Districts of Lesotho

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Updates: 

I revised the 2006 populations from the preliminary figures to the final results. I also added 1946 census data under Population history.

Country overview: 

Short nameLESOTHO
ISO codeLS
FIPS codeLT
LanguageSesotho (st), English (en)
Time zone+2
CapitalMaseru

 

Basutoland was a British protectorate for the first part of the 20th century. On 1966-10-04, it became independent under the name of Lesotho.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Lesotho
  2. Dutch: Lesotho, Koninkrijk Lesotho (formal)
  3. English: Kingdom of Lesotho (formal), Basutoland (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Lesotho
  5. French: Lesotho m
  6. German: Lesotho n
  7. Icelandic: Lesótó
  8. Italian: Lesotho m
  9. Norwegian: Lesotho, Kongeriket Lesotho (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Lesoto, Reino m do Lesoto m (formal), Basutolândia f (obsolete)
  11. Russian: Королевство Лесото (formal)
  12. Spanish: Lesoto, Reino m de Lesotho (formal), Basutia (obsolete), Basutolandia (obsolete)
  13. Swedish: Lesotho
  14. Turkish: Lesoto Krallığı (formal)

Origin of name: 

Land of the Sothos

Primary subdivisions: 

Lesotho is divided into ten districts.

District HASCISOFIPSPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)
Berea LS.BEDLT10250,006 2,222858
Butha-Buthe LS.BBBLT11110,320 1,767682
Leribe LS.LECLT12293,369 2,8281,092
Mafeteng LS.MFELT13192,621 2,119818
Maseru LS.MSALT14431,998 4,2791,652
Mohale's HoekLS.MHFLT15176,928 3,5301,363
Mokhotlong LS.MKJLT16 97,713 4,0751,573
Qacha's Nek LS.QNHLT17 69,749 2,349907
Quthing LS.QTGLT18124,048 2,9161,126
Thaba-Tseka LS.TTKLT19129,881 4,2701,649
10 districts 1,876,63330,35511,720

 

Note: Berea district has an alternate name, Teyateyaneng. The district is commonly called Berea, but the capital is almost always known as Teyateyaneng. Similarly, the capital of Leribe is also known as Hlotse.

Further subdivisions:

See the Councils of Lesotho page.

The districts were further subdivided into wards until 2005-04-11, when a set of community councils was supposedly introduced.

Territorial extent: 

Lesotho is entirely surrounded by South Africa.

Change history: 

  1. ~1910: Basutoland reorganized. New Berea district formed from part of old Berea; new Leribe formed from parts of old Berea and Leribe; Mafeteng formed from part of Thaba Bosigo; Maseru formed from parts of Berea and Thaba Bosigo; Mohale's Hoek formed from Kornet Spruit; Qacha's Nek formed from parts of Berea, Leribe, and Quthing; new Quthing formed from part of old Quthing.
  2. ~1944: Leribe district split into Butha-Buthe and Leribe; Qacha's Nek district split into Mokhotlong and Qacha's Nek.
  3. ~1980: Thaba-Tseka district formed from parts of Leribe (412 km.²), Maseru (1,782 km.²), Mokhotlong (496 km.²), and Qacha's Nek (1,580 km.²). Prior to this change, the nine former districts had FIPS codes from LT01 to LT09. Each number was nine less than the present-day code.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. The apostrophes are sometimes omitted. In older sources, hyphens are sometimes omitted or replaced by spaces.
  2. Berea: Teyateyaneng (variant)
  3. Butha-Buthe: Botha-Bothe (variant)

Population history:

District 1946-05-07 1966-04-14 1976-04-12 1986-04-14 1996-04-14 2006-04-09
Berea 58,026118,200146,100 194,600 240,754 250,006
Butha-Buthe 35,44463,200 77,200 100,600 109,192 110,320
Leribe 99,030161,500206,600 258,000 300,160 293,369
Mafeteng 69,629119,100154,300 195,600 211,970 192,621
Maseru 106,614201,800257,800 311,100 385,869 431,998
Mohale's Hoek 66,185109,900136,300 164,400 184,034 176,928
Mokhotlong 38,17660,200 73,500 74,700 85,628 97,713
Qacha's Nek 44,94163,000 76,500 64,000 71,665 69,749
Quthing 45,80972,700 88,500 110,400 126,342 124,048
Thaba-Tseka 104,100 126,353 129,881
Totals 563,854969,6001,216,8001,577,5001,841,9671,876,633

 

1946 data come from source [5]. 1966 and 1976 data are from source [6]. 1996 data are from sources [1], [2], and [4]. 2006 results are from source [8].

Sources: 

  1. [1] Preliminary results  of the 2006 census (retrieved 2007-09-04).
  2. [2] Population Distribution. Lesotho Bureau of Statistics. Had results of the 1996 census and the 2001 demographic survey. (http://www.bos.gov.ls/population/Population%20Distribution.pdf, dead link, retrieved 2005-06-28).
  3. [3] Ministry of Finance and Development  (retrieved 2007-09-04).
  4. [4] Population Distribution. Lesotho Demographic Survey, 2001: Vol. I, Ch. 17. (http://www.bos.gov.ls/demography link/Demographic survey 2001/Population Distribution.pdf, dead link, retrieved 2006-09-12)
  5. [5] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  6. [6] Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th Edition, Chicago, 1984.
  7. [7] The Statesman's Year-Book, 1979-80 edition. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1979. This source gives 1,246,815 as the total population from the 1976 census, but doesn't give the breakdown by districts.
  8. [8] Population by Age and Sex , Lesotho 2006 Population and Housing Census. Bureau of Statistics, Maseru, October 2009 (retrieved 2011-08-21).
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