Dependent territory

A dependent territory, dependent area or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a sovereign state yet remains politically outside the controlling state's integral area.[1]

A dependency is commonly distinguished from subnational entities in that they are not considered to be part of the integral territory of the governing state. A subnational entity typically represents a division of the state proper, while a dependent territory often maintains a great degree of autonomy from the controlling state. Historically, most colonies were considered to be dependencies of their controlling state. The dependencies that remain generally maintain a very high degree of political autonomy. At the same time, not all autonomous entities are considered to be dependencies,[2] and not all dependencies are autonomous. Most inhabited dependent territories have their own ISO 3166 country codes.

Some political entities have a special position recognized by international treaty or agreement resulting in a certain level of autonomy or differences in immigration rules. These are sometimes considered dependencies,[3][4] but are officially considered by their controlling states to be integral parts of the state.[3] Examples are Åland (Finland) and Hong Kong (China).[5]

Summary of list contents

The following listings indicate (or can be interpreted to indicate):

Dependent territories
  • 2 states in free association, 1 territory and 1 dependency claim in the listing for New Zealand;
  • 1 uninhabited territory and 2 dependency claims in the listing for Norway;
  • 12 Overseas Territories (10 autonomous, 1 restricted to military personnel and 1 uninhabited), 3 Crown dependencies, 1 group of Sovereign Base Areas and 1 dependency claim in the listing for the United Kingdom;
  • 13 unincorporated territories (5 inhabited, 8 uninhabited), 2 dependency claims and 1 unorganized incorporated territory in the listing for the United States.
Similar entities
Other Languages
Ænglisc: Landbūnes
azərbaycanca: Asılı ərazi
Bân-lâm-gú: I-lāi-tē
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Залежныя тэрыторыі
føroyskt: Hjáland
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Hói-ngoi Liâng-thi
한국어: 속령
Bahasa Indonesia: Wilayah dependensi
íslenska: Hjálenda
Bahasa Melayu: Wilayah tanggungan
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Sṳ̆k-dê
Nederlands: Afhankelijk gebied
norsk: Biland
norsk nynorsk: Biland
Simple English: Dependent territory
slovenščina: Odvisno ozemlje
українська: Залежні території
吴语: 屬地
粵語: 屬地
Zazaki: Cayo beste
中文: 属地