:20, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
For the last time. I am sure that once you read carefully the introduction of the category, and you understand it, you will withdraw your move request. In the end, this list should help to trace things such as in en:List of countries spanning more than one continent, en:List of special entities recognized by international treaty or agreement, en:Dependent territory. The category is far from complete, quite stable, to some extent overlapping with subdivisions by country and regions. It will never grow very big and will be maintained as most subcategories form a part of their respective country category tree. Don't forget that in many countries you have autonomous entities, such as Palestine in Israel, Scotland in the UK, the former kingdoms in Spain, Cantons in Switzerland, ... that have competences that are not controlled by their government. --Foroa (talk) 13:23, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


(unindent) See my previous reply. Also, the introduction of the category does not match the actual definition of "subnational entity" in Wikipedia. Concerning en:List of countries spanning more than one continent, a country is not a subnational entity. A subnational entity is a country subdivision, not a whole country. As for en:Dependent territory there is Category:Territories. As for en:List of special entities recognized by international treaty or agreement, most of them are autonomous regions that are considered administrative subdivisions of countries. Subnational entity means an administrative subdivision of a country. Category:Subdivisions by country; this category, by definition, duplicates Category:Subnational entities. Country subdivision is the more common name though. From en:Administrative division:

Administrative divisions are divisions of a political division. In other words, they are designated portions of a country. They are also called subnational entities. They are each granted a certain degree of autonomy, and are required to manage themselves through their own local governments. Countries are divided up into these smaller units to make managing their land and the affairs of their people easier. For example, a country may be divided into provinces (or states), which in turn are divided into counties, which in turn may be divided in whole or in part into municipalities. These are only a few of the names given to administrative subdivisions; more examples are provided below.
Administrative divisions are a type of country subdivision, and can overlap with the other types. The other types of country subdivision generally don't have governments.

So by definition subnational entity is a country subdivision. I think the problem is one of definition. I have read this quote below several times now in order to understand it more clearly:

From en:Country subdivision:

Country subdivision refers to the division of a sovereign state's territory for the sake of its administration, description or other such purpose. The resulting units of division are known generically as "country subdivisions". Unlike geographical or geomorphological areas such as basins, deserts, valleys and the like, country subdivisions are abstract creations intended to make it easier to run the country. There are several types of country subdivisions, including: administrative divisions, electoral divisions, census divisions, development regions, time zones, etc..

I see that "region" is not necessarily an administrative division (country subdivision or subnational entity) of a country. But many other divisions of a country are administrative divisions . See en:Template:Types of administrative country subdivision, en:List of terms for administrative divisions, en:Administrative division, en:Municipality. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Category:Country subdivisions[edit]

Category:Country subdivisions seems to be better maintained. Maybe merge this with that category. Subdivisions can include the many various names such as states, counties, provinces, districts, cities, villages, towns, municipalities, communes, departments, regions, province level divisions, prefecture-level divisions, governorates, peripheries, federal Territory, administrative divisions, voivodeships, cantons, and so on..

This way there is one subdivision category for each country. This can be maintained. And the English makes more sense. Subdivision is a parent category name for all the other names. "Subnational entity" is an invented word, and sounds like some kind of an alien in a UFO. :) --Timeshifter (talk) 12:14, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that this suggestion is any better than the one made above. My comments above cover off this proposal as well. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:23, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I started this section before the move template was added to the category. Someone moved this talk section below the move/merge talk section that they created. Category:Subdivisions by country is a subcategory of Category:Country subdivisions. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:53, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

The category introduction does not match the actual definition of subnational entity[edit]

OK, I see the problem. The introduction of the category does not match the actual definition of "subnational entity" in Wikipedia. See my expanded, clarified comment in the move discussion higher up. See #Definition.

Foroa. No offense, but I think part of the problem is that you are not a native speaker of English. I have been reading lots of English info on Wikipedia about country subdivisions. English is my first language. I think you have been reading mainly the incorrect category introduction. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:17, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Timeshifter, no offense, but I think that you, and the people in the en:wikipedia, that made a redirect from subnational entity to "en:Administrative division", live in an area where there is almost no autonomy given to the "subnational" entities. An extreme example might clarify: Tibet is a subnational entity in China, but they have a government outside Tibet (and China too), they have a separate history, they live as a Chinese administrative division managed by the Chinese, they used to have their own kingdom, they have their own cultural and historical context... There are many such situations allover the word, such as the ones related to the native peoples in the US, Canada, Alaska, Australia ... and to previous countries, kingdoms and regions that have been "merged" as "administrative divisions" in a larger country. I think that we have to show a minimum of respect for those people that have to fight to maintain their identity and that don't want to be crushed by their current "administrative" country. The fact that there are no such items originating from North America tells a lot. --Foroa (talk) 20:38, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
On 4 April 2006 William Allen Simpson "moved Subnational entity to Administrative division: technically accurate terminology."
See also en:Indigenous peoples of the Americas and its categories.
en:Category:WikiProject Indigenous peoples of North America
en:Category:Plains tribes
en:Category:Lakota and Category:Lakota on the Commons.
en:Category:Indigenous peoples of North America and on the Commons:
Category:Indigenous peoples of North America
en:Category:Indian Reservations in the United States
en:Category:Subdivisions of the United States
en:Category:Insular areas of the United States
en:Insular areas of the United States
en:Category:Dependent territories
Category:Former countries in Chinese history
Category:Disputed territories
Category:Tibet Autonomous Region
Category:Autonomous regions of China --Timeshifter (talk) 22:24, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

This page is of no distinctive apprehension of any term justifying being a separate category from Category:Country subdivisions[edit]

