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Public-images-osm logo.svg admin_level
Santa Catarina location.png
Indicates the level of an administrative boundary Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: Boundaries
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasmay 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 government hierarchy. It is primarily used for the borders of territorial political entities (e.g. country, state, municipality) together with boundary=administrative. Due to cultural and political differences, admin levels of different countries only correspond approximately to each other.

It is also used with other types of objects that are associated with government entities.


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=5 (e.g. relation New York City) 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 also tagged with :

Or sometimes

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:

Country-Specific Values

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