Council (Asturias)


July 1, 2022

Council (conceyu in Asturian and conceyo in Galician-Asturian) is the denomination given to the municipalities in the autonomous community of the Principality of Asturias, Spain. In the constitution of the Principality of Asturias as an autonomous community, its territory was made up of the municipal terms of the 78 councils of the province of Asturias.


The term council comes from the Latin word concilĭum, which means meeting. The council was the assembly of residents, who in the Middle Ages, participated in the government and administration of cities, towns and parishes, in the Iberian Peninsula.


Section 1 of article 6 of the Statute of Autonomy of Asturias states that its municipalities will receive the denomination of councils, their traditional name: Unlike other autonomous communities, the Principality of Asturias has not approved any general local administration law. On the other hand, it does have laws related to the creation of counties, the regulation of the territorial demarcation of municipal terms and the recognition of the legal personality of rural parishes.


The parish (Collation in Asturian) has been the traditional geographical division of the territory of the Principality of Asturias, as in the case of Galicia. Modernly parish is the name given to the collective entities of the population in these two autonomous communities. In this way, the parish is a demographic division of the Asturian councils. The surfaces assigned to the parishes have no official character, as they have not been carried out by any competent body. The so-called rural parishes do have an official status, which are what the entities with a territorial scope lower than the municipality are called in the Principality of Asturias, which have their own legal personality different from the council to which they belong.


The 78 Asturian councils are grouped in the Asturian Federation of Councils, an entity with full and public legal status and non-profit. Likewise, some of them form associations to provide joint services to all the councils that form them.

Physical Geography

The Asturian councils have, on average, a certain territorial and population dimension, compared to the rest of the municipalities of Spain. However, there is a great variety among them, due to their diverse origins and their historical evolution.


Regarding the surface, the Asturian average council has an area of ​​136 km². This value more than doubles the Spanish average, 62 km², and is the second highest value in Spain, only behind the Region of Murcia (251 km²).[1] The distribution is not uniform since there are 43 municipalities that do not reach 100 km², the smallest being Muros de Nalón and Noreña, which do not reach 10 km². On the other hand, the council of Cangas del Narcea has an area of ​​823 km², which makes it the twenty-first of the Spanish municipalities by area. This considerable size makes the number of municipalities lower compared to other provinces. Thus, the province of Barcelona, ​​with an area smaller than that of Asturias, has 311 municipalities. And Salamanca, with an area slightly larger than that of Asturias, almost quintuples the number of municipalities, with 362.


With regard to population, the average of the Asturian councils is well above the Spanish average in terms of number of inhabitants. The distribution is very uneven, with 4 municipalities, Gijón, Oviedo, Avilés and Siero, with more than 50,000 inhabitants, which together account for more than half of the population of Asturias (2009). Settlement densityRelated to its surface area and to the characteristic scattered settlement of northwestern Peru