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In 45 of the 50 states of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, the
county A county is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment ...
is used for the level of local government immediately below the state itself.
Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ''le français international'' nternational French is an unofficial term for a standard ...

Louisiana
uses
parishes A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest#Christianity, priest, often termed a parish priest, ...
, and
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
uses
boroughs A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for ...

boroughs
. In
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ...

Massachusetts
, and
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as ...
, some or all counties within states have no governments of their own; the counties continue to exist as legal entities, however, and are used by states for some administrative functions and by the United States Census bureau for statistical analysis. There are 3,242
counties A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes Chambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
and
county equivalent A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert Chambers (publisher bo ...
administrative units in total, including the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...

District of Columbia
and 100 county-equivalents in the
U.S. territories The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all ...
. There are 41 independent cities in the United States. In
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
, any municipality that is incorporated as a city legally becomes independent of any county. Where indicated, the statistics below do not include Virginia's 38 independent cities. In
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
, most of the land area of the state has no county-level government. Those parts of the state are divided by the
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
into
census area A census is the procedure of systematically enumerating, and acquiring and recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence ...
s, which are not the same as boroughs. The state's largest statistical division by area is the Yukon–Koyukuk Census Area, which is larger than any of the state's boroughs. Although
Anchorage Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; : ) is a unified municipal in the U.S. state of , on the . With an estimated 288,000 residents in 2019, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains nearly 40% of the state's popula ...
is called a municipality, it is considered a consolidated city and borough. There are 100 county-equivalents in the
territories of the United States Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as ma ...
: they are the 3 districts and 2 atolls of
American Samoa #REDIRECT American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) ...

American Samoa
, all of
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousa ...

Guam
(Guam as one single county-equivalent), the 4 municipalities in the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
, the 78 municipalities of
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
, the 3 main islands of the
U.S. Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States,Also called the ''American Virgin Islands'' are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States The U ...

U.S. Virgin Islands
, and the 9 islands in the
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands United States Minor Outlying Islands is a statistical designation defined by the International Organization for Standardization The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard-setting body composed of ...
.https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/reference/GARM/Ch4GARM.pdf ‘’States, Counties, and Statistically Equivalent Entities (Chapter 4).’’ Census.gov. Retrieved July 6, 2018. All of these territorial county-equivalents are defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Count

This is the number of counties and county-equivalents for each state, the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...

District of Columbia
, the 5 inhabited
territories of the United States Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as ma ...
, and the
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands United States Minor Outlying Islands is a statistical designation defined by the International Organization for Standardization The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard-setting body composed of ...
. Lists of counties and county equivalents by number per political division: * Total (50 states and District of Columbia): 3,143 (3,007
counties A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes Chambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
and 136 county equivalents) * Total (50 states, District of Columbia and territories): 3,243 (3,007
counties A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes Chambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
and 236 county equivalents) * Average number of counties per state (not including D.C. and the territories): 62.82 * Average number of counties per state (including D.C. and the territories): 56.87


Population


Nationwide population extremes

These rankings include county equivalents. The following is a list of the least populous counties and county-equivalents in all U.S. territory. Note that the only entity on this list with a permanent human population is
Swains Island, American Samoa
Swains Island, American Samoa
. The first 8 counties (county-equivalents) are uninhabited, while the 10th on the list (
Palmyra Atoll Palmyra Atoll (), also referred to as Palmyra Island, is one of the Northern Line Islands (southeast of Kingman Reef Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited, triangle-shaped reef, east-west and north-south, in the North Pacific ...

Palmyra Atoll
) has a small non-permanent human population whose maximum capacity is 20 people.
File:Clear_Day_at_Baldwin_Hills.jpg,
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be u ...

Los Angeles
in
Los Angeles County, California Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, and sometimes abbreviated as L.A. County, is the most populous county in the United States and in the U.S. state of California, with more than ten million inhabitants as of the 2020 Uni ...
, the most populous county in the United States File:Kalaupapa_penninsula.jpg,
Kalawao County, Hawaii Kalawao County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...
, the least-populous county in the
50 states The United States, United States of America is a federal republic consisting of 50 U.S. state, states, a Capital districts and territories#United States, federal district (Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States), five major t ...
File:Swains_Island_3.jpg, — the least-populous permanently-inhabited county or county-equivalent in the United States


Population per state or territory


Area


Nationwide land area extremes

The largest counties and county-equivalents are organized boroughs and the census areas of Alaska with the top two being Yukon–Koyukuk Census Area () and
North Slope Borough The North Slope Borough is the northernmost List of boroughs and census areas in Alaska, borough in the US state of Alaska. The borough seat and largest city is Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow), which is also the northernmost settlement in the ...
(). The smallest counties and county equivalents (in the 50 states) are the independent cities of Virginia with the extreme being
Falls Church Falls Church is an independent city An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity (such as a province). Historical precursors In the Holy Roman Empire ...
at . If the
U.S. territories The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all ...
are included, the smallest county-equivalent is
Kingman Reef Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited, triangle-shaped reef, east-west and north-south, in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa. It has an area of 3 hectares (0.03 km2) and is ...

