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n. commune; the smallest administrative territorial division and the first level of regional government in Poland


thumb|upright=1.5|Division of Poland into gminy The gmina ( Polish pronunciation , plural gminy ) is the principal unit of the administrative division of Poland, similar to a commune or municipality. As of 2010 there were 2,478 gminy throughout the country. The word gmina derives from the German word Gemeinde, meaning "community."

The gmina has been the basic unit of territorial division in Poland since 1974, when it replaced the smaller gromada (cluster). There are three types of gminy:

  1. urban gmina consisting of just one city or town,
  2. mixed urban-rural gmina consisting of a town and surrounding villages and countryside; and
  3. rural gmina consisting only of villages and countryside (occasionally of just one village).

Some rural gminy have their seat in a town which is outside the gmina's division. For example, the rural Gmina Augustów is administered from the town of Augustów, but does not include the town, as Augustów is an urban type gmina in its own right.

The legislative and controlling body of each gmina is the elected municipal council (rada gminy), or in a town: rada miasta (town assembly). Executive power is held by the directly elected mayor of the municipality, called wójt in rural gminy, burmistrz in most urban and urban-rural gminy, or prezydent in towns with more than 400,000 inhabitants and some others which traditionally use the title. A gmina may create auxiliary units (jednostki pomocnicze), which play a subordinate administrative role. In rural areas these are called sołectwa, in towns they may be dzielnice or osiedla and in an urban-rural gmina, the town itself may be designated as an auxiliary unit. For a complete listing of all the gminy in Poland, see List of Polish gminas.