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Politics and government of
Venezuela is divided into 23 states (estados), 1 Capital District (Distrito Capital) and the Federal Dependencies (Dependencias Federales) that consist of a large number of Venezuelan islands. Venezuela also claims the Guayana Esequiba territory which comprises six districts in the independent nation of Guyana.
Prior to the Federal War (1859–1863), Venezuela was divided into provinces rather than states (see Provinces of Venezuela). The victorious forces were supposed to grant more autonomy to the individual states, but this was not implemented.
From 1863 to the early 1900s there were numerous territorial changes, including the merger and splitting of states, but from then until the 1990s the states were left unchanged. States that existed during this time included Guzmán Blanco State (1873–1889). Originally a renamed Aragua State, in 1881 the states of Miranda, Guárico, Nueva Esparta and the Vargas department of the Federal District were merged into the state. This was part of a territorial reorganisation reducing the number of states from 20 to 9, which was reversed in 1901.
Below is a list of the 23 states of Venezuela. The states are listed along with their correspondent emblems, data and location.
|Flag||Coat of Arms||States||Capital city||Population (2010 est.)||Area||Region||Location|
|Amazonas||Puerto Ayacucho||142,200||180,145 km²||Guayana|
|Anzoátegui||Barcelona||1,654,900||43,300 km²||Nor - Oriental|
|Apure||San Fernando de Apure||499,900||76,500 km²||Llanos|
|Bolívar||Ciudad Bolívar||1,852,800||238,000 km²||Guayana|
|Cojedes||San Carlos||340,300||14,800 km²||Central|
|Delta Amacuro||Tucupita||159,700||40,200 km²||Guayana|
|Falcón||Coro||961,500||24,800 km²||Central - Occidental|
|Guárico||San Juan De Los Morros||745,100||64,986 km²||Llanos|
|Lara||Barquisimeto||1,999,100||19,800 km²||Central - Occidental|
|Miranda||Los Teques||3,010,900||7,950 km²||Capital|
|Monagas||Maturín||999,300||28,930 km²||Nor - Oriental|
|Nueva Esparta||La Asunción||508,900||1,150 km²||Insular|
|Portuguesa||Guanare||919,400||15,200 km²||Central - Occidental|
|Sucre||Cumaná||945,600||11,800 km²||Nor - Oriental|
|Táchira||San Cristóbal||1,225,300||11,100 km²||Andean|
|Vargas||La Güaira||337,900||1,496 km²||Capital|
|Yaracuy||San Felipe||640,700||7,100 km²||Central - Occidental|
Special status areas
|Flag||Coat of Arms||Area||Capital city||Population (2007 est.)||Area||Location|
|Capital District||Caracas||2,085,500||433 km²|
|Federal Dependencies||Los Roques||15,420||342 km²|
Several states are named for historical figures:
- Anzoátegui for José Antonio Anzoátegui
- Bolívar for Simón Bolívar
- Falcón for Juan Crisóstomo Falcón
- Lara for Jacinto Lara
- Miranda for Francisco de Miranda
- Monagas for José Tadeo Monagas and José Gregorio Monagas
- Sucre for Antonio José de Sucre
- Vargas for José María Vargas
Several states are named for natural features:
- Amazonas is named for the Amazon River
- Apure is named for the Apure River
- Aragua for the Aragua River
- Barinas for the Barinas River
- Cojedes for the Cojedes River
- Delta Amacuro for the river delta of the Orinoco River, and for the Amacuro River
- Guárico for the Guárico River
- Portuguesa for the Portuguesa River
- Táchira for the Táchira River
- Yaracuy for the Yaracuy River
Other naming origins:
- Carabobo, named for an ethnic village
- Caracas, named for the Caracas indigenous group
- Mérida, for the capital city, Mérida, itself named for Mérida in Spain.
- Nueva Esparta ("New Sparta") is named for the heroism shown by its inhabitants during the Venezuelan War of Independence, deemed similar to that of the Spartan soldiers of Ancient Greece.
- Trujillo, for the capital city, Trujillo, itself named for Trujillo in Spain.
- Zulia's name stems from a vocal transliteration from the chibcha language, being the name they called an exotic blue-flowered plant known as "Edging Lobelia" (Lobelia erinus). Also for the Zulia River.