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In
geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγρα ...

geography
,
statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is conventional to begin with a statistical ...

statistics
and
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biological, geological ...
, a settlement, locality or populated place is a
community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, wor ...

community
in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grouped together to the largest of cities with surrounding urbanized areas. Settlements may include
hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1601. It is Shakespeare's longest play, with 29,551 words. Set in Denmark Denmark ...
s,
village A village is a clustered human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellin ...

village
s,
town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The word "town" ...

town
s and
cities A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grouped to ...
. A settlement may have known historical properties such as the date or era in which it was first settled, or first settled by particular people. In the field of
geospatial predictive modeling Geospatial predictive modeling is conceptually rooted in the principle that the occurrences of events being modeled are limited in distribution. Occurrences of events are neither uniform nor random in distribution – there are spatial environment ...
, settlements are "a city, town, village or other agglomeration of buildings where people live and work". A settlement conventionally includes its constructed facilities such as
road A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two Location (geography), places that has been Pavement (material), paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by foot or by some form of wikt:conveyance, conveyance (including a motor vehi ...

road
s,
enclosure Enclosure or Inclosure is a term, used in English landownership, that refers to the appropriation of "waste" or "common land" enclosing it and by doing so depriving commoners of their ancient rights of access and privilege. Agreements to enclo ...

enclosure
s,
field systemsThe study of field systems (collections of fields) in landscape history is concerned with the size, shape and orientation of a number of fields. These are often adjacent, but may be separated by a later feature. Field systems by region Czech Republic ...
,
boundary Boundary or Boundaries may refer to: * Border, in political geography Entertainment *Boundaries (2016 film), ''Boundaries'' (2016 film), a 2016 Canadian film *Boundaries (2018 film), ''Boundaries'' (2018 film), a 2018 American-Canadian road trip ...
banks and
ditch File:Waterplanten sloot alphen aan den rijn.JPG, 150px, Waterplants growing in a ditch in the Netherlands, showing ''Sagittaria sagittifolia'' to the right. A ditch is a small to moderate divot created to channel water. A ditch can be used for dr ...

ditch
es,
pond A pond is an area filled with water, either natural or Artificiality, artificial, that is smaller than a lake. Ponds are small bodies of freshwater with shallow and still water, marsh, and aquatic plants.Clegg, J. (1986). Observer's Book of P ...

pond
s,
park A park is an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element ...

park
s and
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the Plant stem, stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic materiala natural composite material, composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embe ...

wood
s,
wind Wind is the natural movement of air or other gases relative to a planet's surface. Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating of land surfaces and lasting a few hours, ...

wind
and
water mill A watermill or water mill is a mill that uses hydropower. It is a structure that uses a water wheel or water turbine to drive a mechanical process such as mill (grinding), milling (grinding), rolling, or hammering. Such processes are needed in t ...

water mill
s,
manor house#REDIRECT Manor house A manor house was historically the main residence of the lord of the manor. The house formed the administrative centre of a manor in the European feudal system; within its great hall were held the lord's manorial court ...
s,
moat A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, that is dug and surrounds a castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesCham ...

moat
s and
church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is used to refer to the physical build ...
es.


History

The oldest remains that have been found of constructed dwellings are remains of huts that were made of mud and branches around 17,000 BC at the
Ohalo Ohalo II is an archaeological site in Israel, in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee. It is one of the best preserved hunter-gatherer archaeological sites of the Last Glacial Maximum, radiocarbon dated to around 23,000 BP (calibrated). It is at the ...
site (now underwater) near the edge of the
Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic: יַמּא דטבריא, גִּנֵּיסַר, ar, بحيرة طبريا), also called Lake Tiberias, Kinneret or Kinnereth, is a freshwater Fresh water (or freshwater) is ...

Sea of Galilee
. The
Natufian The Natufian culture () is a Late Epipaleolithic (Levant), Epipaleolithic archaeological culture of the Levant, dating to around 15,000 to 11,500 years ago. The culture was unusual in that it supported a Sedentism, sedentary or semi-sedentary popu ...
s built houses, also in the
Levant The Levant () is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the G ...

Levant
, around 10,000 BC. Remains of settlements such as
village A village is a clustered human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellin ...

village
s become much more common after the invention of agriculture.


