List of counties of the United Kingdom

This is a list of the counties of the United Kingdom. The history of local government in the United Kingdom differs between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the subnational divisions within these which have been called counties have varied over time and by purpose. The county has formed the upper tier of local government over much of the United Kingdom at one time or another,[1] and has been used for a variety of other purposes, such as for Lord Lieutenants, land registration and postal delivery. This list is split by constituent country, time period and purpose.

England

Changes dated between the 1990s and 2009 subdivided the 20th century short-lived non-metropolitan counties of Cleveland and Humberside into unitary authorities but the once-county names continue for fire services and police forces, (see Non-metropolitan county § List of non-metropolitan counties). Similarly the short-lived county of Avon provides part of the area and name of Avon and Somerset Police and its area is roughly that of Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

The historic counties of Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Huntingdonshire and Middlesex are the five defunct ceremonial counties of a traditional county size. After their ceremonial abolition, Yorkshire has become ceremonially subdivided along the four compass point axes, Cumberland and Westmorland were added to a detached part of Lancashire to form Cumbria, Huntingdonshire merged ceremonially into Cambridgeshire and the vast majority of Middlesex became part of Greater London.

Contemporary reference to the Isle of Ely and nearby Soke of Peterborough is very rare since the early 20th century and they have scant public resonance. The counties marked in italics below are neither ceremonial nor historic.

County Current
ceremonial
[2]
1974+[3] Postal
1974–1996
[4]
1889–1974 Before 1889
Metropolitan Non-metropolitan County Administrative
Avon Yes 1974–1996 Yes
Bedfordshire Yes Yes 1974–2009 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Berkshire Yes Yes[5] Yes Yes Yes Yes
City of Bristol Yes Special post town Yes County borough County corporate
Buckinghamshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cambridgeshire Yes Yes Yes Yes 1889–1965 Yes 1889–1965 Yes
Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely Yes 1965–1974 Yes 1965–1974
Cheshire Yes Yes 1974–2009 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cleveland Yes 1974–1996 Yes
Cornwall Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cumberland Yes Yes Yes
Cumbria Yes Yes Yes
Derbyshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Devon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dorset Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Durham (County Durham)♠ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
East Suffolk Yes Division
East Sussex Yes Yes Yes Yes Division
Essex Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gloucestershire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Greater London Yes County[6] Yes Yes 1965–1974
Greater Manchester Yes Yes
Hampshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hereford and Worcester Yes 1974–1998
Herefordshire Yes UA 1998+[7] Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hertfordshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Humberside Yes 1974–1996
Huntingdon and Peterborough Yes 1965–1974 Yes 1965–1974
Huntingdonshire Yes 1889–1965 Yes 1889–1965 Yes
Isle of Ely Yes 1889–1965 Division
Isle of Wight Yes Yes Yes Yes 1890–1974
Kent Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lancashire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Leicestershire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lincolnshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lincolnshire, Parts of Holland Yes Division
Lincolnshire, Parts of Kesteven Yes Division
Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey Yes Division
London Special post town Yes Yes The Metropolis[8]
City of London Yes County corporate
Merseyside Yes Yes Yes
Middlesex Yes Yes Yes Yes
Norfolk Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Northamptonshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Northumberland Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
North Humberside Yes
North Yorkshire Yes Yes Yes
Nottinghamshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oxfordshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Soke of Peterborough Yes 1889–1965 Liberty
Rutland Yes UA 1997+[7] Yes 2008+[9] Yes Yes Yes
Shropshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Somerset Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
South Humberside Yes
South Yorkshire Yes Yes Yes
Staffordshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Suffolk Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Surrey Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sussex Yes Yes
Tyne and Wear Yes Yes Yes
Warwickshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
West Midlands Yes Yes Yes
Westmorland Yes Yes Yes
West Suffolk Yes Division
West Sussex Yes Yes Yes Yes Division
West Yorkshire Yes Yes Yes
Wiltshire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Worcestershire Yes Yes 1998+ Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yorkshire Yes Yes
Yorkshire, East Riding Yes UA 1996+[7] L[10] Yes Division
Yorkshire, North Riding L[10] Yes Division
Yorkshire, West Riding L[10] Yes Division

♠ denotes a counter-intuitive pronunciation. See list of places in the United Kingdom and Ireland with counterintuitive pronunciations.