Towns in Chenango County, New York
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A town is a
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 minuscule number of dwellings grouped together to the largest of cities ...
. Towns are generally larger than
village A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population t ...
s and smaller than
cities A city is a 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 minuscule number of dwellings grouped ...
, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world.


Origin and use

The word "town" shares an origin with the German word , the Dutch word , and the
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian, is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and t ...
. The original
Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language of the Germanic languages, Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. Proto-Germanic eventually developed from ...
word, *''tūnan'', is thought to be an early borrowing from
Proto-Celtic Proto-Celtic, or Common Celtic, is the ancestral proto-language of all known Celtic languages, and a descendant of Proto-Indo-European. It is not attested in writing but has been partly reconstructed through the comparative method. Proto-Ce ...
*''dūnom'' (cf.
Old Irish Old Irish, also called Old Gaelic ( sga, Goídelc, Ogham, Ogham script: ᚌᚑᚔᚇᚓᚂᚉ; ga, Sean-Ghaeilge; gd, Seann-Ghàidhlig; gv, Shenn Yernish or ), is the oldest form of the Goidelic languages, Goidelic/Gaelic language for which ...
, Welsh ). The original sense of the word in both Germanic and Celtic was that of a fortress or an enclosure. Cognates of ''town'' in many modern Germanic languages designate a fence or a hedge. In English and Dutch, the meaning of the word took on the sense of the space which these fences enclosed, and through which a track must run. In England, a town was a small community that could not afford or was not allowed to build walls or other larger fortifications, and built a
palisade A palisade, sometimes called a stakewall or a paling, is typically a fence or defensive wall made from iron or wooden stakes, or tree trunks, and used as a defensive structure or enclosure. Palisades can form a stockade. Etymology ''Palisade'' ...
or stockade instead. In the Netherlands, this space was a garden, more specifically those of the wealthy, which had a high fence or a wall around them (like the garden of the palace of
Het Loo Het Loo Palace ( nl, Paleis Het Loo , meaning "The wikt:lea#English, Lea") is a palace in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, built by the House of Orange-Nassau. History The symmetry, symmetrical Dutch Baroque architecture, Dutch Baroque building was desi ...
in
Apeldoorn Apeldoorn (; Dutch Low Saxon: ) is a municipality and city in the province of Gelderland in the centre of the Netherlands. It is located about 60 km east of Utrecht, 60 km west of Enschede, 25 km north of Arnhem and 35 km south of Zwolle. The ...
, which was the model for the privy garden of William III and
Mary II Mary II (30 April 166228 December 1694) was List of English monarchs, Queen of England, List of Scottish monarchs, Scotland, and Monarchy of Ireland, Ireland, co-reigning with her husband, William III of England, William III & II, from 1689 unt ...
at
Hampton Court Hampton Court Palace is a Listed building, Grade I listed royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, southwest and upstream of central London on the River Thames. The building of the palace began in 1514 for Cardinal Thomas Wo ...
). In Old Norse means a (grassy) place between farmhouses, and the word is still used with a similar meaning in modern Norwegian. Old English became a common place-name suffix in England and southeastern Scotland during the Anglo-Saxon settlement period. In
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabita ...
and Early and Middle Scots, the words ''ton'', ''toun'', etc. could refer to diverse kinds of settlements from agricultural estates and holdings, partly picking up the Norse sense (as in the Scots word ) at one end of the scale, to fortified municipalities. Other common Anglo-Saxon suffixes included ''ham'' 'home', ''stede'' 'stead', and ''burh'' 'bury, borough, burgh'. In some cases, ''town'' is an alternative name for "city" or "village" (especially a larger village). Sometimes, the word ''town'' is short for ''township''. In general, today towns can be differentiated from
township A township is a kind of human settlement or administrative subdivision, with its meaning varying in different countries. Although the term is occasionally associated with an urban area, that tends to be an exception to the rule. In Australia, Ca ...
s,
village A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population t ...
s, or
hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, wiktionary:τραγῳδία, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama based on human ...
s on the basis of their economic character, in that most of a town's population will tend to derive their living from manufacturing industry,
commerce Commerce is the large-scale organized system of activities, functions, procedures and institutions directly and indirectly related to the exchange (buying and selling) of goods and services among two or more parties within local, regional, nation ...
, and
public service A public service is any service intended to address specific needs pertaining to the aggregate members of a community. Public services are available to people within a government A government is the system or group of people gover ...
s rather than
primary sector The primary sector of the economy includes any Industry (economics), industry involved in the extraction and production of raw materials, such as farming, logging, fishing, forestry and mining. The primary sector tends to make up a larger portio ...
industries such as
agriculture Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating Plant, plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of Sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of Domestication, domesticated species created food ...
or related activities. A place's population size is not a reliable determinant of urban character. In many areas of the world, e.g. in India at least until recent times, a large village might contain several times as many people as a small town. In the United Kingdom, there are historical cities that are far smaller than the larger towns. The modern phenomenon of extensive
suburb A suburb (more broadly suburban area) is an area within a metropolitan area, which may include Commercial area, commercial and mixed-use development, mixed-use, that is primarily a residential area. A suburb can exist either as part of a ...
an growth, satellite urban development, and migration of city dwellers to villages has further complicated the definition of towns, creating communities urban in their economic and cultural characteristics but lacking other characteristics of urban localities. Some forms of non-rural settlement, such as temporary
mining Mining is the Extractivism, extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein (geology), vein, coal mining, seam, quartz reef mining, reef, or placer deposit. The exploitation of ...
locations, may be clearly non-rural, but have at best a questionable claim to be called a town. Towns often exist as distinct governmental units, with legally defined borders and some or all of the appurtenances of local government (e.g. a
police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a State (polity), state, with the aim to law enforcement, enforce the law, to ensure the safety, health and possessions of citize ...
force). In the United States these are referred to as "incorporated towns". In other cases the town lacks its own governance and is said to be "unincorporated". Note that the existence of an unincorporated town may be legally set out by other means, e.g. zoning districts. In the case of some planned communities, the town exists legally in the form of covenants on the properties within the town. The United States Census identifies many
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 count ...
s (CDPs) by the names of unincorporated towns which lie within them; however, those CDPs typically include rural and suburban areas and even surrounding villages and other towns. The distinction between a town and a city similarly depends on the approach: a city may strictly be an administrative entity which has been granted that designation by law, but in informal usage, the term is also used to denote an urban locality of a particular size or importance: whereas a
medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
city may have possessed as few as 10,000 inhabitants, today some consider an urban place of fewer than 100,000 as a town, even though there are many officially designated cities that are much smaller than that. In
toponymic Toponymy, toponymics, or toponomastics is the study of ''wikt:toponym, toponyms'' (proper names of places, also known as place names and geographic names), including their origins, meanings, usage and types. Toponym is the general term for a p ...
terminology, names of individual towns and cities are called ''astyonyms'' or ''astionyms'' (from
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Greek Dark ...
'town, city', and 'name').


History

Through different periods of recorded history, many towns have grown into sizeable settlements, with the development of properties, centres of culture, and specialized economies. Since the establishment of
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
in 1946, dozens of towns have been inscribed on the
UNESCO World Heritage List A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ...
for their examples of well-preserved condition.


Neolithic

Çatalhöyük Çatalhöyük (; also ''Çatal Höyük'' and ''Çatal Hüyük''; from Turkish language, Turkish ''çatal'' "fork" + ''höyük'' "tumulus") is a Tell (archaeology), tell of a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic proto-city settlement in southe ...
, currently an archaeological site, was considered to be the oldest inhabited town that existed from around 7500 BC. Inscribed as a
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNES ...
, it remains a depopulated town with a complex of ruins.


Roman era

In
Roman times In modern historiography, ancient Rome refers to Roman people, Roman civilisation from the founding of the city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. It encompasses the Roman Kingdom ...
, a villa was a rural settlement formed by a main residential building and another series of secondary buildings. It constituted the center from which an agricultural holding was administered. Subsequently, it lost its agricultural functions and reduced its activity to residential. With the consolidation of large estates during the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
, the town became the center of large farms. A distinction was created between rustic and urban settlements: *Rustic villas, from where the exploitation of resources was directed, slave workers resided, livestock were kept and production was stored. *Urban villas, in which the
lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, chief, or ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the Peerage ...
resided and which increasingly adopted the architectural and beautification forms typical of urban mansions. When from the first century the great territorial property was divided between the area directly exploited by the lord and that ceded to tenant settlers, urban villas became the centers of the administrative power of the lords, appearing the forms of vassalage typical of feudalism of the fourth century.


Terminology for statistics

193 countries have been involved in a common effort to agree on a common statistical definition of the three categories: cities, towns and rural areas.


Age of towns scheme

Australian geographer
Thomas Griffith Taylor Thomas Griffith "Grif" Taylor (1 December 1880 – 5 November 1963) was an English-born geographer, anthropologist and world explorer. He was a survivor of Robert Falcon Scott, Captain Robert Scott's Terra Nova Expedition to Antarctica (1910–19 ...
proposed a classification of towns based on their age and pattern of
land use Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as Human settlement, settlements and semi-natural habitats such as Arable land, arable fields, pastures, and managed Woodland, woo ...
. He identified five types of town: * ''Infantile towns'', with no clear
zoning Zoning is a method of urban planning in which a municipality or other tier of government divides land into areas called zones, each of which has a set of regulations for new development that differs from other zones. Zones may be defined for a si ...
* ''Juvenile towns'', which have developed an area of
shop Shop or shopping refers to: Business and commerce * A casual word for a commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television adve ...
s * ''Adolescent towns'', where
factories A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an Industry (manufacturing), industrial facility, often a complex consisting of several buildings filled with Outline of industrial machinery, machinery, where workers manufacturing, manuf ...
have started to appear * ''Early mature towns'', with a separate area of high-class
housing Housing, or more generally, living spaces, refers to the construction and housing authority, assigned usage of houses or buildings individually or collectively, for the purpose of Shelter (building), shelter. Housing ensures that members of so ...
* ''Mature towns'', with defined industrial,
commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective for:) commerce, a system of voluntary exchange of products and s ...
and various types of
residential area A residential area is a land used in which houses, housing predominates, as opposed to industrial district, industrial and Commercial Area, commercial areas. Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These includ ...


By country


Afghanistan

In
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordere ...
, towns and cities are known as ''shār'' (
Dari Dari (, , ), also known as Dari Persian (, ), is the Variety (linguistics), variety of the Persian language spoken in Afghanistan. Dari is the term officially recognised and promoted since 1964 by the Politics of Afghanistan, Afghan government ...
: شهر,
Pashto Pashto (,; , ) is an Eastern Iranian languages, Eastern Iranian language in the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. It is known in historical Persian literature as Afghani (). Spoken as a native language mostly by ethni ...
: ښار). As the country is an historically rural society with few larger settlements, with major cities never holding more than a few hundred thousand inhabitants before the 2000s, the lingual tradition of the country does not discriminate between towns and cities.


