ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number II-1, dated 2010-02-03, has changes to the listing for Guinea-Bissau, but nothing that affects data reported
on this site. The main change is adding the prefix
GW- explicitly to each province code.
International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on December 15, 1998. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For
Guinea-Bissau, the draft standard showed eight regions and one autonomous sector. Each division had a two-letter code. In the final
standard, the same nine divisions and codes were shown, plus a list of three provinces. Each province is formed by a group of regions.
The autonomous sector is not in any province. Therefore, an alternative way of dividing Guinea-Bissau is into three provinces and one
autonomous sector. Nonetheless, I would still consider the regions and the autonomous sector as the primary divisions of Guinea-Bissau.
The area now known as Guinea-Bissau was a Portuguese colony, Portuguese Guinea, in 1900. It gained its independence on 1973-09-24 and
was recognized by Portugal on 1974-09-10.
Other names of country:
- Danish: Guinea-bissau
- Dutch: Guinee Bissau, Republiek Guinea-Bissau (formal)
- English: Republic of Guinea-Bissau (formal), Portuguese Guinea (obsolete)
- Finnish: Guinea-Bissau
- French: Guinée-Bissau f, Guinée-Bissao
- German: Guinea-Bissau n
- Icelandic: Gínea-Bissá
- Italian: Guinea-Bissau f
- Norwegian: Guinea-Bissau, Republikken Guinea-Bissau (formal)
- Portuguese: Guiné-Bissau, República f da Guiné-Bissau f (formal), Guiné Portuguesa (obsolete)
- Russian: Республика Гвинея-Бисау (formal)
- Spanish: Guinea-Bissau, República f de Guinea Bissau (formal), Guinea Portuguesa (obsolete)
- Swedish: Guinea-Bissau
- Turkish: Gine-Bissau Cumhuriyeti (formal)
Origin of name:
distinguished from Guinea by specifying the capital
Guinea-Bissau is divided into eight regiões (sing. região: regions) and one sector autónomo (autonomous sector).
- Region: except Bissau, which is an autonomous sector.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If periods are
hyphens, these are the same as the region codes from
the standard ISO 3166-2.
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
- Prov: ISO code for the province containing this region (see below).
- Population: 2009-03-15 census (source ).
Guinea-Bissau uses four-digit postal codes.
See the Sectors of Guinea-Bissau page.
Above the regions, Guinea-Bissau is divided into three regions and Bissau. The regions, with their ISO codes and capitals, are Leste
L, Gabú), Norte (
N, Bissorã), and Sul (
The regions are further subdivided into 37 sectors.
Bolama includes the Bissagos (Bijagos) Archipelago. Some of the larger islands are Orango, Formosa, Roxa, and Caravela.
Origins of names:
Bissau: from ethnic name Bijagós or Bissagos
- 1942: Capital of country moved from Bolama to Bissau.
- 1950: At the time of the 1950 census, Portuguese Guinea was divided into nine circunscrições (circumscriptions; sing. circunscricão)
and two concelhos (communes). The communes were Bissau and Bolama. Between then and 1973, Bafatá became a commune, Bissorã circumscription
was created, and all the communes became circumscriptions.
- 1973-09-24: Portuguese Guinea unilaterally declared independence from Portugal. At this time, it was divided into 12
circumscriptions, as shown here.
- FIPS: Codes from Defense Intelligence Agency
Manual 65-18A, a precursor to FIPS 10-4.
- Pop-1970: 1970-12-15 census (rounded). Populations
and areas: source .
- Pop-1950: 1950-06-15 census (source ).
- ~1976: Guinea-Bissau reorganized. Status of divisions changed to regions. Name of Catió changed to Tombali, while the eastern part
of Fulacunda was annexed to it. The remainder of Fulacunda was renamed Buba, and its capital moved from Fulacunda to Buba. São Domingos
and the western part of Farim annexed to Cacheu. Oio formed by merging Bissorã, Mansôa, and the remainder of Farim. Bijagós merged with
- ~1978: Name of capitals of Cacheu and Gabú regions changed to match the region names.
- ~1990: Bissau region (PU03) split into Bissau and Biombo; name of Buba region changed to Quinara.
Other names of subdivisions:
- Bolama: Bolama-Bijagós (variant)
- Quinara: Buba (obsolete)
-  The U.N.
Statistics Division website has census data for Guinea-Bissau's 1979, 1991, and 2008-09 censuses
(retrieved 2009-09-29). The 1979 census data agree with what I had previously posted here, except that two digits were transposed in the
population of Bolama region, resulting in a total that was 270 too low. The 1991 data are generally within 1-2% of those previously posted
here, which were acquired from the Europa World Year Book 2001. The 2008 data are identified as provisional. I have since replaced them
with final figures.
-  Instituto Nacional de Estatística Guiné-Bissau
-  Almanaque Abril 1979, Editora Abril, São Paulo, 1978. Total 1970 population of Guinea-Bissau comes from The Statesman's Year-Book,
-  Demographic
Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).