Difference Between Province and Territory

Province and territory might sound the same, but they have different rules and regulations. There are many provinces available in India.

And the territories are also divided into many. These places have their own set of governments, and the functioning will be different.

But some countries may or may not follow this province and territory rule.

Province vs Territory

The main difference between Province and Territory is that in a province, a country will be divided into parts where they have their own government with rules and regulations. The territory is organized within a separate legislature. In the province, traffic and hassle will be less. Whereas, in the territory is, the members can be easily fitted in their population. 

Province and Territory

A province is a specific area or a location within a state or a country. It is just a territorial area with a country.

They have their own constitutional power. The concept of the province has not arrived from ancient times.

But they have a great history. This concept was implemented by the Roman Kingdom.

They fall under the rule of the central government. The territory is a geographic area that belongs to the jurisdiction of a government authority.

It is something less autonomous than a province. They don’t have an adequate population to sustain.

There are five models needed for acquiring a territory such as cession, accretion, prescription, occupation, and subjugation. The citizens of territories pay any federal taxes. 

Comparison Table Between Province and Territory

Parameters of ComparisonProvinceTerritory
DefinitionIt is part of the country where they will have their own government.It is a part not included in any state but they are organized with a separate legislature.
Best exampleCanada and their province OntarioThe United Kingdom with a large number of territories
AdvantagesIt has less traffic and less hassle.The members are better fitted within the population.
DisadvantagesThere will be fewer transport facilities.On top management control, problems will increase.
Derived fromLatin wordEuropean roots

What is Province?

It is a principal administrative division of an empire or a country. For example, the province of Canada in Ontario.

In this part of the country, they will have their own government. Province and state are the same things.

There will be some differences, but at a higher level, they will have their own purpose. NCR is the only region in the country that doesn’t have a province.

There are about 22 provinces available in India. These provinces will be divided into 3 groups called central, western, and eastern.

Among these 22 provinces, 10 are classified as central, four as western, and eight as eastern. The division is based on their geographic location and economic development.

According to the United States of America, a province is a political subdivision of a foreign country. The main reason behind the idea of the province is to ease the purpose of administration in a country.

Not all countries have this province system. Some will have their states and districts. Canada has 10 provinces.

This is because they are more independent of the federal government. They get their province power from the Constitution act of 1867.

Their subdivisions widely vary in both water area and land. The largest province in Canada is Nunavut.

Their provinces are generally larger than American states. This is because their country itself is larger than the United States. 

What is Territory?

It is an area of land that is under the jurisdiction of the state or ruler. It is an administrative subdivision of a country.

It is organized within a separate legislature in the United States. To explain in simple words, all the land in the territory will be controlled by a king.

It is an area where you have been granted a license to sell an exclusive product. It is an organized division of a country, but they are not formally developed.

They don’t have a political status that is equal to other political units. These are often referred to as provinces, states, or regions. India has 9 union territories.

The United States of America has 14 territories. The United Kingdom has the largest number of territories in the world.

The territory has been divided into three types called a primary territory, public territory, and secondary territory. Territories are important because of international law.

Because of a state’s jurisdictional competence, the territorial principle is very important. In the US, each territory will elect a non-voting member for their house of representatives.

But they don’t have any representation in the state. Australia has territories because each state began as a separate British colony.

Territorial disputes usually happen when the official representatives of one country make explicit statements about another piece of territory. 

Main Differences Between Province and Territory

  1. The definition of the province is that a country will be divided into parts where it will have its own government. On the other hand, the definition of the territory is that they are organized within a separate legislature.
  2. One of the best examples of Province is Canada. On the other hand, the next example of the territory is the United Kingdom.
  3. The advantage of the province is they have less traffic and hassle. On the other hand, the advantage of the territory is the members will be fitted in the population.
  4. The disadvantage of the province is transport facilities are less. On the other hand, the disadvantages of the territory are that the top management problems will increase.
  5. The word province is derived from Latin. On the other hand, the word territory is derived from European roots.


Both provinces and territories are divided between India with different rules and regulations. This was formed long back, and it has a great history.

For example, France has the largest number of provinces, and this country has created its own rules for these provinces. Likewise, the United Kingdom has the largest number of territories.

The reason behind their large number is because their country itself is big and dividing these territories also became bigger. History is the subject that will give more understanding about provinces and territories.

It will explain the way they are formed and will give a thorough meaning of their rules and regulations. 


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03670074.1939.11663967
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jRBqDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT9&dq=Difference+Between+Province+and+Territory&ots=u6jRxg38oK&sig=6Rfmcw3-bqVLxHwMcFt2N1vVISI
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