Orrlingtalk 14:04, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree this category structure is a mess, and there are subcats here that may or may not belong. However, I am also not sure that subnational entity = country subdivision. As stated above, subnational entities are a type of country subdivision, the two terms are not interchangeable, and the former typically has a degree of autonomy that not all types of subdivisions enjoy. That doesn't mean I am wed to the term "subnational entities", but I do feel a distinction needs to be maintained between subdivisions with a degree of legal autonomy and those that are merely created for administrative convenience. In any event, you should propose how you envision a new category structure working. You seem to have created a whole new category tree for something called "subnational regions", which seems to a whole new level of duplication (but I can't say for sure, because it's not clear what you propose big picture). --Skeezix1000 (talk) 14:13, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
This sensible explanation of your way to clear-view a vague, ultra-minor distinction between a "country subdivision" and a "subnational entity" each sounding to me like a synonym of the other, shows little care for the fact that at present the content of Subnational entities demonstrates what to me looks like an amazingly reasonless detachment of some categories from their evidently direct parent not to mention the straight "Category:Subdivisions of (Country)"'s whose selective-like placement at this exclusive parent seems meaningless (what have the subdivisions of Serbia, Italy and the US in common that just they merit being called "subnational entities"?). With no connection, you sadly mix the (brilliant) Subnational regions thread (which draws uptree to Category:Country subdivisions) with the duty that I was filling here in this category. Instead, why not try to clarify the logic behind the selection of the specific items that currently populate "Subnational entities". Orrlingtalk 15:01, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Orrling, I would be happy to discuss this with you once you are prepared to have an adult discussion. Nobody will take you seriously if all you are prepared to do is engage in mindless insults. When you are ready to have a serious discussion, please let me know. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 12:43, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
An example: In Belgium, the 3 Regions (Wallonia, Brussels, Flanders) are having the competencies about the territory, the Communities (Flemish, French, German) about people, education and concerned language. Regions and communities don't map on each other. --Foroa (talk) 14:28, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Orrling left me a nice note on my talk page saying that he hadn't intended to be insulting, and asked that I take another look at this. I think we all agree the current situation is a mess (as I said above). But given past discussions and reversions, there should be some sort of agreement before any reorganization is implemented, so that we hopefully end up with a category structure that does not need to be revisited a year from now. I've explained what I believe to be an important distinction above, but Orrling doesn't appear to agree. Fair enough. But if not that, then what does he (or others) suggest? I'm open to ideas. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 22:03, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Great. It basically feels that we can not justify the presence of a sub-cat whose title is almost identical in nature to its parent plus its content - as it is for the present - points at no distinction, so is why I was suggesting that you furnish me with ideas about taking the existing shambly mix to the further understandable sense. if not in the way that I did (=dismantling the entire list as dup) so some other (=like a rename). I'll be fikzing some more peripheral tagging during the coming days, so in the meantime I'd propose that you, or anyone, do scan & review the populating subs in the light of the question stressed earlier in this thread concerning the unclear choice of placing here items such as "Subdivisions of Italy". These questions haven’t yet received attention, therefore it’s not about me agreeing or disagreeing, I just desire to understand the mechanics of the thematic separation currently in use. Regardz Orrlingtalk 15:19, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Subnational entities, regions, flags, groups, communities, and so on[edit]

I may bow out of this discussion for the most part. Please ignore anything I wrote previously because much of what I wrote is out of date. I myself have started to use the word "subnational" elsewhere because nothing else sounded right. :)

For example; here is how I used "subnational" in describing and totaling up a list:

69 countries and some subnational regions and territories: Angola. Argentina. Australia. Austria. Belarus. Belgium. Bermuda. Brazil. Bulgaria. Cambodia. Canada. Cape Verde. Chile. Colombia. Costa Rica. Croatia. Cyprus. Czech Republic. Denmark. Ecuador. Faroe Islands. Finland. France. French Polynesia. Germany. Greece. Guyana. Hungary. Iceland. Indonesia. Ireland. Israel. Italy. Jamaica. Japan. Lithuania. Luxembourg. Malaysia. Malta. Mexico. Moldova. Nepal. Netherlands. New Zealand. Nicaragua. Northern Ireland. Norway. Peru. Philippines. Poland. Portugal. Puerto Rico. Romania. Russia. Serbia. Slovakia. Slovenia. South Africa. Spain. Sweden. Switzerland. Trinidad and Tobago. Turkey. Ukraine. United Kingdom. United States of America. Uruguay. Venezuela. Vietnam.

The subnational regions and territories are: w:Faroe Islands. w:French Polynesia. w:Northern Ireland.

Trying to use 'subdivision' would not work as well because I don't see how to use it as an adjective. Maybe I could say "69 countries and some country subdivisions". But that is clunky and not as clear and descriptive as "69 countries and some subnational regions and territories." Especially with multi-island subnational areas and territories such as w:Faroe Islands and w:French Polynesia.

So I guess we are in the process of inventing a new word. A common occurrence I have noticed over the years on Wikipedia. Words used on Wikipedia get incorporated into more common usage off of Wikipedia.

I think 'subnational' is useful mainly because it is an adjective. 'Division' and 'subdivision' are nouns. Searching for 'subnational' in categories pulls up many uses. For example; at the top levels:

I see that Foroa's example has relevance concerning both 'entities' and 'regions'. Maybe need another category for subnational communities or groups.

Foroa wrote: "In Belgium, the 3 Regions (Wallonia, Brussels, Flanders) are having the competencies about the territory, the Communities (Flemish, French, German) about people, education and concerned language. Regions and communities don't map on each other."

As for what should be categorized under what category, I leave that to others. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:12, 21 April 2013 (UTC)