In landscape history

Landscape history Landscape history is the study of the way in which humanity has changed the physical appearance of the environment – both present and past. It is sometimes referred to as landscape archaeology. It was first recognised as a separate area of stud ...
studies the form (morphology) of settlements – for example whether they are dispersed or
nucleated In cell biology Cell biology (also cellular biology or cytology) is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processe ...
.
Urban morphologyUrban morphology is the study of the formation of human settlements and the process of their formation and transformation. The study seeks to understand the spatial structure and character of a metropolitan area, city A city is a large human sett ...
can thus be considered a special type of cultural-historical landscape studies. Settlements can be ordered by size, centrality or other factors to define a
settlement hierarchy A settlement hierarchy is a way of arranging settlements into a hierarchy A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represen ...
. A settlement hierarchy can be used for classifying settlement all over the world, although a settlement called a 'town' in one country might be a 'village' in other countries; or a 'large town' in some countries might be a 'city' in others.


Statistics


Australia

Geoscience Australia Geoscience Australia is an agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which ...

Geoscience Australia
defines a populated place as "a named settlement with a population of 200 or more persons". The
Committee for Geographical Names in AustralasiaThe Permanent Committee on Place Names (PCPN) created from the various Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian co ...
used the term localities for rural areas, while the
Australian Bureau of Statistics The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the independent statutory agency of the Australian Government responsible for statistical collection and analysis, and for giving evidence-based advice to federal, state and territory governments ...
uses the term "urban centres/localities" for urban areas.


Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Agency for Statistics in Bosnia and Herzegovina uses the term "populated place""settled place" for rural (or urban as an administrative center of some Municipality/City), and "Municipality" and "City" for urban areas.


Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Government publishes a National Register of Populated places (NRPP).


Canada

The Canadian government uses the term "populated place" in the ''
Atlas of Canada The Atlas of Canada (french: L'Atlas du Canada) is an online atlas Blaeu's world map, originally prepared by Joan Blaeu for his ''Atlas Maior">Joan_Blaeu.html" ;"title="world map, originally prepared by Joan Blaeu">world map, originally prepa ...
'', but does not define it.
Statistics Canada Statistics Canada (StatCan; french: Statistique Canada), formed in 1971, is the government agency, agency of the Government of Canada commissioned with producing statistics to help better understand Canada, its population, resources, Economy of ...
uses the term localities for historically named locations.


Croatia

The
Croatian Bureau of Statistics The Croatian Bureau of Statistics ( hr, Državni zavod za statistiku or DZS) is the Croatian national statistics bureau. History The bureau was formed in 1875 in Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Em ...
records population in units called settlements (''naselja'').


India

The Census Commission of
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
has a special definition of
census town In India and some other countries, a census town is designated as a town that satisfies certain characteristics. India In India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countr ...
s.


Ireland

The Central Statistics Office of the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 Counties of Ireland, counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the ...

Republic of Ireland
has a special definition of
census town In India and some other countries, a census town is designated as a town that satisfies certain characteristics. India In India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countr ...
s.


Pakistan

The
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, e ...
records population in units of settlements called
Tehsil A tehsil also known as tahsil, taluka, or taluk) is a local unit of administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as ...
– an administrative unit derived from the
Mughal Mughal or Moghul may refer to: * The Mughal Empire of South Asia ** Mughal dynasty ** Mughal emperors ** Mughal people, a social group of South Asia ** Mughal Army, the Army of Mughal Empire * Cultural influences of the Mughal Empire ** Mughal arc ...
era.


Russia

There are various
types of inhabited localities in Russia The classification system of inhabited localities in Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by ...
.


Sweden

Statistics Sweden Statistics Sweden ( sv, Statistiska centralbyrån ; SCB) is the Government agencies in Sweden, Swedish government agency operating under the Ministry of Finance (Sweden), Ministry of Finance and responsible for producing official statistics for de ...
uses the term localities (''tätort'') for various densely populated places. The common English-language translation is ''urban areas''.


United Kingdom

The UK
Department for Communities and Local Government The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), formerly the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), is the UK Government department for housing Housing, or more generally living spaces, refers to t ...
uses the term "urban settlement" to denote an
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbati ...
when analysing census information. The
Registrar General for Scotland The General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) ( gd, Oifis Choitcheann a' Chlàraidh na h-Alba) was a non-ministerial directorate of the Scottish Government sco, Scots Govrenment , border = , image = Scottish Governmen ...
defines settlements as groups of one or more contiguous localities, which are determined according to
population density upright=2.05, Population density (people per km2) map of the world in 2005 Population density (in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the ri ...

population density
and
postcode A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes including spaces or punctuation, included in a postal a ...
areas. The Scottish settlements are used as one of several factors defining urban areas.Scottish census information