Albania and Kosovo

In
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or ), or , also or . officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Seas within the ...
and
Kosovo Kosovo ( sq, Kosova or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово ), officially the Republic of Kosovo ( sq, Republika e Kosovës, links=no; sr, Република Косово, Republika Kosovo, links=no), is a international recognition of Kosovo, partiall ...
means 'town', which is very similar to the word for city (), although there is no official use of the term for any settlement. In Albanian means 'small city' or 'new city', while in ancient times it referred to a small residential center within the walls of a castle.


Australia

In Australia, most rural and regional centres of population can be called towns; many small towns have populations of less than 200. The smallest may be described as townships. In addition, some local government entities are officially styled as towns in
Queensland ) , nickname = Sunshine State , image_map = Queensland in Australia.svg , map_caption = Location of Queensland in Australia , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = Australia , established_title = Before federation , established_ ...
,
South Australia South Australia (commonly abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest o ...
,
Western Australia Western Australia (commonly abbreviated as WA) is a state of Australia occupying the western percent of the land area of Australia excluding external territories. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Southern Ocean to th ...
and the
Northern Territory The Northern Territory (commonly abbreviated as NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an states and territories of Australia, Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. The Northern Territory ...
, and formerly also (till the 1990s) in Victoria.


Austria

The Austrian legal system does not distinguish between villages, towns, and cities. The country is partitioned into 2098 municipalities (german: Gemeinden) of fundamentally equal rank. Larger municipalities are designated as market towns (german: Marktgemeinden) or cities (), but these distinctions are purely symbolic and do not confer additional legal responsibilities. There is a number of smaller communities that are labelled cities because they used to be regional population centers in the distant past. The city of
Rattenberg Rattenberg ( bar, Råttnberg) is a City A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2n ...
for example has about 400 inhabitants. The city of
Hardegg Hardegg () is a town in the district of Hollabrunn Hollabrunn () is a district capital town in the Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying ...
has about 1200 inhabitants. There are no unincorporated areas. Of the 201 cities in Austria, 15 are statutory cities (). A statutory city is a city that is vested, in addition to its purview as a municipality, with the duties of a district administrative authority. The status does not come with any additional autonomy: district administrative authorities are essentially just service centers that citizens use to interact with the national government, for example to apply for driver licenses or passports. The national government generally uses the provinces to run these points of contact on its behalf; in the case of statutory cities, the municipality gets to step up.


Brazil

In Brazil, since 1938, it was defined that the seat of the municipalities would pass to the category of city and give it the name and the districts would be designated by the name of their respective seats, and if they were not municipal seats, they would have the category of village.


Bulgaria

Bulgarians do not, in general, differentiate between 'city' and 'town'. However, in everyday language and media the terms "large towns" and "small towns" are in use. "Large towns" usually refers to
Sofia Sofia ( ; bg, София, Sofiya, ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities and towns in Bulgaria, largest city of Bulgaria. It is situated in the Sofia Valley at the foot of the Vitosha mountain in the western parts of the country. ...
,
Plovdiv Plovdiv ( bg, Пловдив, ), is the second-largest city in Bulgaria, standing on the banks of the Maritsa river in the historical region of Thrace. It has a population of 346,893 and 675,000 in the greater metropolitan area. Plovdiv is the c ...
, Varna and
Burgas Burgas ( bg, Бургас, ), sometimes transliterated as ''Bourgas'', is List of cities and towns in Bulgaria, the second largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast in the region of Northern Thrace and the fourth-largest in Bulgaria after So ...
, which have population over 200,000.
Ruse Ruse may refer to: Places *Ruse, Bulgaria Ruse (also transliterated as Rousse, Russe; bg, Русе ) is the List of cities and towns in Bulgaria, fifth largest city in Bulgaria. Ruse is in the northeastern part of the country, on the right b ...
and
Stara Zagora Stara Zagora ( bg, Стара Загора, ) is the sixth-largest city in Bulgaria, and the administrative capital of the homonymous Stara Zagora Province. Name The name comes from the Slavic root ''star'' ("old") and the name of the medieval ...
are often included as well due to presence of relatively developed infrastructure and population over 100,000 threshold. It is difficult to call the remaining
provincial capitals A capital city or capital is the municipality holding primary status in a country, state, province, Department (country subdivision), department, or other subnational entity, usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a city ...
"large towns" as, in general, they are less developed and have shrinking population, some with as few as 30,000 inhabitants. In
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
the
Council of Ministers A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature, especially at a town, city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin ...
defines what constitutes a settlement, while the
President of Bulgaria The president of the Republic of Bulgaria is the head of state of Bulgaria and the commander-in-chief of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, Bulgarian Army. The official residence of the president is at Boyana Residence, Sofia. After the completion of th ...
grants each settlement its title. In 2005 the requirement that villages that wish to classify themselves as town must have a social and technical infrastructure, as well as a population of no fewer than 3500 people. For resort settlements the requirements are lower with the population needing to be no fewer than 1000 people but infrastructure requirements remain.


Canada

The legal definition of a town in Canada varies by province or territory, as each has jurisdiction over defining and legislating towns, cities and other types of municipal organization within its own boundaries. The province of
Quebec Quebec ( ; )According to the Government of Canada, Canadian government, ''Québec'' (with the acute accent) is the official name in Canadian French and ''Quebec'' (without the accent) is the province's official name in Canadian English is ...
is unique in that it makes no distinction under law between towns and cities. There is no intermediate level in French between and (''municipality'' is an administrative term usually applied to a legal, not geographical entity), so both are combined under the single legal status of ''
ville ''Ville'' or "town A town is a 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 minuscule numb ...
''. While an informal preference may exist among English speakers as to whether any individual is commonly referred to as a city or as a town, no distinction and no objective legal criteria exist to make such a distinction under law.


Chile

In
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
, towns (Spanish: ) are defined by the National Statistics Institute (INE) as an urban entity with a population from 2001 to 5000 or an area with a population from 1001 to 2000 and an established economic activity.


Czech Republic

In the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, or simply Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The Cz ...
, a municipality can obtain the title of a
city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be def ...
( cs, statutární město), town ( cs, město) or
market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed it to host a regular marketplace, market; this distinguished it from a village or ...
( cs, městys). The title is granted by law. Statutory cities (in English usually called just "cities"), which are defined by law no. 128/2000 Coll., can define their own self-governing municipal districts. There are 26 such cities, in addition to
Prague Prague ( ; cs, Praha ; german: Prag, ; la, Praga) is the capital and List of cities in the Czech Republic, largest city in the Czech Republic, and the historical capital of Bohemia. On the Vltava river, Prague is home to about 1.3 milli ...
, which is a ''de facto'' statutory city. All the Czech municipalities with more than 40,000 inhabitants are cities. Town and market town are above all ceremonious honorary degrees, referring to population, history and regional significance of a municipality. As the statistics of Czech municipalities shows, towns usually have between 1,000 and 35,000 inhabitants, with median around 4,000 and average around 6,500. Nowadays a municipality must have at least 3,000 inhabitants to have the right to request the town title. Market towns usually have between 500 and 4,000 inhabitants, with median and average both around 1,000.


Denmark

In Denmark, in many contexts no distinction is made between "city", "town" and "village"; all three translate as . In more specific use, for small villages and
hamlets A hamlet is a human settlement that is smaller than a town A town is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of ...
the word (meaning 'country town') is used, while the Danish equivalent of English ''city'' is (meaning 'large town'). For formal purposes,
urban area An urban area, built-up area or urban agglomeration is a 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 rang ...
s having at least 200 inhabitants are considered . Historically some towns held various privileges, the most important of which was the right to hold market. They were administered separately from the rural areas in both fiscal, military and legal matters. Such towns are known as (roughly the same meaning as ''borough'' albeit deriving from a different etymology) and they retain the exclusive right to the title even after the last vestiges of their privileges vanished through the reform of the local administration carried through in 1970.


Estonia

In
Estonia Estonia, formally the Republic of Estonia, is a country by the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe, Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, sea across from Sweden, to ...
, there is no distinction between a town and a city as the word is used for both bigger and smaller settlements, which are bigger than villages and boroughs. There are 30 municipal towns () in Estonia and a further 17 towns, which have merged with a municipal parish ().


Finland

In Finland, there is no distinction between a town and a city as the word is used for both bigger and smaller settlements, which are bigger than villages and boroughs; although when talking about the word ''town'', the word is used ( means 'little' or 'small'). There are over one hundred municipal towns in Finland.


France

From an administrative standpoint, the smallest level of local authorities are all called ''communes''. They can have anywhere from a handful to millions of inhabitants, and France has 36,000 of them. The French term for ''town'' is '' bourg'' but French laws generally do not distinguish between towns and cities which are all commonly called . However, some laws do treat these authorities differently based on the population and different rules apply to the three big cities
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
,
Lyon Lyon,, ; Occitan: ''Lion'', hist. ''Lionés'' also spelled in English as Lyons, is the third-largest city and second-largest metropolitan area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, to the northwest of t ...
and
Marseille Marseille ( , , ; also spelled in English as Marseilles; oc, Marselha ) is the Prefectures in France, prefecture of the France, French Departments of France, department of Bouches-du-Rhône and capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Regio ...
. For historical reasons, six communes in the
Meuse The Meuse ( , , , ; wa, Moûze ) or Maas ( , ; li, Maos or ) is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea from the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta. It has a to ...
département exist as independent administrative entities despite having no inhabitants at all. For statistical purposes, the national statistical institute ( INSEE) operates a distinction between urban areas with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants and bigger communes, the latter being called . Smaller settlements are usually called .