Kingman Reef
, with a land area of .https://www.britannica.com/place/Kingman-Reef ‘’Kingman Reef.’’ Britannica.com. Retrieved July 7, 2018. The following two tables exclude county-equivalents: The following two tables include county-equivalents: *Largest county or county-equivalent: Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska *Largest true county:
San Bernardino County, California San Bernardino County, officially the County of San Bernardino, is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, ...
*Smallest county or county-equivalent: *Smallest county or county-equivalent in the 50 states: City of Falls Church, Virginia *Smallest true county:
Kalawao County, Hawaii Kalawao County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...

File:Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility_(1).jpg,
San Bernardino County, California San Bernardino County, officially the County of San Bernardino, is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, ...
, the largest county in the United States by land area (excluding county-equivalents) File:Kalaupapa_penninsula.jpg,
Kalawao County, Hawaii Kalawao County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...
, the smallest county in the United States by land area (excluding county-equivalents) File:White_Mountains_NRA_(16102401664).jpg,
Yukon–Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska Yukon–Koyukuk Census Area () is a census area A census is the procedure of systematically enumerating, and acquiring and recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "W ...
, the largest county or county-equivalent by land area in the United States File:Kingman_Reef_Oct_2003.jpg, , the smallest county or county-equivalent by land area in the United States File:City_of_Falls_Church_Community_Center_2018.jpg,
Falls Church, Virginia Falls Church is an independent city An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity (such as a province). Historical precursors In the Holy Roman Empire ...
, the smallest county-equivalent in the
50 states The United States, United States of America is a federal republic consisting of 50 U.S. state, states, a Capital districts and territories#United States, federal district (Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States), five major t ...
by land area


Smallest, largest, and average area per state and territory

The following is a list of counties and county-equivalents showing the average size of each state/territory’s counties, the smallest county (or equivalent) in each state/territory, and the largest county (or equivalent) in each state/territory. States/territories on the list are arranged by the average land area of their counties. Though not on the list, the North Slope Borough is the largest independently incorporated county equivalent. The Unorganized Borough is substantially larger, but is an extension of the State of Alaska government and not independently incorporated. Also note that the smallest land area with county-level governance in the U.S. is
Falls Church, Virginia Falls Church is an independent city An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity (such as a province). Historical precursors In the Holy Roman Empire ...
, but it is an independent city and not a county or part of one.
Kingman Reef Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited, triangle-shaped reef, east-west and north-south, in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa. It has an area of 3 hectares (0.03 km2) and is ...

Kingman Reef
is the smallest county-equivalent in all U.S. territory (though it has no government).
Kalawao County, Hawaii Kalawao County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...
is the smallest true county by land area.


Population density


Most densely populated

Data presented below is based on U.S. Census department data from 2010. Calculations are made by dividing the population by the land area. All county equivalents are included. This list includes the 50 most densely-populated counties and county-equivalents in the 50 states and District of Columbia, plus the 9 highest-density
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, ...
(county-equivalents) of
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
. Puerto Rico is the only U.S. territory with population densities (of county-equivalents) high enough to be on this list. Note that many of these high-density counties are coterminous with large cities (for example San Francisco and Philadelphia) or are independent cities in Virginia (as well as
Baltimore Baltimore ( , locally: ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city prop ...

Baltimore
and
St. Louis St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State ( ...

St. Louis
) which are considered county-equivalents.


Least densely populated

This list was generated by dividing the population by the land area. All county equivalents are included. The list is dominated by just a few states: Alaska, Montana, and Texas together comprise about two-thirds of the entries.The
Unorganized Borough The Unorganized Borough is made up of the portions of the U.S. state of Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United ...
is not included here as a unit, but its
census area A census is the procedure of systematically enumerating, and acquiring and recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence ...
s (non-governmental entities) are. If the census areas were removed from the list, the Unorganized Borough would rank fourteenth with a density of . The 8 uninhabited county-equivalents in the U.S. territories are listed at the top of the table — these are technically the least-densely populated counties/county-equivalents in the United States, but since they have no people, they are listed unranked.


Population density per state and territory

Data presented below is based on U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010. Calculations are made by dividing the population by the land area. All county equivalents are included. Excluding the census areas of Alaska,
Lake and Peninsula Borough Lake and Peninsula Borough (russian: Лейк-энд-Пенинсула) is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing ...
is the least densely populated county equivalent with . The
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...

District of Columbia
and
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousa ...

Guam
each only have one county-equivalent, so their most/least densely-populated county is the same.


See also

*
Local government in the United States Local government in the United States refers to governmental jurisdictions below the level of the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...


Notes


References


External links


Labor Statistics
County Employment and Wages {{DEFAULTSORT:County Statistics Of The United States Political divisions of the United States de:County (Vereinigte Staaten)#Statistiken