New Shetland is subdivided in 30 states that are mostly self-governing, with some differences in the level of independence. For example, Marbella is almost autonomous, whereas North and Uplands are mostly governed by the central government. This is due to differences in population and has to do with the history of the respective states too. Uplands used to be merged with North into the Northern Territory, under direct control of Marbella. The states of the Harvian Islands are referred to as districts.
The 30 states are grouped into five census regions of which four are purely for administrative purposes. The census region Harvian Islands is referred to as dependency and has its own government.
The states are divided into parishes, analoguous in structure to a United States county. They are governed by a Local Council, that is chosen by local elections. Other recognized subdivisions are the concepts city (an contiguous urbanized area with more than 80,000 inhabitants), town (more than 1,000 inhabitants, same rules apply as a city) and a village, which is an urbanized area that has less than 1,000 inhabitants. Non-urban areas with a lot of inhabitants are called unincorporated communities. Of these non-parish subdivisions only towns and cities have their own distinct government. When the city or town is the largest community in its corresponding parish, this is usually the Local Council and Town/City Council in one.