Germany

Germans , native_name_lang = de , region1 = , pop1 = 72,650,269 , region2 = , pop2 = 534,000 , region3 = , pop3 = 157,000 3,322,405 , region4 = , pop4 = ...
do not, in general, differentiate between 'city' and 'town'. The German word for both is , as it is the case in many other languages that do not differentiate between these concepts. The word for a 'village', as a smaller settlement, is . However, the International Statistics Conference of 1887 defined different sizes of , based on their population size, as follows: ('country town'; under 5,000), ('small town'; 5,000 to 20,000), ('middle town'; between 20,000 and 100,000) and ("large town"; 100,000 to 1,000,000). The term may be translated as 'city'. In addition, Germans may speak of a , a city with anywhere between one and five million inhabitants (such as
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of the German western States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city of Germany with 1.1 m ...
,
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of the States of Germany, German state of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities in Germany by popu ...
,
Hamburg (male), (female) en, Hamburger(s), Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central (CET) , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central (CEST) , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal ...
and
Berlin Berlin ( , ) is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3.7 million inhabitants make it the European Union's most populous city, according to population within city limits. One of Germany's sixteen constituen ...
). Also, a city with more than five million inhabitants is often referred to as a (commonly translated as
megacity A megacity is a very large city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edi ...
). Historically, many settlements became a by being awarded a ''Stadtrecht'' in medieval times. In modern German language use, the historical importance, the existence of central functions (education, retail etc.) and the population density of an urban place might also be taken as characteristics of a . The modern local government organisation is subject to the laws of each
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), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, U ...
and refers to a (
municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
), regardless of its historic title. While most form part of a (
district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or county, counties, several municipality, municipa ...
) on a higher tier of local government, larger towns and cities may have the status of a , combining both the powers of a municipality and a district. Designations in different states are as diverse as e.g. in Australian States and Territories, and differ from state to state. In some German states, the words ('market'), (both used in southern Germany) or ('spot'; northern Germany e.g. in
Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is a States of Germany, German state (') in Northern Germany, northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with , and fourth-largest in populati ...
) designate a town-like residential community between and with special importance to its outer conurbation area. Historically those had (market right) but not full town privileges; see
Market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed it to host a regular marketplace, market; this distinguished it from a village or ...
. The legal denomination of a specific settlement may differ from its common designation (e.g. – a legal term in
Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is a States of Germany, German state (') in Northern Germany, northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with , and fourth-largest in populati ...
for a group of villages pl. with common local government created by combining municipalities pl. .


Greece and Cyprus

In ordinary speech,
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group and nation indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions, namely Greece, Greek Cypriots, Cyprus, Greeks in Albania, Albania, Greeks in Italy, ...
use the word ('village') to refer to smaller settlements and the word or ('city') to refer to larger ones. Careful speakers may also use the word to refer to towns with a population of 2,000–9,999. In Greek administrative law there used to be a distinction between , i.e. municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants or considered important for some other geographical (county seats), historical or ecclesiastical (bishops' seats) reason, and κοινότητες, referring to smaller self-governing units, mostly villages. A sweeping reform, carried out in two stages early in the 21st century, merged most with the nearest , dividing the whole country into 325 self-governing . The former municipalities survive as administrative subdivisions (, ). Cyprus, including the Turkish-occupied areas, is also divided into 39 (in principle, with at least 5,000 inhabitants, though there are exceptions) and 576 .


Hong Kong

Hong Kong Hong Kong ( (US) or (UK); , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special ...
started developing new towns in the 1950s, to accommodate exponential population increase. The first new towns included
Tsuen Wan Tsuen Wan (formerly also spelled Tsun Wan) is a New towns of Hong Kong, town built on a bay in the New Territories West (constituency), western New Territories of Hong Kong, opposite of Tsing Yi, Tsing Yi Island across Rambler Channel. The ma ...
and
Kwun Tong Kwun Tong is an area in the Kwun Tong District of Hong Kong, situated at the eastern part of the Kowloon Peninsula The Kowloon Peninsula is a peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surround ...
. In the late 1960s and the 1970s, another stage of new town developments was launched. Nine new towns have been developed so far. Land use is carefully planned and development provides plenty of room for public housing projects. Rail transport is usually available at a later stage. The first towns are
Sha Tin Sha Tin, also spelt Shatin, is a neighbourhood along Shing Mun River in the eastern New Territories, Hong Kong. Administratively, it is part of the Sha Tin District. Sha Tin is one of the neighbourhoods of the Sha Tin New Town project. The ne ...
,
Tsuen Wan Tsuen Wan (formerly also spelled Tsun Wan) is a New towns of Hong Kong, town built on a bay in the New Territories West (constituency), western New Territories of Hong Kong, opposite of Tsing Yi, Tsing Yi Island across Rambler Channel. The ma ...
,
Tuen Mun Tuen Mun or Castle Peak is an List of buildings, sites and areas in Hong Kong, area near the mouth of Tuen Mun River and Castle Peak Bay in the New Territories, Hong Kong. It was one of the earliest settlements in what is now Hong Kong and can ...
and
Tseung Kwan O Tseung Kwan O New Town is one of the nine new towns in Hong Kong Hong Kong ( (US) or (UK); , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR), is a List of cit ...
.
Tuen Mun Tuen Mun or Castle Peak is an List of buildings, sites and areas in Hong Kong, area near the mouth of Tuen Mun River and Castle Peak Bay in the New Territories, Hong Kong. It was one of the earliest settlements in what is now Hong Kong and can ...
was intended to be self-reliant, but was not successful and turned into a
bedroom community A commuter town is a populated area that is primarily residential rather than commercial or industrial. Routine travel from home to work and back is called commuting, which is where the term comes from. A commuter town may be called by many o ...
like the other new towns. More recent developments are
Tin Shui Wai Tin Shui Wai New Town is a new towns in Hong Kong, satellite town in the northwestern New Territories of Hong Kong. Originally a ' fish pond area, it was developed in 1980s in Hong Kong, the 1980s as the second New towns of Hong Kong, new town i ...
and North Lantau (Tung Chung-Tai Ho).


Hungary

In Hungary there is no official distinction between a city and a town (the word for both in Hungarian is ). Nevertheless, the expressions formed by adding the adjectives ('small') and ('large') to the beginning of the root word (e.g. ) have been normalized to differentiate between cities and towns (towns being smaller, therefore bearing the name .) In Hungary, a village can gain the status of ('town'), if it meets a set of diverse conditions for quality of life and development of certain public services and utilities (e.g. having a local secondary school or installing full-area sewage collection pipe network). Every year the Minister of Internal Affairs selects candidates from a committee-screened list of applicants, whom the President of Republic usually affirms by issuing a bill of town's rank to them. Since being a town carries extra fiscal support from the government, many relatively small villages try to win the status of ('town rank') nowadays. Before the
fall of communism The Revolutions of 1989, also known as the Fall of Communism, was a revolutionary wave that resulted in the end of most communist states in the world. Sometimes this revolutionary wave is also called the Fall of Nations or the Autumn of Natio ...
in 1990, Hungarian villages with fewer than 10,000 residents were not allowed to become towns. Recently some settlements as small as 2,500 souls have received the rank of town (e.g. Visegrád, Zalakaros or Gönc) and meeting the conditions of development is often disregarded to quickly elevate larger villages into towns. As of middle 2013, there are 346 towns in Hungary, encompassing some 69% of the entire population. Towns of more than 50,000 people are able to gain the status of (town with the rights of a
county A county is a geographic 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 derived from the Old French ...
), which allows them to maintain a higher degree of
services Service may refer to: Activities * Academic administration, Administrative service, a required part of the workload of university faculty * Civil service, the body of employees of a government * Community service, volunteer service for the benef ...
. (There are a few exceptions, when towns of fewer than 50,000 people gained the status:
Érd Érd (; german: Hanselbeck; hr, Andzabeg) is a town in Pest County, Budapest metropolitan area The Budapest metropolitan area ( hu, budapesti agglomeráció) is a statistical area that describes the reach of commuter movement to and from Budape ...
, Hódmezővásárhely, Salgótarján and
Szekszárd Szekszárd (, formerly also ''Szegzárd''; hr, Seksar; german: Sechshard or ; sr, Сексард) is a small city in southern Hungary and the capital of Tolna County. By population, Szekszárd is the smallest county capital in Hungary; by area ...
) As of middle 2013, there are only 23 such towns in Hungary.


Iceland


India

The
2011 Census of India The 2011 Census of India or the 15th Census of India, Indian Census was conducted in two phases, house listing and population enumeration. The House listing phase began on 1 April 2010 and involved the collection of information about all build ...
defines towns of two types: statutory town and
census town In India and some other countries, a census town is designated as a town that satisfies certain characteristics. India In India, a census town is one which is not statutorily notified and administered as a town, but nevertheless whose population ...
. Statutory town is defined as all places with a
municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
,
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...
, cantonment board or notified town area committee. Census towns are defined as places that satisfy the following criteria: # Minimum population of 5,000 # At least 75% of male working population engaged in non-agricultural pursuits # Density of population at least 400/km2. (1,000 per sq. mile). All the statutory towns, census towns and out growths are considered as urban settlements, as opposed to rural areas. Towns in India usually have basic infrastructure like shops, electricity, bituminised roads, post offices, banks, telephone facilities, high schools and sometimes a few government offices. The human population living in these towns may be a few thousand. There are some towns which can be labelled as Main road town. In state of
Karnataka Karnataka (; ISO 15919, ISO: , , also known as Karunāḍu) is a States and union territories of India, state in the southwestern region of India. It was Unification of Karnataka, formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reor ...
, towns are known as or in the
Kannada language Kannada (; ಕನ್ನಡ, ), originally romanised Canarese, is a Dravidian languages, Dravidian language spoken predominantly by the people of Karnataka in southwestern India, with minorities in all neighbouring states. It has around 47&n ...
. Sometimes the terms ('city') or , which generally means 'place', are used for towns. The administrative council which governs these towns is known as or in Kannada depending on the number of people living within the town's boundaries.


Iran

In contemporary
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Arm ...
texts, no distinction is made between ''city'' and ''town''; both translate as (). In older Persian texts (until the first half of the 20th century), the Arabic word () was used for a town. However, in the past 50 years, this word has become obsolete. There is a word in Persian which is used for special sort of satellite townships and city neighborhoods. It is (), (lit.: 'small city'). Another smaller type of town or
neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer specifically to the En ...
in a big city is called (). and each have different legal definitions. Large cities such as
Tehran Tehran (; fa, تهران ) is the largest city in Tehran Province and the Capital city, capital of Iran. With a population of around 9 million in the city and around 16 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is th ...
,
Mashhad Mashhad ( fa, مشهد, Mašhad ), also spelled Mashad, is the List of Iranian cities by population, second-most-populous city in Iran, located in the relatively remote north-east of the country about from Tehran. It serves as the capital of R ...
,
Isfahan Isfahan ( fa, اصفهان, Esfahân ), from its Achaemenid empire, ancient designation ''Aspadana'' and, later, ''Spahan'' in Sassanian Empire, middle Persian, rendered in English as ''Ispahan'', is a major city in the Greater Isfahan Regio ...
,
Tabriz Tabriz ( fa, تبریز ; ) is a city in northwestern Iran, serving as the capital of East Azerbaijan Province. It is the List of largest cities of Iran, sixth-most-populous city in Iran. In the Quri Chay, Quru River valley in Iran's historic Aze ...
, etc. which have millions inhabitants are referred to as (),
metropole A metropole (from the Greek ''metropolis'' for "mother city") is the homeland, central territory or the sovereign state , state exercising Power (social and political) , power over a colonial empire. From the 19th century, the English langua ...
. The pace in which different large villages have gained city status in
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
shows a dramatic increase in the last two decades. Bigger cities and towns usually are centers of a
township A township is a kind of human settlement or administrative subdivision, with its meaning varying in different countries. Although the term is occasionally associated with an urban area, that tends to be an exception to the rule. In Australia, Ca ...
(in Persian: (). itself is a subdivision of (), 'province'.


