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Public-images-osm logo.svg admin_level
Santa Catarina location.png
Indicates the level of an administrative boundary. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: boundaries
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)may be used on relations
Documented values: 1
Useful combination
See also
Status: de facto

The admin_level=* key describes the administrative level of a feature within a subdivision hierarchy. It is used on the borders of territorial entities together with appropriate boundary=* tag, primarily (but not exclusively) for political entities (boundary=administrative – e.g. country, state, municipality). Due to cultural and political differences, admin levels of different countries only correspond approximately to each other. For example, an admin_level=7 entity in one admin_level=4 (sub-national jurisdiction) of a country (admin_level=2) isn't exactly the same sort of entity as an admin_level=7 entity in another sub-national jurisdiction, even though they are in the same country. This is because laws (constitutions, legal traditions...) in each sub-national jurisdiction can and do differ from one other, even in the larger sphere of the national jurisdiction.

It is also used with other types of objects that are associated with government entities. For example, see Key:capital.


admin_level=2 through admin_level=10 allow for different administrative subdivision schemes to be handled in a consistent way by data consumers. The use of a numbering scheme rather than words for the values helps avoid confusion due to different terminology used in different countries. One country may describe the highest sub-national division as a "state", and another a "province". By using admin_level=4 for both of these it is more clear.

Additionally, when used with boundary=administrative, admin_level=* allows for a standard rendering scheme between countries with different levels of hierarchies.

Data consumers should take care when interpreting values of this key. While admin_level=2 is almost always a de-facto independent country, and admin_level=4 is usually equivalent to a "province", higher values vary in meaning between countries. A data consumer looking for municipalities corresponding to "city", "town" or "village" boundaries will find these tagged anywhere from admin_level=4 (e.g. relation Berlin) to admin_level=10 (e.g. relation Cheddar, UK).

See country-specific values for the appropriate numeric admin_level=* values.


admin_level=* is added to a relation or way which is typically also tagged with:

  • boundary=* (94% of "administrative" boundaries or 80% of all boundaries as of 3/2024)

Or sometimes to a node or way which is also tagged with:

In addition to the direct usage of this tag with the keys above, the numeric values used by admin_level=* are also used for tags:

For boundary=administrative

To see how each level is used for each country, see the page on boundary=administrative and its sections:

For other boundary types

To see how each level is used in conjunction with a specific boundary type, refer to its page, e.g.: