Provinces of Angola

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Updates: 

Update 7 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes, the successor to FIPS standard 10-4, was issued with the date 2012-02-01. It changes the spelling of Cuanza to Kwanza in Cuanza Norte and Cuanza Sul. Update 8, dated 2012-05-01, changes the spelling of Cuando Cubango to Kuando Kubango. It's curious that the board didn't choose Kwando Kubango, which would be more consistent. (The ISO 3166-2 list still spells all of them with C's.)

I show Kwanza as an obsolete spelling of Cuanza, but it still seems to occur quite commonly. Probably that spelling (or misspelling) is reinforced by the Angolan currency unit, the kwanza.

Source [7], dated 2005, has populations and areas of the provinces. The populations are very approximate, most of them rounded to a multiple of 10,000. What's more, they total 8,939,000, which is less than the 1992 estimate and much less than the 2010-07 estimated country population of 13,068,161 given in the CIA World Factbook. Instead of using them, I've updated the population data from the 1992 estimates given before to 1995 estimates in the 2008 Statesman's Yearbook.

Most maps place Bula Atumba and Pango Aluquém districts in Cuanza Norte province. Most current news reports, and many reference pages, place them both in Bengo province. I will assume that they were recently transferred from Cuanza Norte to Bengo, and the maps haven't caught up yet (observed on 2005-10-30).

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-2 was published on 2002-05-21. It changes the spelling of one of the provinces of Angola from Zaïre to Zaire.

Country overview: 

Short nameANGOLA
ISO codeAO
FIPS codeAO
LanguagePortuguese (pt)
Time zone+1
CapitalLuanda

 

In 1900, the area now known as Angola was Portuguese West Africa. By 1906, its boundaries were almost exactly the same as Angola's are today. Angola was an overseas province of Portugal until its independence on 1975-11-11.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Angola
  2. Dutch: Angola, Republiek Angola (formal)
  3. English: People's Republic of Angola (formal)
  4. Finnish: Angola
  5. French: Angola m
  6. German: Angola n
  7. Icelandic: Angóla
  8. Italian: Angola
  9. Norwegian: Angola, Republikken Angola (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Angola, República f Popular de Angola n (formal)
  11. Russian: Республика Ангола (formal)
  12. Spanish: Angola, República f Popular de Angola f (formal)
  13. Swedish: Angola
  14. Turkish: Angola Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

From N'gola, 16th century king

Primary subdivisions: 

Angola is divided into 18 províncias (provinces).

ProvinceHASCISOFIPSPop-1995Pop-1970Area(km.²)Area(mi.²)CapitalColonial name of capitalTel
Bengo AO.BOBGOAO19184,00031,37112,112Caxito034
Benguela AO.BGBGUAO01702,000474,89731,78812,273Benguela072
Bié AO.BIBIEAO021,246,000650,33770,31427,148KuitoSilva Pôrto048
Cabinda AO.CBCABAO03185,00081,2657,2702,807Cabinda031
Cuando CubangoAO.CCCCUAO04137,000113,562199,04976,853MenongueSerpa Pinto049
Cuanza Norte AO.CNCNOAO05412,000304,56524,1909,340N'dalatandoSalazar035
Cuanza Sul AO.CSCUSAO06688,000462,96855,66021,490SumbeNovo Redondo036
Cunene AO.CUCNNAO07245,00089,34234,495OndjivaPereira d'Eça065
Huambo AO.HMHUAAO081,687,000837,62734,27413,233HuamboNova Lisboa041
Huíla AO.HLHUIAO09948,000644,86475,00228,958LubangoSá da Bandeira061
Luanda AO.LULUAAO202,002,000569,1132,418934LuandaSão Paulo de Loanda02
Lunda Norte AO.LNLNOAO17311,000302,538102,78339,685Lucapa052
Lunda Sul AO.LSLSUAO18160,00045,64917,625SaurimoHenrique de Carvalho053
Malanje AO.MLMALAO12975,000558,63097,60237,684Malanje051
Moxico AO.MXMOXAO14349,000189,885223,02386,110LuenaLuso054
Namibe AO.NANAMAO13135,00052,17958,13722,447NamibeMoçâmedes064
Uíge AO.UIUIGAO15948,000386,70958,69822,663UígeCarmona033
Zaire AO.ZAZAIAO16247,00040,36540,13015,494M'Banza CongoSão Salvador do Congo032
18 provinces10,427,6005,669,5041,246,700481,354
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Province codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context,
    prefix "AO-" to the code (ex: AO-MOX represents Moxico).
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4
  • Pop-1995: 1995 estimates
  • Pop-1970: 1970-12-15 census
  • Tel: Dialing prefix (mobile phones in Luanda are 09)

Further subdivisions:

See the City Councils of Angola page.

The provinces are divided into 159 city councils.

Territorial extent: 

Cabinda is an exclave, separated from the rest of Angola by part of Democratic Republic of Congo.