Iraq

The word () is used to describe villages, the word () to describe towns, and the word () to describe cities.


Ireland

The Local Government act 2001 provides that from January 1, 2002 (section 10 subsection (3) ''Within the county in which they are situated and of which they form part, there continue to be such other local government areas as are set out in Schedule 6 which – (a) in the case of the areas set out in Chapter 1 of Part 1 of that Schedule, shall be known as boroughs, and – (b) in the case of the areas set out in Chapter 2 of Part 1 and Part 2 of that Schedule, shall be known as towns, and in this Act a reference to a town shall include a reference to a borough.'' These provisions affect the replacement of the boroughs, towns and urban districts which existed before then. Similar reforms in the nomenclature of local authorities ( but not their functions) are effected by section 11 part 17 of the act includes provision (section 185(2)) ''Qualified electors of a town having a population of at least 7,500 as ascertained at the last preceding census or such other figure as the Minister may from time to time prescribe by regulations, and not having a
town council A town council, city council or municipal council is a form of local government for small municipalities. Usage of the term varies under different jurisdictions. Republic of Ireland Town Councils in the Republic of Ireland were the second t ...
, may make a proposal in accordance with paragraph (b) for the establishment of such a council'' and contains provisions enabling the establishment of new town councils and provisions enabling the dissolution of existing or new town councils in certain circumstances The reference to ''town having a population of at least 7,500 as ascertained at the last preceding census'' hands much of the power relating to defining what is in fact a town over to the Central Statistics Office and their criteria are published as part of each census. ;Planning and Development Act 2000 Another reference to the Census and its role in determining what is or is not a town for some administrative purpose is in the Planning and Development act 2000 (part II chapter I which provides for Local area plans) ''A local area plan shall be made in respect of an area which —(i) is designated as a town in the most recent census of population, other than a town designated as a suburb or environs in that census, (ii) has a population in excess of 2,000, and (iii) is situated within the functional area of a planning authority which is a county council.'' ;Central Statistics Office criteria These are set out in full a
2006 Census Appendices
In short they speak of "towns with legally defined boundaries" ( i.e. those established by the Local Government Act 2001) and the remaining 664 as "census towns", defined by themselves since 1971 as ''a cluster of 50 or more occupied dwellings in which within a distance of 800 meters there is a nucleus of 30 occupied houses on both sides of the road or twenty occupied houses on one side of the road'' there is also a ''200 meter criterion'' for determining whether a house is part of a census town.


Isle of Man

There are four settlements which are historically and officially designated as towns (Douglas, Ramsey, Peel, Castletown); however * Peel is also sometimes referred to as a city by virtue of its cathedral. * Onchan and Port Erin are both larger in population than the smallest "town", having expanded in modern times, but are designated as villages.


Israel

Modern Hebrew Modern Hebrew ( he, עברית חדשה, ''ʿivrít ḥadašá ', , ''Literal translation, lit.'' "Modern Hebrew" or "New Hebrew"), also known as Israeli Hebrew or Israeli, and generally referred to by speakers simply as Hebrew ( ), is the ...
does provide a word for the concept of a town: (), derived from (), the biblical word for 'city'. However, the term is normally used only to describe towns in foreign countries, i.e. urban areas of limited population, particularly when the speaker is attempting to evoke nostalgic or romantic attitudes. The term is also used to describe a
Shtetl A shtetl or shtetel (; yi, שטעטל, translit=shtetl (singular); שטעטלעך, romanized: ''shtetlekh'' (plural)) is a Yiddish term for the small towns with predominantly Ashkenazi Jewish populations which Eastern European Jewry, existed in ...
, a pre-
Holocaust The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide of History of the Jews in Europe, European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and #Collaboration, its collaborators systematically murdered some Holoc ...
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is a subregion of the Europe, European continent. As a largely ambiguous term, it has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic connotations. The vast majority of the region is covered by Russ ...
an Jewish town. Within Israel, established urban areas are always referred to as cities (with one notable exception explained below) regardless of their actual size. Israeli law does not define any nomenclature for distinction between urban areas based on size or any other factor – meaning that all urban settlements in Israel are legally referred to as "cities". The exception to the above is the term (, lit. 'Development Town') which is applied to certain cities in Israel based on the reasons for their establishment. These cities, created during the earlier decades of Israeli independence (1950s and 1960s, generally), were designed primarily to serve as commercial and transportation hubs, connecting smaller agricultural settlements in the northern and southern regions of the country (the "Periphery") to the major urban areas of the coastal and central regions. Some of these development towns have since grown to a comparatively large size, and yet are still referred to as development towns, particularly when the speaker wishes to emphasize their (often low) socio-economic status. Nonetheless, they are rarely (if ever) referred to simply as towns; when referring to one directly, it will be called either a development town or a city, depending on context.


Italy

Although Italian provides different words for city (), town () and village (, old-fashioned, or ''
frazione A ''frazione'' (plural: ) is a type of subdivision of a ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. It is the third-level administrative division of Italy, after ...
'', most common), no legal definitions exist as to how settlements must be classified. Administratively, both towns and cities are ruled as
comuni The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. It is the third-level administrative division of Italy, after regions (''Regions of Italy, regioni'') and provinces (''Provinces ...
/
comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. It is the third-level administrative division of Italy, after regions (''Regions of Italy, regioni'') and provinces (''Provinces ...
s, while villages might be subdivisions of the former. Generally, in everyday speech, a town is larger or more populated than a village and smaller than a city. Various cities and towns together may form a metropolitan area (). A city, can also be a culturally, economically or politically prominent community with respect to surrounding towns. Moreover, a city can be such by Presidential decree. A town, in contrast, can be an inhabited place which would elsewhere be styled a city, but has not received any official recognition. Remarkable exceptions do exist: for instance,
Bassano del Grappa Bassano del Grappa ( vec, Basan or ''Bassan'', ) is a city and ''comune'', in the Province of Vicenza, Vicenza province, in the region of Veneto, in northern Italy. It bounds the communes of Cassola, Marostica, Solagna, Pove del Grappa, Romano d'E ...
, was given the status of in 1760 by Francesco Loredan's dogal decree and has since then carried this title. Also, the Italian word for 'town' ( with lowercase P) must not be confused with the Italian word for 'country/nation' ( usually with uppercase P).


Japan

In Japan city status (市 '' shi'') was traditionally reserved for only a few particularly large settlements. Over time however the necessary conditions to be a city have been watered down and today the only loose rules that apply are having a population over 50,000 and over 60% of the population in a "city centre". In recent times many small villages and towns have merged in order to form a city despite seeming geographically to be just a collection of villages. The distinction between towns (町 '' machi/chō'') and villages (村 '' mura/son'') is largely unwritten and purely one of population size when the settlement was founded with villages having under 10,000 and towns 10,000–50,000.


Korea

In both of South Korea and North Korea, towns are called '' eup'' ().


Latvia

In
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region of ...
, towns and cities are indiscriminately called in singular form. The name is a
contraction Contraction may refer to: Linguistics * Contraction (grammar), a shortened word * Poetic contraction, omission of letters for poetic reasons * Elision, omission of sounds ** Syncope (phonology), omission of sounds in a word * Synalepha, merged ...
of two Latvian words: ('castle') and ('fence'), making it very obvious what is meant by the word – what is situated between the castle and the castle fence. However, a city can be called in reference to its size. A village is called or in Latvian.


Lithuania

In
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no ), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania ...
n, a city is called '' miestas'' and a town is called '' miestelis'' (literally 'small '). Metropolises are called ''didmiestis'' (literally 'big ').


Malaysia

In
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two r ...
, a town is the area administered by a municipal council ( ms, 1=Majlis Perbandaran).


Netherlands

Before 1848 there was a legal distinction between and non- parts of the country, but the word no longer has any legal significance. About 220 places were granted ('city rights') and are still so called for historical and traditional reasons, though the word is also used for large urban areas that never obtained such rights. Because of this, in the Netherlands, no distinction is made between ''city'' and ''town''; both translate as . A hamlet () usually has fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, a village () ranges from 1,000 up to 25,000 inhabitants, and a place above 25,000 can call itself either village or city, mostly depending on historic reasons or size of the place. As an example,
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a list of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of the Netherlands, situated on the west coast facing the North Sea. The Hague is the country's ad ...
never gained city rights, but because of its size – more than half a million inhabitants – it is regarded as a city. Staverden, with only 40 inhabitants, would be a hamlet, but because of its city rights it may call itself a city. For statistical purposes, the Netherlands has three sorts of cities: * (small city): 50,000–99,999 inhabitants * (medium-sized city): 100,000–249,999 inhabitants * (large city): 250,000 or more Only
Amsterdam Amsterdam ( , , , lit. ''The Dam on the River Amstel'') is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands, with The Hague being the seat of government. It has a population ...
,
Rotterdam Rotterdam ( , , , lit. ''The Dam on the River Rotte'') is the second largest city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., ed ...
,
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a list of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of the Netherlands, situated on the west coast facing the North Sea. The Hague is the country's ad ...
and
Utrecht Utrecht ( , , ) is the List of cities in the Netherlands by province, fourth-largest city and a List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the Provinces of the Netherlands, pro ...
are regarded as a .


New Zealand

In New Zealand, a town is a built-up area that is not large enough to be considered a city. Historically, this definition corresponded to a population of between approximately 1,000 and 20,000. Towns have no independent legal existence, being administered simply as built-up parts of districts, or, in some cases, of cities. New Zealand's towns vary greatly in size and importance, ranging from small rural service centres to significant regional centres such as Blenheim and Taupō. Typically, once a town reaches a population of somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 people, it will begin to be informally regarded as a city. One who regards a settlement as too small to be a town will typically call it a "township" or "village."


Norway

In Norway, ''city'' and ''town'' both translate to ''by'', even if a city may be referred to as ('large town'). They are all part of and administered as a '' kommune'' ('
municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
'). Norway has had inland the northernmost city in the world: Hammerfest. Now the record is held by New Ålesund on the Norwegian island Svalbard.


