In most countries, the nation’s capital is also seat of its government, thus that city is appropriately referred to as the national seat of government. The terms are not however, completely synonymous, as some countries' seat of government differs from the capital. The Netherlands, for example, has Amsterdam as its capital but The Hague is the seat of government; and the Philippines, with Manila as its capital but the whole Metro Manila, also designated as National Capital Region (NCR), is the seat of government.
Local seats of government
Local and regional authorities usually have a seat, called an administrative centre, as well. Terms for seats of local government of various levels and in various countries include:
- County seat (United States)
- County town (UK and Ireland)
- City hall/Town hall
- Barrio-pueblo (Puerto Rico)
Buildings as seats of government
Examples of seats of government include:
- The suite of buildings on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada where the Canadian Parliament meets
- The Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, in central London, England, where the British Parliament meets
- Three sites in Washington, D.C., United States: the United States Capitol (legislative seat), the White House (executive seat), and the United States Supreme Court building (judicial seat).
List of seats of state government which are not state capitals
There are several countries where, for various reasons, the official capital and de facto seat of government are separated:
- Benin: Porto-Novo is the official capital, but Cotonou is the seat of government.
- Bolivia: Sucre is the constitutional capital, and the supreme tribunal of justice is located in Sucre, making it the judicial capital. The Palacio Quemado, the national congress and national electoral court are located in La Paz, making it the seat of government.
- Ivory Coast: Yamoussoukro was designated the national capital in 1983, but most government offices and embassies are still located in Abidjan.
- Netherlands: Amsterdam is the constitutional national capital even though the Dutch government, the parliament, the supreme court, the Council of State, and the work palace of the King are all located in The Hague, as are all the embassies. (For more details see: Capital of the Netherlands.)
- Eswatini (Swaziland): Lobamba is the traditional, spiritual, and legislative capital city of Eswatini, seat of the Parliament, while the capital is Mbabane.
- Tanzania: Until 1974, Dar es Salaam served as Tanzania's capital city, at which point the capital city commenced transferring to Dodoma, by order of then-president Julius Nyerere, which was officially completed in 1996. However, as of 2018[update], it remained focus of central government bureaucracy, although this is in the process of fully moving to Dodoma.
- Malaysia: Putrajaya the federal administrative centre of the Malaysia. The seat of government was shifted in 1999 from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya because of overcrowding and congestion in the former.
- Sri Lanka: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, commonly known as Kotte is the official administrative capital of Sri Lanka. It is a satellite city of and located within the urban area of Sri Lanka's de facto economic and legislative capital, Colombo.
- Montserrat: Its official capital is Plymouth, but it was permanently abandoned in 1997 after it was completely destroyed by the eruptions of the Soufrière Hills volcano. Since 1998 the de facto capital is Brades.  The move was initially intended to be temporary, but it has remained the island's de facto capital ever since. Several names have been suggested for the new official capital now being constructed in the Little Bay area.
States with no official capital
- Switzerland: As of 2020[update] no city has an official status of capital. In 1848 the Federal Assembly voted to locate the seat of government in Bern, but so far it has no official status. However informally it is referred to as "Federal City".
- Nauru: Yaren District (in earlier times Makwa/Moqua), is the de facto capital of Nauru; the republic does not have an official capital.
- Federal Republic of Germany: Since the German reunification in 1990 and until 1999, Berlin was its capital and Bonn was the seat of government.
- Kingdom of England: The traditional capital was the City of London, while Westminster, outside of the boundaries of the City of London, was the seat of government. They are both today part of the urban core of Greater London.
- Kingdom of France: The traditional capital was Paris, though from 1682-1789 the seat of government was at the Palace of Versailles, located in a rural area southwest of Paris.
- Comfort, N. (1993) Brewer's Politics. A phrase and fable dictionary. London: Cassell.
- "The Parliament of Swaziland" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine. Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Accessed April 7, 2014.
- "This Tanzanian city may soon be one of the world's most populous. Is it ready?". Environment. 2019-04-05. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- "The Administrative Capital of Sri Lanka since 1982 is Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte". Official Sri Lanka government website. Archived from the original on 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
- Leonard, T. M. (2005). Encyclopedia of the Developing World. Routledge. pp.1083. ISBN 978-1-57958-388-0
- Jonnard, M. Jonnard Claude M.; Jonnard, Claude M. (November 2009). Islands in the Wind: The Political Economy of the English East Caribbean. iUniverse. ISBN 978-1-4401-9426-9.
- Constituencies of Nauru (naurugov.nr)
- "Yaren | district, Nauru". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-09-02.