Origins of names: 

  1. Cabinda: From an ethnic group of the same name.
  2. Luanda: From a native word luanda = tax. Shellfish caught there were sent as tribute to the king of Congo.
  3. Namibe: From the Namib Desert (see also Namibia).
  4. Zaire: From the Zaïre River, from Kikongo nzadi = river (see also Democratic Republic of Congo).

Change history: 

  1. 1900: The provinces were Benguella, Kongo, Loanda, Lunda, and Mossamedes. According to source [3] (1911), "Angola is divided into five districts: four on the coast, the fifth, Lunda, wholly inland, being the N.E. part of the province. ... The coast divisions of Angola are Congo on the N. (from the river Congo to the river Loje), ... Loanda [the 105 m. of coast, with its hinterland, between the mouths of the rivers Dande and Kwanza]; Benguella and Mossamedes to the south. Mossamedes is again divided into two portions--the coast region and the hinterland, known as Huilla." Source [4] (1957) says that Angola was "reorganized and divided into 5 provinces [in] 1934." The provinces in 1950 were Benguela, Bié, Huíla, Congo (or Luanda), and Malange. Source [5] (1957) lists the following divisions:
ProvincePopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)Capital
Benguela1,226,017132,11051,008Benguela
Bié710,841453,667175,162Silva Pôrto
Cabinda50,5067,2702,807Cabinda
Congo734,067156,83960,556Uíge
Huíla548,545223,16986,166Mossâmedes
Luanda164,3401,549598Luanda
Malange710,950272,089105,054Malange
7 divisions4,145,2661,246,693481,351
  • Province: Cabinda and Luanda are autonomous districts.
  • Population: 1950-12-30 census (sources [5, 8]).
  1. 1951: Name of country changed from Portuguese West Africa to Angola.
  2. Between 1951 and ~1963, Benguela was split into Benguela, Cuanza Sul, and Huambo; Bié was split into Bié-Cuando Cubango and Moxico; Huíla was split into Moçâmedes and Huíla; Congo was split into Congo and Cuanza Norte; and Malange was split into Lunda and Malange. At this time, a comparison of populations and areas before and after the changes shows that Benguela must have transferred about 17,700 km.² to Bié and Malange, and Congo must have transferred about 33,060 km.² to Luanda. The following table comes from source [6].
ProvincePop-1960Pop-1950Area(km.²)
Benguela487,871328,76538,960
Bié-Cuando Cubango567,253475,956263,730
Cabinda58,45350,5067,270
Congo503,178400,15392,570
Cuanza-Norte263,101216,46331,210
Cuanza-Sul405,012296,61044,850
Huambo598,545567,06230,600
Huíla592,451503,605188,830
Luanda347,173281,79134,610
Lunda247,449266,087166,880
Malanje451,719461,653114,060
Moçâmedes43,39344,94034,340
Moxico267,079251,675198,790
Total4,832,6774,145,2661,246,700
  • Pop-1960: 1960-12-30 census
  • Pop-1950: 1950-12-30 census (proleptic)
  1. Between ~1963 and 1967, Congo was split into Uíge and Zaire.
  2. ~1971: Bié-Cuando Cubango province (capital Silva Pôrto) split into Bié and Cuando Cubango.
  3. 1975-11-11: Angola changed from overseas province of Portugal to independent country.
  4. ~1975: Huíla province (capital Sá da Bandeira) split into Cunene and Huíla.
  5. ~1976: Name of capital of Zaïre province changed from São Salvador do Congo to M'banza Congo; name of capital of Cuanza Norte province changed from Vila Salazar to N'dalatando; name of capital of Bié province changed from Silva Pôrto to Bié; name of capital of Huambo province changed from Nova Lisboa to Huambo; name of capital of Cunene province changed from Pereira d'Eça to Ondjiva.
  6. ~1978: Lunda province (capital Saurimo) split into Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul; name of capital of Bié province changed from Bié to Kuito.
  7. 1985: Name of Moçâmedes (province and capital) changed to Namibe; name of Malange province and city changed to Malanje; Luanda province (capital Luanda) split into Bengo and Luanda.
  8. There have also been minor boundary changes.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Benguela: Benguella (obsolete)
  2. Cuando Cubango: Kuando Kubango, Kwando-Kubango (variant)
  3. Cuanza Norte: Cuanza-Nord (French); Kwanza Norte (obsolete)
  4. Cuanza Sul: Cuanza-Sud (French); Kwanza Sul (obsolete)
  5. Luanda: Loanda (obsolete)
  6. Malanje: Malange (variant)
  7. Namibe: Moçâmedes, Mossamedes (obsolete)

Sources: 

  1. [1] L'Évaluation des effectifs de la population des pays Africains, Tome I. Groupe de Démographie Africaine, Paris, 1982.
  2. [2] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  3. [3] Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 edition  (retrieved 2005-02-01).
  4. [4] Webster's Geographical Dictionary. G. & C. Merriam Co., Springfield, MA, 1957.
  5. [5] The Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1957 edition.
  6. [6] The Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1964 edition.
  7. [7] Website of the Embassy of Angola in India  (dated 2005; retrieved 2011-02-19).
  8. [8] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955. This source calls Luanda a concelho, not a district (retrieved 2011-08-20).
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