This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with Anglosphere and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page.(February 2011)
A unitary state is a state governed as one single power in which the central government is ultimately supreme and any administrative divisions (subnational units) exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate. The majority of states in the world have a unitary system of government.
In a unitary state, subnational units are created and abolished, and their powers may be broadened and narrowed, by the central government. Although political power in unitary states may be delegated through devolution to local government by statute, the central government remains supreme; it may abrogate the acts of devolved governments or curtail their powers.
Many unitary states have no such areas having any degree of autonomy. Subnational areas can not decide any own laws. Some examples of such countries are Sweden, Norway and Ireland.
In federal states, by contrast, states or other subnational units share sovereignty with the central government, and the states constituting the federation have an existence and power functions that cannot be unilaterally changed by the central government. In some cases, it is the federal government that has only those powers expressly delegated to it.