Provinces of Mozambique

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While working on districts, I found source [9], which contains data that differ significantly from source [1]. I show both sets in the table.

Under Population history (1970), I replaced data from source [3] with data from source [8], which seems prima facie to be more reliable.

FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 10, affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2006-03-23. It assigns a new FIPS code to Maputo city.

According to news reports, Mozambique planned to transfer the capital of Maputo province from Matola to Moamba. The project was abandoned for lack of funds.

Country overview: 

ISO codeMZ
LanguagePortuguese (pt)
Time zone+2


At the beginning of the 20th century, the Portuguese held a colony called Estado de Africa Oriental (literally, State of East Africa, but usually called Portuguese East Africa). Some parts of it had been chartered to Companhia de Moçambique (the Mozambique Company) and Companhia do Nyassa (the Nyassa Company). As the colony became better organized, it came to be called Mozambique as a whole. Mozambique attained full independence on 1975-06-25.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Mocambique, Mozambique
  2. Dutch: Mozambique, Republiek Mozambique (formal)
  3. English: Republic of Mozambique (formal)
  4. Finnish: Mosambik
  5. French: Mozambique m
  6. German: Mosambik n
  7. Icelandic: Mósambík
  8. Italian: Mozambico m
  9. Norwegian: Mosambik, Republikken Mosambik (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Moçambique, República f de Moçambique n (formal)
  11. Russian: Республика Мозамбик (formal)
  12. Spanish: Mozambique m, República f de Mozambique m (formal)
  13. Swedish: Moçambique
  14. Turkish: Mozambik Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

According to tradition, from Musa Mbiki, the name of a sultan at the time of first Portuguese colonization. Became the name of a settlement, later applied to the whole country.

Primary subdivisions: 

Mozambique is divided into ten provincias (provinces) and one cidade (city).

Cabo DelgadoMZ.CDPMZ0132022,226,5451,632,06582,62531,902Pemba (Porto Amélia)
GazaMZ.GAGMZ0212091,236,2841,251,32375,70929,231Xai-Xai (Vila de João Belo)
ManicaMZ.MNBMZ1022061,438,3861,438,47661,66123,807Chimoio (Vila Pery)
Maputo [city]MZ.MCMPMMZ1111111,111,6381,120,360602232Maputo (Lourenço Marques)
NiassaMZ.NSAMZ0733011,213,3981,182,393129,05649,829Lichinga (Vila Cabral)
11 provinces21,224,81720,579,265799,380308,642
  • Province: except Maputo [city], which is a city.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Post: First two digits of postal code (source [4]).
  • CG: Códigos Geográficos (geographic codes, source [5]).
  • Pop[9]: 2007-08-01 census (source [9]).
  • Pop[1]: 2007-08-01 census (source [1]).
  • Area: Source [6].
  • Capital: Present name and (colonial name, where different).

Postal codes: 

Mozambique uses four-digit postal codes. They were inaugurated on 2004-01-01. The first two digits indicate the province.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Mozambique page.

The provinces are subdivided into distritos (districts). The districts are further subdivided into town and city districts and localidades (localities).

Territorial extent: 

  1. Cabo Delgado includes Ilhas do Ibo, Vamizi, Matemo, Metudo, and some other small coastal islands.
  2. Inhambane includes Ilhas do Bazaruto and Benguérua.
  3. Maputo includes Ilha Inhaca.
  4. Nampula includes Ilhas Angoche, Njoro, and Moçambique.
  5. Sofala includes Ilhas Chiloane, Macau, and Buene.

The UN LOCODE page  for Mozambique 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: 

  1. Lourenço Marques: for the Portuguese trader who established a post there in 1544.
  2. Maputo: after the Maputo River.
  3. Niassa: after Lake Nyasa, which comes from a Kitumbuka word for lake.
  4. Sofala: from Arabic for low, flat region.
  5. Zambézia: after the Zambezi River.

Change history: 

In 1900, the part of modern Mozambique northwest of the Zambezi and Shire Rivers was called Moçambique; the rest of it was Lourenço Marques. Various districts existed, and even issued stamps, during the first part of the century, including Inhambane, Lourenço Marques, Mozambique Colony, Mozambique Company, Nyassa Company, Quelimane, Tete, and Zambésia. The Nyassa Company territory is now Cabo Delgado and Niassa.

  1. 1919-06-28: Kiongo Triangle (over 1,000 sq. km., south of the Rovuma River) transferred from German East Africa to Mozambique by the Versailles Treaty.
  2. 1942-07-19: Charter of the Mozambique Company expired; its territory, known as Manica and Sofala, became a district of Mozambique.
  3. 1943-01-01: Mozambique constituted as four districts: Manica and Sofala, Niassa, Sul do Save (South of the Save River), and Zambézia.
  4. 1954-10-20: Cabo Delgado and Mozambique districts split from Niassa. Sul do Save district divided into Gaza, Inhambane, and Lourenço Marques. Tete district split from Manica and Sofala.
  5. 1975-06-25: Mozambique became independent.
  6. 1976-02-03: Name of capital of country changed from Lourenço Marques to Maputo.
  7. 1976: Name of Lourenço Marques district changed to Maputo. Names of five district capitals changed from "colonial names" (listed in table above) to modern names.
  8. ~1977: Name of Mozambique district changed to Nampula.
  9. ~1978: Status of divisions changed from districts to provinces. Manica and Sofala district divided into Manica province and Sofala province.
  10. ~1984: Maputo city split from Maputo province; Matola became capital of Maputo province.

Other names of subdivisions: 

Provinces are sometimes called by the names of their capitals.

  1. Maputo [city]: Lourenço Marques (obsolete)
  2. Nampula: Moçambique (Portuguese-obsolete); Mozambique (obsolete)
  3. Niassa: Lago (obsolete), Nyasa (variant)

Population history:

Cabo Delgado497,105549,000546,113900,7041,382,2001,632,065
Maputo [city]739,077989,4001,120,360


Sources: 1950 - [7]; 1960 - [2]; 1970 - [8]; 1980, 1997, 2007 - [1]. Population of Sofala included under Manica, and of Maputo [city] under Maputo, until 1980.


  1. [1] 3º Recenseamento Geral da População e Habitação. Instituto Nacional de Estatística (, dead link, retrieved 2011-04-26).
  2. [2] Encyclopædia Britannica, 1984 edition.
  3. [3] Almanaque Abril, 1979 edition. Editora Abril, São Paulo, 1978.
  4. [4] The Post Office  website has four-digit postal codes for Mozambique (retrieved 2004-07-12, when the codes were relatively new).
  5. [5] Código Post. Instituto Nacional de Estatística of Mozambique. The two-digit codes shown are part of a hierarchical numbering scheme. At the second level of the hierarchy are four-digit codes which identify the districts; at the third level are six-digit codes for local administrative stations ( post.htm, dead link, retrieved 2004-07-12).
  6. [6] Densidade populacional por provincia. Instituto Nacional de Estatística (, dead link, retrieved 2004-01-15).
  7. [7] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  8. [8] 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
  9. [9] Mozambique Data Portal, Documents , in the "District indicator" folder, has 11 pdf files, one for each division. Their titles are "Recenseamento Geral da População e Habitação 2007 / Indicadores Socio-Demográficos Distritais / Província de Cabo Delgado," or the other provinces. In each one, Quadro 1.1 is a list of districts in the province with 1997 and 2007 populations. Comparing the provincial population to the totals of the populations of the districts in the province, the 1997 populations are consistent; for 2007, some provinces differ from their district totals by 1 or 2. However, 2007 population figures differ considerably from source [1]. (Retrieved 2014-10-16.)
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