How a Municipality Is Formed
Latin America

How a Municipality Is Formed

The creation of a new municipality is not such a simple task. The process of municipalization of a village or district is long and time-consuming, in addition to requiring federal charges.


According to Campingship, most of the Brazilian population lives in cities, this profile is mainly due to the industrialization process in Brazil and the massive departure of people from the countryside to urban areas, through the rural exodus .

As a result of this process, another very curious phenomenon occurred in our country, due to the increase in the urban population: the emergence of new cities . Although our territory has not expanded, there was, during the second half of the twentieth century, a process of territorial fragmentation, in which several villages that were considered towns or districts underwent an emancipation process and became cities .

In order to have an idea of ​​the expressiveness of this phenomenon, in the 1950s, the official data registered 1890 municipalities in Brazil. In 2018, 5570 municipalities are made official in the national territory, that is, of every five Brazilian municipalities, three have less than 70 years of foundation.

The steps for the formation of a municipality

Firstly, it is necessary for people who inhabit that territory to want their emancipation. With this agreement, a formal request is made to the legislative assembly of the state to which the new municipality will belong. In this step, an analysis of the financial feasibility of emancipation and a Municipal Feasibility Study are carried out.

If these steps are approved, their results are published in the form of a proposed law . However, the process is not yet finalized. With the bill ready, a plebiscite is held to verify the agreement both of the new inhabitants of the municipality to be created, and of the residents of the area from which this territory will be dismembered. This process is accompanied by electoral justice, since the people consulted are those who have an electoral residence in the territories involved.

If the result of this plebiscite is positive, the bill is sent to the legislative assembly , which is the body that has the capacity to establish a new municipality. If approved, the new city is then created and the electoral process begins to determine its first mayor.

The reasons for the creation of a new municipality

There are many motivations that can generate the movement to create a new municipality, among them is the need for improvements in basic services , which are often not served in district regions subordinated to other city halls; other motivations may include identity, cultural, economic issues, etc.

As our Constitution provides for the allocation of funds from the FPM (Municipal Participation Fund), emancipation is also a way for villages to be able to direct federal resources to improve their urban situation, which, however, may increase federal charges .

These funds are for expenses such as salaries of mayors, councilors and other public officials, values ​​for the many services provided necessary for the maintenance of the municipality, such as investment in education, health, leisure, security, among others.

Why aren’t more municipalities created?

Although the process of emancipation of Brazilian municipalities has grown in the second half of the twentieth century, since the year 2000, strategies have been created to hinder this process.

One of the justifications used to block the creation of new municipalities is based on the great dependence of these territories on the aid of federal funds. As they have been created very recently, in general, these municipalities are small, with few inhabitants and are unable to generate revenue for their self-sufficiency, depending largely on the participation of FPM funds.

Another justification is that the greater the number of municipalities, the greater will also be the public expenditures that should be passed on to municipal administrations.

The last municipalities created in Brazil, the youngest in our country were created in 2013, were five municipalities: Pescaria Brava and Balneário Rincão, located in the state of Santa Catarina; Pinto Bandeira, in Rio Grande do Sul; Paraíso das Águas, in Mato Grosso do Sul and Mojuí dos Campos, in the state of Pará.

How a Municipality Is Formed