Philippines

In the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
, the local official equivalent of the town is the
municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
(Filipino: ). Every municipality, or town, in the country has a mayor () and a vice mayor () as well as local town officials (
Sangguniang Bayan The Sangguniang Bayan () is the local legislative branch of the municipal governments in the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), ...
). Philippine towns, otherwise called municipalities, are composed of a number of villages and communities called ''
barangays A barangay (; abbreviated as Brgy. or Bgy.), historically referred to as barrio (abbreviated as Bo.), is the smallest administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative ...
'' with one (or a few cluster of) (s) serving as the town center or ''
poblacion ''Poblacion'' (literally "town" or "settlement" in Spanish language in the Philippines, Spanish; ) is the common term used for the administrative center, central, downtown, old town or central business district area of a Philippines, Philippi ...
''. Unique in Philippine towns is that they have fixed budget, population and land requirements to become as such, i.e. from a , or a cluster of such, to a town, or to become cities, i.e. from town to a city. Respectively, examples of these are the town of B.E. Dujali in
Davao del Norte Davao del Norte ( ceb, Amihanang Dabaw; tl, Hilagang Davao), officially the Province of Davao del Norte, is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from th ...
province, which was formed in 1998 from a cluster of five , and the city of
El Salvador El Salvador (; , meaning "The Saviour"), officially the Republic of El Salvador ( es, República de El Salvador), is a country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras ...
, which was converted from a town to a city in 2007. Each town in the Philippines was classified by its annual income and budget. A sharp, hierarchical distinction exists between Philippine
cities A city is a 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 minuscule number of dwellings grouped ...
( or ) and towns, as towns in the country are juridically separate from cities, which are typically larger and more populous (some smaller and less populated) and which political and economic status are above those of towns. This was further supported and indicated by the income classification system implemented by the National Department of Finance, to which both cities and towns fell into their respective categories that indicate they are such as stated under Philippine law. However, both towns and cities equally share the status as
local government units Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-loca ...
(LGUs) grouped under and belong to
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire ...
and
regions In geography, regions, otherwise referred to as zones, lands or territories, are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and t ...
; both each are composed of and are governed by a mayor and a vice mayor supplemented by their respective LGU legislative councils. However despite this some towns in the Philippines are significantly larger than some cities in the Philippines such as
Rodriguez, Rizal Rodriguez, officially the Municipality of Rodriguez ( tgl, Bayan ng Rodriguez), formerly known and still commonly known as Montalban, is a 1st class municipality of the Philippines, municipality in the Philippine Province, province of Rizal, Ph ...
, Santa Maria, Bulacan and Minglanilla, Cebu are actually bigger than some regional centers.


Poland

As of 30 April 2022, there are altogether 2477 municipalities (
gmina The gmina (Polish: , plural ''gminy'' , from German language, German ''Gemeinde'' meaning ''commune'') is the principal unit of the administrative division of Poland, similar to a municipality. , there were 2,477 gminas throughout the country, en ...
) in Poland, including 1513 rural gminas, while the remaining 968 ones contain cities and towns. Among them, 666 towns are part of an urban-rural gmina while 302 cities and towns are standalone as an urban gmina. The latter group includes 107 cities (governed by a ''prezydent miasta''), including 66 cities with powiat rights. 37 cities among the latter group are over 100,000, including 18 cities serving as a seat for
voivode Voivode (, also spelled ''voievod'', ''voevod'', ''voivoda'', ''vojvoda'' or ''wojewoda'') is a title denoting a military leader or warlord in Central Europe, Central, Southeastern Europe, Southeastern and Eastern Europe since the Early Middle ...
or
voivodeship sejmik A voivodeship sejmik ( pl, sejmik województwa), also known as a provincial or regional assembly, is the regional-level elected legislature for each of the sixteen voivodeships of Poland.#Machnikowski, Machnikowski et al., p. 21 Sejmiks are electe ...
, informally called voivodeship cities. In the
Polish language Polish (Polish: ''język polski'', , ''polszczyzna'' or simply ''polski'', ) is a West Slavic languages, West Slavic language of the Lechitic languages, Lechitic group written in the Latin script. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as t ...
there is no linguistic distinction between a city and a town. The word for both is , as a form of settlement distinct from following: village (), hamlet (), settlement (), or colony (). Town status is conferred by government legislation; new towns are designated by the government in an annual regulation effective from the first day of the year. Such localities have usually a town mayor () as the head of the town executive. Towns may be called , a diminutive colloquially used for localities with a few thousand residents. Some settlements tend to remain villages even though they have a larger population than many smaller towns, primarily in order not to lose eligibility for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Cities are the biggest municipalities. In the
Polish language Polish (Polish: ''język polski'', , ''polszczyzna'' or simply ''polski'', ) is a West Slavic languages, West Slavic language of the Lechitic languages, Lechitic group written in the Latin script. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as t ...
, there is no linguistic distinction between a city and a town, both translated . A city is, however, distinguished through being managed by a city mayor (, literally translated city president) instead of a town mayor () as the head of the city executive, thus being informally called ''miasto prezydenckie'', with such privilege automatically awarded to municipalities either inhabited by more than 100,000 residents (currently 37) or those enjoying the status of a
city with powiat rights A city with powiat rights ( pl, miasto na prawach powiatu) is in Poland a designation denoting 66 of the 107 cities (the urban gminas which are governed by a city mayor or ''prezydent miasta'') which exercise also the powers and duties of a Powiat, ...
(currently 66). As of 2022, all of the former group fit into the latter, though it was not always the case in the past. There is, however, a number of exemptions due to historic or political reasons, when a municipality meets neither of these two conditions but nevertheless has the city status, including the only 3 capitals of the former voivodeships of Poland (1975–1998) not meeting the abovementioned criteria, as well as further 38 municipalities which do not fit into any of the mentioned categories but have nevertheless been allowed to keep the earlier awarded status due to unspecified historical reasons.


Portugal

Like other Iberian cultures, in Portugal there is a traditional distinction between towns ('' vilas'') and cities ('' cidades''). Similarly, although these areas are not defined under the constitution, and have no political function (with associated organs), they are defined by law, and a town must have: * at least 3,000 voters * at least half of these services: health unit, pharmacy, cultural centre, public transportation network, post office, commercial food and drinking establishments, primary school and/or bank office In this context, the town or city is subordinate to the local authority (
civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below district ...
or
municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
, in comparison to the North American context, where they have political functions. In special cases, some
village A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population t ...
s may be granted the status of town if they possess historical, cultural or architectonic importance. The Portuguese urban settlements
heraldry Heraldry is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, Imperial, royal and noble ranks, rank and genealo ...
reflects the difference between towns and cities, with the
coat of arms A coat of arms is a heraldry, heraldic communication design, visual design on an escutcheon (heraldry), escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard (the latter two being outer garments). The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central ele ...
of a town bearing a crown with four4 towers, while the coat of arms of a city bears a crown withfive5 towers. This difference between towns and cities is still in use in other Portugues- speaking countries, but in Brazil is no longer in use.


Romania

In Romania there is no official distinction between a city and a town (the word for both in
Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania **Romanians, an ethnic group **Romanian language, a Romance language ***Romanian dialects, variants of the Romanian language **Romanian cuisine, traditional ...
is ). Cities and towns in Romania can have the status either of ''
municipiu A municipiu (from Latin ''municipium''; English: municipality) is a level of administrative subdivision in Romania and Moldova, roughly equivalent to city in some English-speaking world, English-speaking countries. In Romania, this status is giv ...
'', conferred to large urban areas, or only to smaller urban localities. Some settlements remain villages (''
comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. It is the third-level administrative division of Italy, after regions (''Regions of Italy, regioni'') and provinces (''Provinces ...
'') even though they have a larger population than other smaller towns.


Russia

Unlike English, the Russian language does not distinguish the terms ''city'' and ''town''—both are translated as (). Occasionally the term is applied to
urban-type settlement Urban-type settlementrussian: посёлок городско́го ти́па, translit=posyolok gorodskogo tipa, abbreviated: russian: п.г.т., translit=p.g.t.; ua, селище міського типу, translit=selyshche mis'koho typu, ab ...
s as well, even though the status of those is not the same as that of a city/town proper. In Russia, the criteria an inhabited locality needs to meet in order to be granted city/town () status vary in different federal subjects. In general, to qualify for this status, an inhabited locality should have more than 12,000 inhabitants and the occupation of no less than 85% of inhabitants must be other than agriculture. However, inhabited localities which were previously granted the city/town status but no longer meet the criteria can still retain the status for historical reasons.


Singapore

In Singapore, towns are large scale satellite housing developments which are designed to be self-contained. It includes public housing units, a town centre and other amenities. Helmed by a hierarchy of commercial developments, ranging from a town centre to precinct-level outlets, there is no need to venture out of town to meet the most common needs of residences. Employment can be found in industrial estates located within several towns. Educational, health care, and recreational needs are also taken care of with the provision of schools, hospitals, parks, sports complexes, and so on. The most populous town in the country is
Bedok Bedok () is a Planning areas of Singapore, planning area and New towns of Singapore, matured residential town located in the geographical region of Tanah Merah, Singapore, Tanah Merah along the south-eastern coast of the East Region, Singapore, ...
.


South Africa

In South Africa the
Afrikaans Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language that evolved in the Dutch Cape Colony from the Dutch vernacular of Holland proper (i.e., the Hollandic dialect) used by Dutch, French, and German settlers and their slaves. Afrikaans gradually b ...
term is used interchangeably with the English equivalent ''town''. A town is a settlement that has a size that is smaller than that of a city.


Spain

In Spain, the equivalent of town would be , a population unit between a village () and a city (), and is not defined by the number of inhabitants, but by some historical rights and privileges dating from the Middle Ages, such as the right to hold a market or fair. For instance, while
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.4 million inhabitants and a Madrid metropolitan area, metropolitan area population of approximately 6.7 million. It is the Largest cities of the Europ ...
is technically a ,
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within ci ...
, with a smaller population, is known as a city.


