For local government purposes, Wales is divided into 22 unitary authorities. There are 9 counties, 3 cities1, and 10 county boroughs, although all have equal powers. Collectively these are known as the principal areas of Wales. They came into being on April 1, 1996 by virtue of the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 .

 Blaenau Gwent  Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)
 Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)  Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)
 Caerphilly (Caerffili)  Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)
 Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)  Newport (Casnewydd)
 Cardiff (Caerdydd)  Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)
 Ceredigion  Powys
 Conwy  Vale of Glamorgan (Bro Morgannwg)
 Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)  Rhondda Cynon Taff (Rhondda Cynon Tâf)
 Flintshire (Sir y Fflint)  Swansea (Abertawe)
 Gwynedd  Torfaen (Tor-faen)
 Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn)  Wrexham (Wrecsam)

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