Districts of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

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"Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, was issued on 2014-03-31. It gives codes for the new districts and autonomous districts created in 2011. An update to ISO 3166-2, effective 2015-11-27, abolishes the two-digit codes for the former regions, and makes the district codes shown in the table below official.

Update 13 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2013-09-30. It reflects the change from regions to districts.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter I-8, published on 2007-04-17, has ISO codes for the regions that were created in 2000. They are shown in the table below.

FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 10, affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2006-03-23. It assigns new FIPS codes to the regions as of 2000, superseding the department codes formerly in effect.

There is disagreement over the correct gentilic for inhabitants of Côte d'Ivoire. The CIA World Factbook specifies "Ivoirian" under the Nationality heading, but goes ahead and uses "Ivorian" everywhere else. Google returns almost seven times as many hits for Ivorian as Ivoirian. In French, Ivoirien is correct. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary evades the issue by saying "Ivory Coaster".

According to the Presidency of Côte d'Ivoire (source [1]), after 2000-04-26 there were 18 regions and 57 departments. (This is probably an error. There should be 58 departments. Their list omits Soubré, which is given in many other sources.) Their list includes Fromager and Moyen-Cavally regions. The decree forming these regions, dated 2000-04-20, is cited in source [3]. Source [2] confirms those new regions, and shows that Bafing region was split from Worodougou. The decree which created Bafing is cited in source [4].

International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on December 15, 1998. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For Côte d'Ivoire, the draft standard showed ten regions, further subdivided into 50 departments. The final standard showed sixteen regions (with no obvious relation to the former ten), and no departments.

Country overview: 

ISO codeCI
LanguageFrench (fr)
Time zone+0
CapitalAbidjan, Yamoussoukro


Ivory Coast, as it was called by English speakers until recently, was a French colony in 1900. In 1904, it became a territory, as part of French West Africa. On 1932-09-06, Upper Volta (Haute Volta) was partitioned among Ivory Coast, French Sudan, and Niger, but this change was nullified on 1947-09-04. Ivory Coast became independent on 1960-08-07.

Other names of country: 

Côte d'Ivoire requested in 1986 that all languages use the French form of its name.

  1. Danish: Elfenbenskysten, republikken Elfenbenskysten (formal)
  2. Dutch: Ivoorkust, Republiek Ivoorkust (formal)
  3. English: Republic of the Ivory Coast (formal), Ivory Coast (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Norsunluurannikko
  5. French: Côte f d'Ivoire m, République f de la Côte d'Ivoire (formal)
  6. German: Elfenbeinküste f, Côte d'Ivoire
  7. Icelandic: Fílabeinsströndin
  8. Italian: Costa f d'Avorio m, Côte d'Ivoire
  9. Norwegian: Elfenbenskysten, Republikken Elfenbenskysten (formal) (Bokmål), Elfenbeinskysten, Republikken Elfenbeinskysten (formal) (Nynorsk)
  10. Portuguese: Costa do Marfim, República f da Costa f do Marfim m (formal)
  11. Russian: БСК (abbr), Берег Слоновой Кости, Республика Кот-д’Ивуар (formal)
  12. Spanish: Costa f de Marfil m, República f de la Côte f d'Ivoire (formal)
  13. Swedish: Elfenbenskusten
  14. Turkish: Fildişi Kıyısı (variant), Fildişi Sahili Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

French for Ivory Coast. Trade in ivory was conducted there.

Primary subdivisions: 

Côte d'Ivoire is divided into twelve districts and two autonomous districts.

Bas-SassandraCI.BABSIV76CI-092,280,548San Pedro
Vallée du BandamaCI.VBVBIV90CI-041,440,82628,51811,011Bouaké
  • District: Abidjan and Yamoussoukro are autonomous districts.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2 (provisional).
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • GENC: Codes from GENC.
  • Population: 2014-05-15 census (source [14]).
  • Area: Computed from the former regions
    wherever possible.

Further subdivisions:

See the Regions of Côte d'Ivoire page.

The districts are subdivided into regions, which are subdivided into departments, and further into sous-préfectures (sub-prefectures).

Before the 2011 reorganization, Côte d'Ivoire was divided into regions, which were subdivided into departments and then into sub-prefectures. The number of sub-prefectures was 108 in 1967, 127 in 1972, 162 in 1977, 183 in 1993, 258 in 2004, and 393 in 2008. When departments are split, the division almost always preserves sub-prefectures intact.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Côte d'Ivoire lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

Several of the regions are named after rivers of Côte d'Ivoire: the Bafing, Bandama, Cavally, Comoé, Marahoué, and Sassandra. Translations below are from French.