Sweden

The
Swedish language Swedish ( ) is a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language spoken predominantly in Sweden and in parts of Finland. It has at least 10 million First language, native speakers, the fourth List of languages by total number of speakers, most ...
does not differentiate between towns and cities in the English sense of the words; both words are commonly translated as , a term which has no legal significance today. The term is used for an
urban area An urban area, built-up area or urban agglomeration is a 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 rang ...
or a locality, which however is a statistical rather than an administrative concept and encompasses densely settled villages with only 200 inhabitants as well as the major cities. The word ''
köping ''Köping'' was a Swedish denomination for a market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed it to host a regula ...
'' corresponds to an English ''
market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed it to host a regular marketplace, market; this distinguished it from a village or ...
'' ''(chipping)'' or German '' Markt'' but is mainly of historical significance, as the term is not used today and only survives in some
toponym Toponymy, toponymics, or toponomastics is the study of '' toponyms'' ( proper names of places, also known as place names and geographic names), including their origins, meanings, usage and types. Toponym is the general term for a proper name o ...
s. Some towns with names ending in are cities with over 100,000 inhabitants today, e.g.
Linköping Linköping () is a city in southern Sweden, with around 105,000 inhabitants as of 2021. It is the seat of Linköping Municipality and the capital of Östergötland County. Linköping is also the episcopal see of the Diocese of Linköping (Church ...
. Before 1971, 132 larger
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
in Sweden enjoyed special royal charters as '' stad'' instead of '' kommun'' (which is similar to a US
county A county is a geographic 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 derived from the Old French ...
). However, since 1971 all municipalities are officially defined as , thus making no legal difference between, for instance,
Stockholm Stockholm () is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in Sweden by population, largest city of Sweden as well as the List of urban areas in the Nordic countries, largest urban area in Scandinavia. Approximately 980,000 people liv ...
and a small countryside municipality. Every urban area that was a before 1971 is still often referred to as a in daily speech. Since the 1980s, 14 of these municipalities have branded themselves as again, although this has no legal or administrative significance, as they still have to refer to themselves as in all legal documentation. For statistical purposes,
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 d ...
officially defines a as an urban area of at least 10,000 inhabitants. Since 2017 it also defines a (literally 'big town') as a municipality with a population of at least 200,000 of which at least 200,000 are in its largest . This means that
Stockholm Stockholm () is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in Sweden by population, largest city of Sweden as well as the List of urban areas in the Nordic countries, largest urban area in Scandinavia. Approximately 980,000 people liv ...
,
Gothenburg Gothenburg (; abbreviated Gbg; sv, Göteborg ) is the List of urban areas in Sweden by population, second-largest city in Sweden, fifth-largest in the Nordic countries, and Capital city, capital of the Västra Götaland County. It is situated ...
and
Malmö Malmö (, ; da, Malmø ) is the largest city in the Counties of Sweden, Swedish county (län) of Skåne County, Scania (Skåne). It is the List of urban areas in Sweden by population, third-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenbur ...
are , i.e. 'major cities', while
Uppsala Uppsala (, or all ending in , ; archaically spelled ''Upsala'') is the county seat of Uppsala County and the fourth-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö. It had 177,074 inhabitants in 2019. Located north of the capi ...
, with a population of approximately 230,000 in the municipality, which covers an unusually large area, almost three times larger than the combined land area of the municipalities of Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö, is not. The largest contiguous urban area within Uppsala municipality has a population of well below 200,000, while the population of both Malmö municipality, with a land area only 1/14 the size of Uppsala municipality, and Malmö , i.e. contiguous urban area, is well over 300,000, and the population of the Malmö Metropolitan Area, with a land area only slightly larger than Uppsala Municipality, is well over 700,000. A difference in the size and population of the urban area between Uppsala and the smallest in Sweden, Malmö, is the reason Statistics Sweden changed the definition of in 2017.


Ukraine

In Ukraine the term ''town'' (, ) existed from the Medieval period until 1925, when it was replaced by the
Soviet government The Government of the Soviet Union ( rus, Прави́тельство СССР, p=prɐˈvʲitʲɪlʲstvə ɛs ɛs ɛs ˈɛr, r=Pravítelstvo SSSR, lang=no), formally the All-Union Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly ab ...
with '' urban type settlement''. Historically, a town in the Ukrainian lands was a smaller populated place that was chartered under the
German town law The German town law (german: Deutsches Stadtrecht) or German municipal concerns (''Deutsches Städtewesen'') was a set of early town privileges based on the Magdeburg rights developed by Otto I. The Magdeburg Law became the inspiration for regi ...
and had a market square (see
Market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed it to host a regular marketplace, market; this distinguished it from a village or ...
). Informally, towns are also referred to today as
cities of district significance A city is a 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 minuscule number of dwellings grouped ...
, cities with small population, and former Jewish
shtetl A shtetl or shtetel (; yi, שטעטל, translit=shtetl (singular); שטעטלעך, romanized: ''shtetlekh'' (plural)) is a Yiddish term for the small towns with predominantly Ashkenazi Jewish populations which Eastern European Jewry, existed in ...
s.


United Kingdom


England and Wales

In England and Wales, a town traditionally was a settlement which had a charter to hold a market or
fair A fair (archaic: faire or fayre) is a gathering of people for a variety of entertainment or commercial activities. Fairs are typically temporary with scheduled times lasting from an afternoon to several weeks. Types Variations of fairs incl ...
and therefore became a "
market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed it to host a regular marketplace, market; this distinguished it from a village or ...
". Market towns were distinguished from villages in that they were the economic hub of a surrounding area, and were usually larger and had more facilities. In parallel with popular usage, however, there are many technical and official definitions of what constitutes a town, to which various interested parties cling. In modern official usage the term ''town'' is employed either for old market towns, or for settlements which have a
town council A town council, city council or municipal council is a form of local government for small municipalities. Usage of the term varies under different jurisdictions. Republic of Ireland Town Councils in the Republic of Ireland were the second t ...
, or for settlements which elsewhere would be classed a city, but which do not have the legal right to call themselves such. Any parish council can decide to describe itself as a town council, but this will usually only apply to the smallest "towns" (because larger towns will be larger than a single civil parish). Not all settlements which are commonly described as towns have a town council or borough council. In fact, because of many successive changes to the structure of local government, there are now few large towns which are represented by a body closely related to their historic borough council. These days, a smaller town will usually be part of a local authority which covers several towns. And where a larger town ''is'' the seat of a local authority, the authority will usually cover a much wider area than the town itself (either a large rural hinterland, or several other, smaller towns). Additionally, there are "
new town New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz (South Korean band), The Boyz Albums and EPs * New (album), ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartn ...
s" which were created during the 20th century, such as
Basildon Basildon ( ) is the largest town in the borough of Basildon, within the county of Essex, England. It has a population of 107,123. In 1931 the parish had a population of 1159. It lies east of Central London, south of the city of Chelmsford and ...
,
Redditch Redditch is a town, and Non-metropolitan district, local government district, in north-east Worcestershire, England, approximately south of Birmingham. The district has a population of 85,000 as of 2019. In the 19th century, it became the int ...
and
Telford Telford () is a town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of Shropshire, England, about east of Shrewsbury, south west of Stafford, north west of Wolverhampton and from Birmingham in t ...
. Some settlements which describe themselves as towns (e.g.
Shipston-on-Stour Shipston-on-Stour is a town and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon District in Warwickshire, England. It is located on the banks of the River Stour, Warwickshire, River Stour, points of the compass, south-southeast of Stratford-upon-Avon, 10 ...
,
Warwickshire Warwickshire (; abbreviated Warks) is a Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, and the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of W ...
) are smaller than some large villages (e.g.
Kidlington Kidlington is a major village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is ...
,
Oxfordshire Oxfordshire is a ceremonial county, ceremonial and non-metropolitan county, non-metropolitan counties of England, county in the north west of South East England. It is a mainly rural area, rural county, with its largest settlement being the ci ...
). The status of a ''city'' is reserved for places that have
letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) (plurale tantum, always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, President (government title), president or other head of state, genera ...
entitling them to the name, historically associated with the possession of a cathedral. Some large municipalities (such as
Northampton Northampton () is a market town and civil parish in the East Midlands of England, on the River Nene, north-west of London and south-east of Birmingham. The county town of Northamptonshire, Northampton is one of the largest towns in England; ...
and
Bournemouth Bournemouth () is a coastal resort town in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council area of Dorset, England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with ...
) are legally
borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geo ...
s but not cities, whereas some cities are quite small — such as Ely or
St David's St Davids or St David's ( cy, Tyddewi, ,  "Saint David, David's Welsh toponymy, house”) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and a community (Wales), community (named St Davids and the Cathedral Close) with a St David's Cathedral ...
. The city of
Brighton and Hove Brighton and Hove () is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd editio ...
was created from the two former towns and some surrounding villages, and within the city the correct term for the former distinct entities is somewhat unclear. It appears that a city may become a town, though perhaps only through administrative error: Rochester in Kent had been a city for centuries but, when in 1998 the
Medway Medway is a Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority district and conurbation in Kent, South East England. It had a population of 278,016 in 2019. The unitary authority was formed in 1998 when City of Rochester-upon-Medway, Rochester ...
district was created, a bureaucratic blunder meant that Rochester lost its official
city status City status is a symbolic and legal designation given by a national or subnational government. A municipality may receive city status because it already has the qualities of a city, or because it has some special purpose. Historically, city status ...
and is now technically a town. It is often thought that towns with bishops' seats rank automatically as cities: however,
Chelmsford Chelmsford () is a City status in the United Kingdom, city in the City of Chelmsford district in the county of Essex, England. It is the county town of Essex and one of three cities in the county, along with Southend-on-Sea and Colchester. It ...
was a town until 5 June 2012 despite being the seat of the
diocese of Chelmsford The Diocese of Chelmsford is a Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. ...
, created in 1914.
St Asaph St Asaph (; cy, Llanelwy "church on the Elwy") is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and community (Wales), community on the River Elwy in Denbighshire, Wales. In the United Kingdom Census 2011, 2011 Census it had a population of 3,355 ...
, which is the seat of the diocese of St Asaph, only became a city on 1 June 2012 though the diocese was founded in the mid-sixth century. In reality, the pre-qualification of having a cathedral of the established
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
, and the formerly established
Church in Wales The Church in Wales ( cy, Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru) is an Anglicanism, Anglican church in Wales, composed of six dioceses. The Archbishop of Wales does not have a fixed archiepiscopal see, but serves concurrently as one of the six diocesan bishop ...
or
Church of Ireland The Church of Ireland ( ga, Eaglais na hÉireann, ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots, Kirk o Airlann, ) is a Christian church in Ireland and an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. It is organised on an all-Ireland bas ...
, ceased to apply from 1888. The word ''town'' can also be used as a general term for urban areas, including cities and in a few cases, districts within cities. In this usage, a city is a type of town; a large one, with a certain status. For example, central
Greater London Greater London is an Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England#Greater London, administrative area in England governed by the Greater London Authority. It is organised into 33 Districts of England, local government districts: the ...
is sometimes referred to colloquially as "London town". (The "
City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and constitutes, alongside Canary Wharf, the primary central bu ...
" is the historical nucleus, informally known as the "Square Mile", and is administratively separate from the rest of Greater London, while the
City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London. It is the site of the United Kingdom's Houses of Parliament and much of the British government. It occupies a large area of cent ...
is also technically a city and is also a
London borough The London boroughs are the 32 local authority districts that together with the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government dis ...
.)
Camden Town Camden Town (), often shortened to Camden, is a district of northwest London, England, north of Charing Cross. Historically in Middlesex, it is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Camden, and identified in the London Plan#Acti ...
and Somers Town are districts of London, as
New Town New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz (South Korean band), The Boyz Albums and EPs * New (album), ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartn ...
is a district of
Edinburgh Edinburgh ( ; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is located in Lothian ...
– actually the Georgian centre. In recent years the division between cities and towns has grown, leading to the establishment of groups like the Centre for Towns, who work to highlight the issues facing many towns. Towns also became a significant issue in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election, with
Lisa Nandy Lisa Eva Nandy (born 9 August 1979) is a British politician serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities since 2021. A member of the Labour Party (UK), Labour Party, she has been Member of Parliament (United Kin ...
making significant reference to Labour needing to win back smaller towns which have swung away from the party.


