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Autonomous area

An autonomous area is an area of a [country] that has a degree of [autonomy] , or freedom from an external authority. Typically it is either geographically distinct from the country or is populated by a [national minority] . Countries that include autonomous areas are often [federacies] . Autonomous areas can be divided into territorial autonomies, subregional territorial autonomies and local autonomies.

For a list of autonomous areas, see [List of autonomous areas by country] and [List of territorial autonomies] .
Contemporary
Many autonomous areas lie within two of the world's largest countries, [People's Republic of China] and [Russia] .

Iraq

[Iraqi Kurdistan] is the only region which has gained official recognition internationally as an autonomous federal entity. It has been referred to as a quasi-independent state.

Southern Sudan
Under the terms of the deal with [Republic of Sudan] , the Southern Sudan has been given a large degree of autonomy, and the chance to vote for full independence in 2011 after six years of home rule.

China

China (PRC) has five types of autonomous areas.

;Autonomous banner
Found only as [divisions of Inner Mongolia] . In effect, these are autonomous counties (see below).

;Autonomous county

The most numerous type of autonomous area in China, found both within and outside the larger autonomous prefectures and regions.

;Autonomous prefecture

China has 30 prefectures that are autonomous, mostly in the periphery of the country.

;Autonomous region

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