United States

The
United States Geological Survey The United States Geological Survey, abbreviated USGS and formerly simply known as the Geological Survey, is a scientific government agency, agency of the Federal government of the United States, United States government. The scientists of the ...
(USGS) has a
Geographic Names Information System The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is a database of name and locative information about more than two million physical and cultural features throughout the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as t ...
that defines three classes of human settlement: # Populated place −
place Place may refer to: Geography * Place (United States Census Bureau)The United States Census Bureau defines a place as a concentration of population which has a name, is locally recognized, and is not part of any other place. A place typically ha ...
or geographic area with clustered or scattered
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a w ...

building
s and a permanent human
population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically quantify the size of the resident population within their jurisdiction by a process called a ce ...

population
(city, settlement, town, village). A populated place is usually not
incorporated Incorporated may refer to: * Incorporated community * Incorporated (Grip Inc. album), ''Incorporated'' (Grip Inc. album), 2004, by Grip Inc. * Incorporated (Legion of Doom album), ''Incorporated'' (Legion of Doom album), 2006 * Incorporated (TV seri ...
and by definition has no legal boundaries. However, a populated place may have a corresponding "civil" record, the legal boundaries of which may or may not coincide with the perceived populated place. # Census − a statistical area delineated locally specifically for the tabulation of Census Bureau data (census designated place, census county division, unorganized territory, various types of American Indian/Alaska Native statistical areas). # Civil − a political division formed for administrative purposes (
borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for g ...
,
county 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 ...
,
incorporated placeThe United States Census Bureau defines a place as a concentration of population which has a name, is locally recognized, and is not part of any other place. A place typically has a residential nucleus and a closely spaced street pattern, and it freq ...
,
municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. The term ''municipali ...
,
parish 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, ...
,
town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The word "town" ...

town
,
township A township is a kind of human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grou ...

township
)." Populated places may be specifically defined in the context of
census A census is the procedure of systematically calculating, acquiring and recording information about the members of a given Statistical population, population. This term is used mostly in connection with Population and housing censuses by country, na ...

census
es and be different from general-purpose administrative entities, such as "place" as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau or
census-designated place A census-designated place (CDP) is a Place (United States Census Bureau), concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decennial census since 1980 as the counterpa ...
s.


Geospatial modeling

In the field of
geospatial predictive modeling Geospatial predictive modeling is conceptually rooted in the principle that the occurrences of events being modeled are limited in distribution. Occurrences of events are neither uniform nor random in distribution – there are spatial environment ...
, settlements are "a city, town, village, or other agglomeration of buildings where people live and work". The Global Human Settlement Layer
GHSL
framework produces global spatial information about the human presence on the planet over time. This in the form of built up maps, population density maps and settlement maps. This information is generated with evidence-based analytics and knowledge using new spatial data mining technologies. The framework uses heterogeneous data including global archives of fine-scale satellite imagery, census data, and volunteered geographic information. The data is processed fully automatically and generates analytics and knowledge reporting objectively and systematically about the presence of population and built-up infrastructures. Th
GHSL
operates in an open and free data and methods access policy (open input, open method, open output).


Abandonment

The term "Abandoned populated places" is a ''Feature Designation Name'' in databases sourced by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and
GeoNames GeoNames (or GeoNames.org) is a user editable geographical database available and accessible through various web services, under a Creative Commons attribution license. The project was founded in late 2005. The GeoNames dataset differs from, ...
. Sometimes the structures are still easily accessible, such as in a
ghost town A ghost town or alternatively deserted city or abandoned city is an abandoned village, town, or city, usually one that contains substantial visible remaining buildings and infrastructure such as roads. A town often becomes a ghost town because ...
, and these may become tourist attractions. Some places that have the appearance of a ghost town, however, may still be defined as populated places by government entities. A town may become a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, because of a government action, such as the building of a dam that floods the town, or because of natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, uncontrolled lawlessness, or war. The term is sometimes used to refer to cities, towns, and neighborhoods that are still populated, but significantly less so than in years past.


See also

*
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 geographical areas into which a particular, ...

Administrative division
*
Informal settlement Informal housing or informal settlement can include any form of housing, shelter, or settlement (or lack thereof) which is illegal, falls outside of government control or regulation, or is not afforded protection by the state. As such, the inf ...
*
Lost city A lost city is a settlement that fell into terminal decline and became extensively or completely uninhabited, with the consequence that the site's former significance was no longer known to the wider world. The locations of many lost cities have ...
* Requirements for permanent settlements * List of Neolithic settlements *
Settlement geography Settlement geography is a branch of human geography Image:Snow-cholera-map-1.jpg, upright=1.2, Original map by John Snow showing the Cluster (epidemiology), clusters of cholera cases in the London epidemic of 1854, which is a classical case of usi ...
*
Colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colonizers, the ''metropole, metropoli ...

Colony
*
Human outpost Human outposts


References


External links


The Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) framework
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