Scotland

A ''town'' in Scotland has no specific legal meaning and (especially in areas which were or are still Gaelic-speaking) can refer to a mere collection of buildings (e.g. a ''farm-town'' or in Scots ), not all of which might be inhabited, or to an inhabited area of any size which is not otherwise described in terms such as
city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be def ...
,
burgh A burgh is an Autonomy, autonomous municipal corporation in Scotland and Northern England, usually a city, town, or toun in Scots language, Scots. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when David I of Scotland, Kin ...
, etc. Many locations of greatly different size will be encountered with a name ending with ''-town'', ''-ton'', ''-toun'' etc. (or beginning with the Gaelic equivalent etc.). A
burgh A burgh is an Autonomy, autonomous municipal corporation in Scotland and Northern England, usually a city, town, or toun in Scots language, Scots. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when David I of Scotland, Kin ...
(pronounced ''burruh'') is the Scots' term for a town or a municipality. They were highly
autonomous In developmental psychology and morality, moral, political, and bioethics, bioethical philosophy, autonomy, from , ''autonomos'', from αὐτο- ''auto-'' "self" and νόμος ''nomos'', "law", hence when combined understood to mean "one who g ...
units of
local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-loca ...
from at least the 12th century until their abolition in 1975, when a new regional structure of local government was introduced across the country. Usually based upon a town, they had a
municipal corporation A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including (but not necessarily limited to) cities A city is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place i ...
and certain rights, such as a degree of
self-governance __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation without intervention from an external authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is ...
and representation in the sovereign
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland from the 13th century until 1707. The parliament evolved during the early 13th century from the king's council of ...
adjourned in 1707. The term no longer describes units of local government although various claims are made from time to time that the legislation used was not competent to change the status of the Royal Burghs described below. The status is now chiefly ceremonial but various functions have been inherited by current Councils (e.g. the application of various endowments providing for public benefit) which might only apply within the area previously served by a burgh; in consequence a burgh can still exist (if only as a defined geographical area) and might still be signed as such by the current local authority. The word 'burgh' is generally not used as a synonym for 'town' or 'city' in everyday speech, but is reserved mostly for government and administrative purposes. Historically, the most important burghs were
royal burgh A royal burgh () was a type of Scottish burgh which had been founded by, or subsequently granted, a royal charter. Although abolished by law in 1975, the term is still used by many former royal burghs. Most royal burghs were either created by ...
s, followed by burghs of regality and burghs of barony. Some newer settlements were only designated as
police burgh A police burgh was a Scottish burgh A burgh is an Autonomy, autonomous municipal corporation in Scotland and Northern England, usually a city, town, or toun in Scots language, Scots. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th ...
s from the 19th century onward, a classification which also applies to most of the older burghs.


United States

The definition of ''town'' varies widely from state to state, and in many states there is no official definition. In some states, the term ''town'' refers to an area of population distinct from others in some meaningful dimension, typically population or type of government. The characteristic that distinguishes a town from another type of populated place — a city, borough, village, or
township A township is a kind of human settlement or administrative subdivision, with its meaning varying in different countries. Although the term is occasionally associated with an urban area, that tends to be an exception to the rule. In Australia, Ca ...
, for example — differs from state to state. In some states, a town is an incorporated
municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
; that is, one with a
charter A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority (or sovereignty), and that the rec ...
received from the state, similar to a city (see
incorporated town An incorporated town is a town A town is a 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 mi ...
), while in others, a town is unincorporated. In some instances, the term ''town'' refers to a small incorporated municipality of less than a population threshold specified by state statute, while in others a town can be significantly larger. Some states do not use the term ''town'' at all, while in others the term has no official meaning and is used informally to refer to a populated place, of any size, whether incorporated or unincorporated. In some other states, the words ''town'' and ''city'' are legally interchangeable. Small-town life has been a major theme in American literature, especially stories of rejection by young people leaving for the metropolis. Since the use of the term varies considerably by state, individual usages are presented in the following sections:


Alabama

In
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = " Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery , LargestCity = Huntsville , LargestCounty = Baldwin County , LargestMetro = Greater Birmingham , area_total_km2 = 135,7 ...
, the legal use of the terms ''town'' and ''city'' is based on population. A municipality with a population of 2,000 or more is a city, while less than 2,000 is a town (Code of Alabama 1975
Section 11-40-6
. For legislative purposes, municipalities are divided into eight classes based on population. Class 8 includes all towns, plus cities with populations of less than 6,000 (Code of Alabama 1975

.


Arizona

In
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak ) is a U.S. state, state in the Southwestern United States. It is the list of U.S. states and territories by area, 6th largest and the list of U.S. states and territories by population, 14 ...
, the terms ''town'' and ''city'' are largely interchangeable. A community may incorporate under either a town or a city organization with no regard to population or other restrictions according to Arizona law (see Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 9). Cities may function under slightly differing governmental systems, such as the option to organize a district system for city governments, but largely retain the same powers as towns. Arizona law also allows for the consolidation of neighboring towns and the unification of a city and a town, but makes no provision for the joining of two adjacent cities.


California

In
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located along the West Coast of the United States, Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territori ...
, the words ''town'' and ''city'' are synonymous by law (see Cal. Govt. Code Secs. 34500–34504). There are two types of cities in California: charter and general law. Cities organized as charter cities derive their authority from a
charter A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority (or sovereignty), and that the rec ...
that they draft and file with the state, and which, among other things, states the municipality's name as "City of (Name)" or "Town of (Name)." Government Code Sections 34500–34504 applies to cities organized as general law cities, which differ from charter cities in that they do not have charters but instead operate with the powers conferred them by the pertinent sections of the Government Code. Like charter cities, general law cities may incorporate as "City of (Name)" or "Town of (Name)." Some cities change what they are referred to as. The sign in front of the municipal offices in
Los Gatos, California Los Gatos (, ; ) is an List of municipalities in California, incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population is 33,529 according to the 2020 United States census, 2020 census. It is located in the San Franci ...
, for example, reads "City of Los Gatos", but the words engraved on the building above the front entrance when the city hall was built read "Town of Los Gatos." There are also signs at the municipal corporation limit, some of which welcome visitors to the "City of Los Gatos" while older, adjacent signs welcome people to the "Town of Los Gatos." Meanwhile, the village does not exist in California as a municipal corporation. Instead, the word ''town'' is commonly used to indicate any unincorporated community that might otherwise be known as an unincorporated village. Additionally, some people may still use the word ''town'' as shorthand for ''township'', which is not an incorporated municipality but an administrative division of a county.


Hawaii

The
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western United States, located in the Pacific Ocean about from the U.S. mainland. It is the only U.S. state outside North America, the only state that is ...
an Island of
Oahu Oahu () (Hawaiian language, Hawaiian: ''Oʻahu'' ()), also known as "The Gathering place#Island of Oʻahu as The Gathering Place, Gathering Place", is the third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is home to roughly one million people—over t ...
has various communities that may be referred to as towns. However, the entire island is lumped as a single incorporated city, the City and County of
Honolulu Honolulu (; ) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii, which is in the Pacific Ocean. It is an Unincorporated area, unincorporated county seat of the Consolidated city-county, consolidated City and County of H ...
. The towns on Oahu are merely unincorporated
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 count ...
s.


Illinois

In
Illinois Illinois ( ) is a state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its largest metropolitan areas include the Chicago metropolitan area, and the Metro East section, of Greater St. Louis. Other smaller metropolitan areas inc ...
, the word ''town'' has been used both to denote a subdivision of a county called a township, and to denote a form of municipality similar to a
village A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population t ...
, in that it is generally governed by a president and trustees rather than a mayor. In some areas a town may be incorporated legally as a village (meaning it has at large trustees) or a city (meaning it has aldermen from districts) and absorb the duties of the township it is coterminous with (maintenance of birth records, certain welfare items). Evanston, Berwyn and
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and Academic skepticism, academic skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...
are examples of towns in this manner. Under the current Illinois Municipal Code, an incorporated or unincorporated town may choose to incorporate as a city or as a village, but other forms of incorporation are no longer allowed.


Louisiana

In
Louisiana Louisiana , group=pronunciation (French: ''La Louisiane'') is a U.S. state, state in the Deep South and South Central United States, South Central regions of the United States. It is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 20th-smal ...
a town is defined as being a municipal government having a population of 1,001 to 4,999 inhabitants.


Maryland

While a town is generally considered a smaller entity than a city, the two terms are legally interchangeable in Maryland. The only exception is the
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 Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, p ...
of
Baltimore Baltimore ( , locally: or ) is the List of municipalities in Maryland, most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, fourth most populous city in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic, and List of United States cities by popula ...
, which is a special case, as it was created by the
Constitution of Maryland The current Constitution of the State of Maryland, which was ratified by the people of the state on September 18, 1867, forms the basic law for the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commo ...
.


Nevada

In
Nevada Nevada ( ; ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. N ...
, a town has a form of government, but is not considered to be incorporated. It generally provides a limited range of services, such as
land use planning Land use planning is the process of regulating the Land use, use of land by a central authority. Usually, this is done to promote more desirable social and environmental outcomes as well as a more efficient use of resources. More specifically, ...
and recreation, while leaving most services to the county. Many communities have found this "semi-incorporated" status attractive; the state has only 20 incorporated
cities A city is a 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 minuscule number of dwellings grouped ...
, and towns as large as
Paradise In religion, paradise is a place of exceptional happiness and delight. Paradisiacal notions are often laden with pastoral imagery, and may be cosmogonical or eschatological or both, often compared to the miseries of human civilization: in paradis ...
(186,020 in 2000 Census), home of the
Las Vegas Strip The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South in Clark County, Nevada, that is known for its concentration of resort hotels and casino A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or c ...
. Most
county seat A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or parish (administrative division), civil parish. The term is in use in Canada, China, Hungary, Romania, Taiwan, and the United States. The equivalent te ...
s are also towns, not cities.


