There are 408 regular municipalities (gemeenten) and 3 public bodies (special municipalities) in the Netherlands. Municipalities are the second-level administrative division in the Netherlands, they are subdivisions of their respective provinces. Their duties are delegated to them by the central government and they are ruled by a municipal council that is elected every four years. Municipal mergers have reduced the total number of municipalities over the last century. They span 6.92 km2 (2.67 sq mi) to 813.14 km2 (313.96 sq mi) in area and have populations ranging from 957 to 799,406 persons.