  1. Abidjan: Supposedly, when the first colonists asked native women the name of the place, the women misunderstood and replied "T'chan m'bi djan": "I've just been cutting leaves".
  2. Bas: = Lower
  3. Bouaké: Named for Gbouéké, native king, founder of the city.
  4. Centre: = Center
  5. Dix-Huit Montagnes: = Eighteen Mountains
  6. Est: = East
  7. Fromager: = Kapok Tree (The basic meaning of "fromager" is "cheesemaker". One Web site explains that cheese boxes were made from the kapok tree; another, that its ripe seedpod smelled like cheese.)
  8. Haut: = Upper
  9. Lacs: = Lakes
  10. Lagunes: = Lagoons
  11. Moyen: = Middle
  12. Nord: = North
  13. Ouest: = West
  14. Savanes: = Savannas
  15. Sud: = South
  16. Vallée du Bandama: = Bandama Valley

Change history: 

  1. 1960: At independence, Côte d'Ivoire was divided into 19 cercles, and further into 49 subdivisions de cercle.
  2. 1961-01-03: Côte d'Ivoire reorganized into four départements: Centre, Nord, Sud-Est, and Sud-Ouest. These were subdivided into 102 sous-préfectures.
  3. 1963-03: Est department created; name of Sud-Est department changed to Sud; name of Sud-Ouest department changed to Ouest.
  4. 1963-10: Centre-Ouest department split from Ouest.
  5. 1969-06-16: A new subdivision into 24 departments was published. The government had insufficient resources to establish the required administrative machinery immediately, so the departments were implemented one by one, finishing in 1974-09. This list shows the regions, their capitals, population estimates, and the departments that were formed from each region. The department capitals had the same names as their departments. There were also two communes de plein exercise (autonomous municipalities), Abidjan and Bouaké. I consider them to be included in their departments, but some may disagree. Population data come from source [5], which calls the regions "départements", and identifies the 109 sub-prefectures into which they were subdivided.
CentreBouaké1,132,000Bouaflé, Bouaké, Dimbokro, Katiola
Centre OuestDaloa365,000Daloa, Gagnoa, part of Sassandra
EstAbengourou286,000Abengourou, Bondoukou
NordKorhogo758,000Boundiali, Ferkessédougou, Korhogo, Odienné, Séguéla, Touba
OuestMan494,000Biankouma, Danané, Guiglo, Man
SudAbidjan1,075,000Abidjan, Aboisso, Adzopé, Agboville, Divo, part of Sassandra
6 regions4,110,000
  1. 1975: The census reported twenty-six departments and two communes, as follows. By comparison with the previous table, two communes were added, as were Bonoua and Dabakala departments.
28 divisions6,673,013
  • Typ: c = commune,
    d = department.
  • Population: 1975-04-30
    census (provisional).
  1. 1983-03-21: President Félix Houphouët-Boigny announced plans to move the national capital from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro. On that date, Yamoussoukro became the political capital, while Abidjan was and is still the administrative capital.
  2. 1986-01-01: Côte d'Ivoire declared that the only correct form of its name in any language was the French one. This wish has been honored, for the most part, by those who are aware of it.
  3. ~1987: I have found very few references to the ten regions listed below. I found population figures for these regions attributed to the 1988-03-01 census, so we can guess that the regions were created before that date. Most reference works during this period list the departments rather than the regions, suggesting that the regions were less significant. Draft international standard ISO/DIS 3166-2, published in 1996, listed the regions and the departments as separate levels. For the geographical extent of these regions, see the "Old" column in the 2008 table on the Regions of Côte d'Ivoire page.
10 regions10,815,694
  • ISO: Codes from ISO/DIS 3166-2.
    These codes should not be used,
    as they conflict with the region
    codes issued in the 1998 update.
  • Lic: License plate suffix. Source:
    Where's That Vehicle Come From? 
  • Population: 1988-03-01 census.
  1. 1997-01-15: Côte d'Ivoire reorganized from ten regions into sixteen regions.
  2. 2000-04-20: Fromager region formed from parts of Haut-Sassandra region (Gagnoa department) and Marahoué region (Oumé department); Moyen-Cavally formed by taking Duékoué, Guiglo, and Toulépleu departments from Dix-Huit Montagnes. The former HASC codes for these regions were CI.DM for Dix-Huit Montagnes, CI.HS for Haut-Sassandra, and CI.MA for Marahoué.
  3. 2000-07-12: Bafing region formed by taking Touba department from Worodougou (former HASC code CI.WO). At that point, Côte d'Ivoire was divided into these regions:
Dix-Huit MontagnesCI.DH06IV78936,51016,7826,480Man
Vallée du BandamaCI.VB04IV901,080,50928,51811,011Bouaké
19 regions15,366,672322,921124,680
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO standard 3166-2, issued December 15, 1998. For full
    identification in a global context, prefix "CI-" to the code (ex: CI-08 represents Zanzan).
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Population: 1998-11-21 census (source [6])
  1. 2011-09-28: Côte d'Ivoire reorganized from nineteen regions into fourteen districts. Sources disagree about the details of the resulting divisions in regard to lower-level divisions, but they agree on the composition of the new districts. Abidjan and Yamoussoukro were split from their regions (Lagunes and Lacs, respectively) to form autonomous districts. The northern regions of Denguélé, Savanes, Vallée du Bandama, and Zanzan became districts with no change in territory. The old Agnéby and Lagunes regions, excluding Abidjan, merged to form Lagunes district. Bafing and Worodougou regions merged to form Woroba district. The department of Fresco was transferred from Sud-Bandama to Bas-Sassandra region to form Bas-Sassandra district; the remainder of Sud-Bandama region merged with Fromager to form Gôh-Djiboua district. Dix-Huit Montagnes and Moyen-Cavally regions merged to form Montagnes district. Haut-Sassandra and Marahoué regions merged to form Sassandra-Marahoué district. N'zi-Comoé and Lacs regions, excluding Yamoussoukro, merged to form Lacs district. Moyen-Comoé and Sud-Comoé regions merged to form Comoé district. The new divisions are shown in the main table above.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Abidjan: Abiyan (Spanish)
  2. Agnéby: Agnébi (variant)
  3. Bas-Sassandra: Cavally inférieur (variant)
  4. Haut-Sassandra: Sassandra supérieur (variant)
  5. Moyen-Comoé: Comoé central (variant)


