Governorates of Bahrain

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Update 12 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2013-06-30. It says that the codes for Central and Northern governorates were issued correctly, but were switched in a recompilation of the standard document. This update restores them to the correct codes, as shown below.

FIPS 10-4 Change Notice 12, dated 2007-06-11, has FIPS codes for the new governorates. The table has been updated accordingly. It uses different Arabic names for some of the divisions, which I report as variants under "Other names of subdivisions".

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter I-8, published on 2007-04-17, shows ISO governorate codes for the new administrative structure of Bahrain. They are shown in the table below.

Country overview: 

Short nameBAHRAIN
ISO codeBH
LanguageArabic (ar)
Time zone+3


Bahrain was a British protectorate until 1971-08-15, when it became independent.

Other names of country: 

  1. Arabic: Dawlat al-Bahrayn (formal)
  2. Danish: Bahrain
  3. Dutch: Bahrein
  4. English: State of Bahrain (formal)
  5. Finnish: Bahrain
  6. French: Bahreïn m
  7. German: Bahrain n
  8. Icelandic: Barein
  9. Italian: Bahrein, Bahrain m
  10. Norwegian: Bahrain, Staten Bahrain (formal)
  11. Portuguese: Bahrein, Barém (variant-Portugal), Barein (variant-Brazil), Estado m do Bahrain m (formal)
  12. Russian: Королевство Бахрейн (formal)
  13. Spanish: Bahréin, Bahráin, Estado m de Bahréin (formal)
  14. Swedish: Bahrain
  15. Turkish: Bahreyn Devleti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Arabic al-bahrayn: the two seas

Primary subdivisions: 

Bahrain is divided into five governorates.

CapitalBH.CA13BA16329,510163,696Al Manamah
CentralBH.CE16BA19326,305167,691Al Wusta
MuharraqBH.MU15BA15189,114103,576Al Muharraq
NorthernBH.NO17BA18276,949166,824Ash Shamaliyah
SouthernBH.SO14BA17101,45644,764Al Janubiyah
5 governorates1,234,571650,604
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pop-2010: 2010-04-27 census. Total includes 11,237
    with governorate "not stated."
  • Pop-2001: 2001-04-07 census. Total includes 4,053
    Bahrainis living abroad.

Further subdivisions:

Each of the governorates is divided into ten constituencies.

Territorial extent: 

Bahrain consists entirely of islands in the Gulf of Bahrain, an arm of the Persian Gulf. The largest is Bahrain itself. Near it are Al Muharraq, Sitrah, and Umm Nasan, all connected to it by causeways. Just off the coast of Qatar is Hawar Island and some neighboring islets. Qatar also claims this group.

Origins of names: 

  1. Al Manamah: Arabic al-manama the place of dreams
  2. Al Mintaqah al Gharbiyah: = Western Region
  3. Al Mintaqah al Wusta: = Central Region
  4. Al Mintaqah ash Shamaliyah: = Northern Region
  5. Ar Rifa` wa al Mintaqah al Janubiyah: = Rifaa and Southern Region
  6. Madinat Hamad: = Hamad Town
  7. Madinat `Isa: = Isa Town
  8. Mintaqat Juzur Hawar: = Hawar Islands Region

Change history: 

  1. 1960: Bahrain consisted of four municipalities: Al Hadd, Al Manamah, Al Muharraq, and Ar Rifa`.
  2. 1971-08-15: Bahrain became independent. It then had six municipalities: Al Hadd, Ar Rifa` al Gharbi, Judd Hafs, Manamah, Muharraq, and Sitrah. By ~1984, their status had changed from municipalities to manaṭiq (sing. minṭaqah: regions), and three new regions had split off.
  3. ~1985: Al Hadd split from Al Muharraq.
  4. ~1988: Madinat `Isa split from Al Mintaqah al Wusta.
  5. ~1991: Madinat Hamad split from Ar Rifa` wa al Mintaqah al Janubiyah. At this point, the regions were as shown below.
Al HaddBH.HD01BA0111,6378,6105,300114Al HaddMuharraq
Al ManamahBH.MN03BA02153,395136,99989,4002710ManamaCapital
Al Mintaqah al GharbiyahBH.MG10BA0826,14922,0348,70015761Northern, Southern
Al Mintaqah al WustaBH.MW07BA1149,96934,3046,7003514Central, Northern
Al Mintaqah ash ShamaliyahBH.MS05BA1043,69133,76310,6003714Northern
Al MuharraqBH.MQ02BA0391,93974,24544,200218Al MuharraqMuharraq
Ar Rifa` wa al Mintaqah al JanubiyahBH.RF09BA1379,98549,75212,600292113Ar Rifa al GharbiSouthern, Central
Jidd HafsBH.JH04BA0552,45044,76919,500249Jidd HafsNorthern, Capital
Madinat HamadBH.MH12BA1452,71829,055135Northern
Madinat `IsaBH.MI08BA1236,83334,5097,500125Central
Mintaqat Juzur HawarBH.MJ11BA093,8753,2425220Southern
12 regions650,604508,037215,800712275
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • 2001, 1991, 1971: Populations according to the censuses of 2001-04-07, 1991-11-16, 1971-04-03.
    The total for the 2001 census includes 4,053 Bahrainis living abroad.
  • Governorate(s): Governorates formed from each region, starting with the largest section.
    There may be some small slivers of territory not accounted for.
  1. 2002-07-03: Decree-Law No. 17 for 2002 replaced the ten divisions with five governorates.

Postal codes are three or four digits. They consist of the ISO region code followed by two additional digits, with the leading zero suppressed.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Al Hadd: Hedd, Hidd (variant)
  2. Al Manamah: Al `Asimah, Manama (variant)
  3. Al Mintaqah al Wusta: Al Wasat (variant); Central (English)
  4. Ar Rifa` wa al Mintaqah al Janubiyah: Rifaa, Rifa'a, Riffa, Rufaa (variant)
  5. Jidd Hafs: Jidhafs, Judd Hafs (variant)
  6. Mintaqat Juzur Hawar: Eastern, Huwar Islands, Howar Islands (English); Ash Sharqiyah (variant)
  7. Sitrah: Sitra (variant)


  1. [1] Population by Governorate, Nationality and Sex - 2010 Census . Kingdom of Bahrain Central Informatics Organisation (retrieved 2012-07-07).
  2. [2] Decree-Law No. (17) for 2002  (retrieved 2003-11-23).
  3. [3] Bahrain in Figures 1999, had 1991 census data (dead link, retrieved 2002-10-27).
  4. [4] Bahrain in Figures 2000, had 2001 census data (dead link, retrieved 2002-10-27).
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