Administrative divisions are the basis of local administration of countries and important national system of local governance. Sound administrative division contributes to efficiency of administration and stability of governments. Therefore, administrative division has received wide attention around the world. Administrative regions are divided into regional-type and city-type, where regional-type administrative region covers mainly rural areas while city-type administrative region is predominately urban. The setting-up and adjustment of city-type administrative regions are inevitable requirements of urban development. City-type administrative regions include not only all levels of cities such as municipalities, prefecture-level cities, and county-level cities, but also municipal districts, towns, and neighborhoods. Based on the analysis of the concept and connotation of city-type administrative region, this article focuses on the evolution process, setting-up modes, levels, and jurisdiction of city-type administrative regions. It also summarizes research methods of city-type administrative regions in China and abroad, which gradually changed from qualitative to quantitative. Formed city is the main kind of city-type administrative regions. From a global perspective, modern city originated during the British Industrial Revolution. The emergence of formed city was marked by the "City of Autonomy" enacted in 1835. Formed city developed from one hundred years ago in China and has had an extremely complex process of evolution. Before the reform and opening up of the late 1970s, the speed of development was slow but after that time, the number of cities increased rapidly. In 1997, the State Council called off the conversion of counties to cities, and the number of cities stopped growing. Cities abroad can be as small as having a few thousand residents but in China, given its large population, a city must have at least 80,000 people. Many Chinese towns have more than 100,000 residents. Therefore, some scholars have recommend reform of "town to city" conversion. Cities in Western countries in general have equal legal status, but Chinese cities have a four-level administrative hierarchy: formed cities are divided into provincial-level, sub-provincial-level, prefecture-level, and county-level cities. Jurisdiction area of cities in Western countries is small but in China the area is large. This article reviews the characteristics and shortcomings of city-type administrative division research in China and abroad. Studies suggest that setting up city-type administrative regions based on national and local conditions, innovating the management system in metropolitan areas, and reducing administrative levels of cities should be the direction for future reform. At last, this article examines prospects of future research on city-type administrative division.