map placeholder
Click on a country for details.

Unitary States 2024


Romania is considered to be a unitary state, which means that the country is not split up into semi-autonomous regions. The federal government of Romania handles provincial matters as well as federal matters. This is possible because Romania is a fairly small country, as are most of the countries on this list. Romania doesn’t even have any semi-autonomous territories outside of the mainland.


Ireland is another unitary state. The Irish federal government rules over matters that only affect certain regions of the country as well as country-wide issues. The Republic of Ireland is similar to Romania in that it doesn’t have any semi-autonomous territories outside of the mainland.


Norway is an interesting example of a unitary state. Norway actually does have several overseas territories. However, the Norwegian federal government oversees even local matters in these territories. The Svalbard archipelago, for example, has no local governance despite being hundreds of miles from the mainland. Thus, the Norwegian federal government is responsible for minor matters in Svalbard, such as traffic law.


Scotland is a unitary state, which may surprise people who are familiar with Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom. Scotland does have a degree of self-governance. However, this power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Parliament can take away Scotland’s self-governance without their consent, which makes Scotland a unitary state.


Wales is in a similar situation to Scotland. It has some degree of self-governance, but it is still part of the United Kingdom. Just like with Scotland, the Parliament of the United Kingdom can rescind all of Wale’s self-governance without Welsh consent.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is the final unitary state within the United Kingdom. Despite calls for independence or re-unification with the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland remains under the control of the United Kingdom. Thus, the Parliament of the United Kingdom can take away its limited self-governance at any time for any reason. This precarious position is one of the main reasons that some in Northern Ireland are calling for permanent and total independence.


Spain, like the United Kingdom, is a constitutional monarchy. Also like the United Kingdom, it is a unitary state. Different provinces of Spain do have a limited degree of self-governance. However, this is only because the federal government has delegated certain powers to provincial governments. The federal government can rescind these powers at any time.

  • A unitary state is one in which the authority to rule is assigned exclusively to the national government. This is a contrast to a federal state, in which the power to rule is split between the national government and the regional governments of the country's subdivisions (states, provinces, etc.), which thereby possess at least a certain degree of autonomy.

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

showing: 167 rows

What is an example of a unitary state?

A unitary state, such as Romania or Ireland, is a country that is not divided up into semi-autonomous regions.

Frequently Asked Questions