20 Examples of Unitary and Federal States

The forms of organization of States At present they are defined with respect to different reasons, among which is mainly the delimitation of the consistency of the power owned by the State, which implies knowing what the internal organization of the State will be: usually the main thing is to determine if it has a sole holder, or if it has different centers of power.

Examples of Unitary States

The Unitary States They are those that have a single center of impulse, in such a way that the constituent, legislative, judicial and control functions are located in that head. This type of State is the most common form of organization to which the nation-state evolved after absolutism, which was the one that ended up being replaced by sovereignty in the representatives elected by society.

The centralization of power It has some advantages in terms of practicality and reduction of bureaucratic obstacles so that the will of the State is carried out, but on the contrary it may have the defects that the concentration of power supposes.


The unitary state can be classified according to the scope of the concentration of the main power: it will be a state:

  • Centralized. When all the functions and attributions of the country are concentrated in a nucleus;
  • Deconcentrated. When there are bodies dependent on the central power with specific powers or functions at local levels; Y
  • Decentralized. When there are institutions with legal personality and their own assets, subject to supervision or tutelage of the higher order of the government.

Here are some examples of Unitary States:

IsraelSan MarinoMorocco
United KingdomLibyaTrinidad and Tobago
RomaniaMongoliaSouth Africa
Central African RepublicEcuadorEritrea
NorwayThe SaviorPanama

Examples from Federal States

The Federal statesOn the contrary, they are those that base their form on the division of power in the territory, that is, on the basis that power is originally distributed between institutions that control different territorial spaces, so that constitutional powers are also distributed among political spaces. The capacity of collect and create taxes, for example, it is distributed among the regions with the possibility of taxing different activities each of the estates.

The emergence of federal states, also known as federations, has much more to do with harmonization and coincidence of interests In the case of unitary states: usually the origin of federations lies in a set of independent states brought together to solve common problems or provide mutual defense.

The formation of a centralized state is necessary, but the questions related to the identity and the political processes of each one of the regions remain competent to that place.


As in the case of unitary states, the federal states have their own classification among the symmetrical and the asymmetrical, according to whether the entities that make up the federation have the same powers or not. In some of the federations, a region has some special characteristics that endow it with a higher jurisdictional level.

Here are some examples of federations or federal states: the lower-level units into which they are divided are states, provinces, zones, regions, and autonomous communities.

MalaysiaU.SBosnia and Herzegovina
MexicoAustriaSouth Sudan