  1. [1] http://www.pr.ci/cote_d_ivoire/ci/regions/, on the website of the Presidency of Côte d'Ivoire, now a dead link (retrieved 2002-04-30).
  2. [2] http://www.isa-africa.com/ci/mairies.htm was a list of mayors of communes, grouped by department and region. It was found on the Internet & Services - Africa website. This link is also dead (retrieved 2002-04-30).
  3. [3] http://www.pr.ci/gouvernement/conseil/cm2000/cm20000420.html, a communiqué of the Council of Ministers dated 2000-04-20, also dead (retrieved about 2002-06).
  4. [4] http://www.pr.ci/gouvernement/conseil/cm2000/cm20000712.html, a communiqué of the Council of Ministers dated 2000-07-12, also dead (retrieved about 2002-06).
  5. [5] "La Population de la Côte d'Ivoire en 1965", a report of Institut de recherche pour le développement, Bondy, France: Table V, fourth column, contains estimates of the 1965 de facto population by region. Retrieved from http://www.bondy.ird.fr/pleins_textes/pleins_textes_4/sci_hum/19802.pdf about 2002-04.
  6. [6] The legend of this map of the Administrative Structure of Côte d'Ivoire  has populations (1998 and 2006), areas, and capitals of the regions. However, the ratio of the 2006 population to the 1998 population is 1.27924 in every case. Obviously they just estimated the 2006 population and scaled all of the region populations by the right factor to produce the desired result. The map credits INS (Institut National de la Statistique) and is dated April 2007. The 1998 populations should be the most reliable, because that was the year of Côte d'Ivoire's last census.
  7. [7] People's Daily Online , French edition (Chinese news site, dated 2011-09-29, retrieved 2011-12-03).
  8. [8] Official Portal of the Côte d'Ivoire Goverment  (dated 2011-10-11, retrieved 2011-12-03).
  9. [9] Council of Ministers  report (dated 2011-09-28, retrieved 2011-12-03).
  10. [10] District of Yamoussoukro  website (retrieved 2011-12-03).
  11. [11] Liste des nominations des préfets de région et de département  (retrieved 2013-05-08).
  12. [12] Élection Législatives 2011  (retrieved 2013-05-08).
  13. [13] 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
  14. [14] Résultats Globaux  Global results of the 2014 General Census of Population and Housing (retrieved 2015-09-23).
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