New England

In the six
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts Massachusetts (Massachusett language, Massachusett: ''Muhsachuweesut assachusett writing systems, məhswatʃəwiːsət ...
states, a
town A town is a 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 minuscule number of dwellings group ...
is the most prevalent minor civil division, and in most cases, are a more important form of government than the county. In
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York (state), New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the ...
,
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road'') is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It is the List of U.S. states by area, smallest U.S. state by area and the List of states and territories of the United States ...
and seven out of fourteen counties in
Massachusetts Massachusetts (Massachusett language, Massachusett: ''Muhsachuweesut assachusett writing systems, məhswatʃəwiːsət'' English: , ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the New England ...
, in fact, counties only exist as boundaries for state services and chambers of commerce at most, and have no independent legal functions. In
New Hampshire New Hampshire is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Gulf of Maine to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec t ...
,
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It borders New Hampshire to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southeast, and the Provinces and territories of Canad ...
, and
Vermont Vermont () is a U.S. state, state in the northeast New England region of the United States. Vermont is bordered by the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York (state), New York to the west, and the Provin ...
, counties function at a limited scope, and are still not as important in northern New England as they are outside of the northeast. In all six states, towns perform functions that in most states would be county functions. The defining feature of a New England town, as opposed to a city, is that a
town meeting Town meeting is a form of local government in which most or all of the members of a community are eligible to legislate policy and budgets for local government. It is a town- or city-level meeting in which decisions are made, in contrast with ...
and a board of selectmen serve as the main form of government for a town, while cities are run by a mayor and a city council. For example,
Brookline, Massachusetts Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, in the United States, and part of the Greater Boston, Boston metropolitan area. Brookline borders six of Boston's neighborhoods: Brighton, Boston, Brighton, A ...
is a town, even though it is fairly urban, because of its form of government. In the three southern New England states, the entire land area is divided into towns and cities, while the three northern states have small areas that are unincorporated. In Vermont and New Hampshire, the population of these areas is practically nonexistent, while in Maine, unincorporated areas make up roughly half of the state’s area but only one percent of the state’s population. Though the U.S. Census Bureau defines New England towns as "minor civil divisions" for statistical purposes, all New England towns are
municipal corporations A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including (but not necessarily limited to) cities A city is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place i ...
equivalent to cities in all legal respects, except for form of government. For statistical purposes, the Census Bureau uses
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 count ...
s for the built-up population centers within towns, though these have no legal or social recognition for residents of those towns. Similarly, the Census Bureau uses a special designation for
urban areas An urban area, built-up area or urban agglomeration 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, cit ...
within New England, the
New England city and town area A New England city and town area (NECTA) is a geographic and statistical entity defined by the U.S. federal government for use in the six-state New England region of the United States. NECTAs are analogous to metropolitan statistical areas and micro ...
, instead of the
metropolitan statistical area In 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, state ...
it uses in the rest of the country.


New Jersey

A ''town'' in the context of New Jersey local government refers to one of five types and one of eleven forms of municipal government. While ''town'' is often used as a shorthand to refer to a township, the two are not the same. The Town Act of 1895 allowed any municipality or area with a population exceeding 5,000 to become a Town through a petition and referendum process. Under the 1895 Act, a newly incorporated town was divided into at least three wards, with two councilmen per ward serving staggered two-year terms, and one councilman at large, who also served a two-year term. The councilman at large served as chairman of the town council. The Town Act of 1988 completely revised the town form of government and applied to all towns incorporated under the Town Act of 1895 and to those incorporated by a special charter granted by the Legislature prior to 1875. Under the 1988 Act, the mayor is also the councilman at large, serving a term of two years, unless increased to three years by a petition and referendum process. The council under the Town Act of 1988 consists of eight members serving staggered two-year terms with two elected from each of four wards. One council member from each ward is up for election each year. Towns with different structures predating the 1988 Act may retain those features unless changed by a petition and referendum process. Two new provisions were added in 1991 to the statutes governing towns, First, a petition and referendum process was created whereby the voters can require that the mayor and town council be elected to four-year terms of office. The second new provision defines the election procedure in towns with wards. The mayor in a town chairs the town council and heads the municipal government. The mayor may both vote on legislation before council and veto ordinances. A veto may be overridden by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the council. The council may enact an ordinance to delegate all or a portion of the executive responsibilities of the town to a municipal administrator. Fifteen New Jersey municipalities currently have a type of town, nine of which operate under the town form of government.


New York

In New York, a town is a division of the county that possesses home rule powers, but generally with fewer functions than towns in New England. A town provides a closer level of governance than its enclosing county, providing almost all municipal services to unincorporated communities, called
hamlets A hamlet is a human settlement that is smaller than a town A town is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of ...
, and selected services to incorporated areas, called
villages A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population t ...
. In New York, a town typically contains a number of such hamlets and villages. However, due to their independent nature, incorporated villages may exist in two towns or even two counties (example:
Almond (village), New York Almond is a village A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), ...
). Everyone in New York who does not live in a city or Indian reservation lives in a town and possibly in one of the town's hamlets or villages.
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
and
Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Genève ) frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra is the List of cities in Switzerland, second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaki ...
are the only two cities that span county boundaries. The only part of Geneva in Seneca County is water; each of the
boroughs of New York City New York City is composed of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Each borough is coextensive with a respective Administrative divisions of New York (state)#County, county of New York (state), New York Stat ...
is a county.


North Carolina

In
North Carolina North Carolina () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. The state is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 28th largest and List of states and territories of the United ...
, all cities, towns, and villages are incorporated as
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
. According to the North Carolina League of Municipalities, there is no legal distinction among a city, town, or village—it is a matter of preference of the local government. Some North Carolina cities have populations as small as 1,000 residents, while some towns, such as
Cary Cary may refer to: Places ;United States * Cary, Illinois, part of the Chicago metropolitan area * Cary, Indiana, part of the Indianapolis metropolitan area * Cary, Miami County, Indiana * Cary, Maine * Cary, Mississippi * Cary, North Carolina ...
, have populations of greater than 100,000.


Oklahoma

In
Oklahoma Oklahoma (; Choctaw language, Choctaw: ; chr, ᎣᎧᎳᎰᎹ, ''Okalahoma'' ) is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, bordered by Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the nor ...
, according to the state's municipal code, ''city'' means a municipality which has incorporated as a city in accordance with the laws of the state, whereas ''town'' means a municipality which has incorporated as a town in accordance with the laws of the state, and ''municipality'' means any incorporated city or town. The term ''village'' is not defined or used in the act. Any community of people residing in compact form may become incorporated as a town; however, if the resident population is one thousand or more, a town or community of people residing in compact form may become incorporated as a city.


Pennsylvania

In
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania (; (Pennsylvania Dutch language, Pennsylvania Dutch: )), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state, state spanning the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern United States, Northeastern, Appa ...
, the incorporated divisions are townships, boroughs, and cities, of which boroughs are equivalent to towns (example: State College is a borough). However, one borough is incorporated as a town: Bloomsburg.


Texas

In
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2 ...
, although some municipalities refer to themselves as "towns" or "villages" (to market themselves as an attractive place to live), these names have no specific designation in Texas law; legally all incorporated places are considered
cities A city is a 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 minuscule number of dwellings grouped ...
.


Utah

In
Utah Utah ( , ) is a state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West su ...
, the legal use of the terms ''town'' and ''city'' is based on population. A municipality with a population of 1,000 or more is a city, while less than 1,000 is a town. In addition, cities are divided into five separate classes based on the population.


Virginia

In
Virginia Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States, between the East Coast of the United Stat ...
, a town is an incorporated municipality similar to a city (though with a smaller required minimum population). But while cities are by Virginia law independent of counties, towns are contained within counties.


Washington

A town in the state of
Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state), United States * Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States ** A metonym for the federal government of the United States ** Washington metropolitan area, the metropolitan area centered on ...
is a municipality that has a population of less than 1,500 at incorporation, however an existing town can reorganize as a code city. Town government authority is limited relative to
cities A city is a 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 minuscule number of dwellings grouped ...
, the other main classification of municipalities in the state. , most municipalities in Washington are cities. (See List of towns in Washington.)


Wisconsin

Wisconsin Wisconsin () is a U.S. state, state in the Upper Midwest, upper Midwestern United States. Wisconsin is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 25th-largest state by total area and the List of U.S. states and territories by populatio ...
has towns which are areas outside of incorporated cities and villages. These towns retain the name of the civil township from which they evolved and are often the same name as a neighboring city. Some towns, especially those in urban areas, have services similar to those of incorporated cities, such as police departments. These towns will, from time to time, incorporate into cities, such as Fox Crossing in 2016 from the former town of Menasha. Often this is to protect against being annexed into neighboring cities and villages.


Wyoming

A
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the south ...
statute indicates towns are incorporated municipalities with populations of less than 4,000. Municipalities of 4,000 or more residents are considered "first-class cities".


Vietnam

In Vietnam, a district-level town ( vi, thị xã) is the second subdivision, below a province () or municipality (). A commune-level town () a third-level (commune-level) subdivision, below a
district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or county, counties, several municipality, municipa ...
().


See also

*
Commuter town A commuter town is a populated area that is primarily residential rather than commercial or industrial. Routine travel from home to work and back is called commuting, which is where the term comes from. A commuter town may be called by many o ...
*
Company town A company town is a place where practically all stores and housing are owned by the one company that is also the main employer. Company towns are often planned with a suite of amenities such as stores, houses of worship, schools, markets and re ...
*
Developed environments In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of ...
* List of towns *
Location (geography) In geography, location or place are used to denote a region (point, line, or area) on Earth's surface or elsewhere. The term ''location'' generally implies a higher degree of certainty than ''place'', the latter often indicating an entity with an ...
*
Megalopolis (city type) A megalopolis () or a supercity, also called a megaregion, is a group of metropolitan areas which are perceived as a continuous urban area through common systems of transport, economy, resources, ecology, and so on. They are integrated enoug ...
*
Proto-city A proto-city is a large, dense Neolithic settlement that is largely distinguished from a city by its lack of urban planning, planning and political system, centralized rule. While the precise classification of many sites considered proto-cities is ...
*
Town charter A city charter or town charter (generically, municipal charter) is a legal document (''charter'') establishing a municipality such as a city or town. The concept developed in Europe during the Middle Ages. Traditionally the granting of a charter ...
*
Town Hall In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre (in the United Kingdom, UK or Australia), guildhall, or a municipal building (in the Philippines), is the chief administration (government), administrative building of a city, tow ...
* Town limits *
Town privileges Town privileges or borough rights were important features of European towns during most of the second millennium. The city law customary in Central Europe probably dates back to History of Italy, Italian models, which in turn were oriented tow ...
*
Town square A town square (or square, plaza, public square, city square, urban square, or ''piazza'') is an open public space, commonly found in the heart of a traditional town A town is a human settlement In geography, statistics and ar ...


References


Sources

*


External links


Australian Bureau of Statistics: Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2005

Open-Site Regional
— Contains information about towns in numerous countries.
Geopolis
: research group, university of Paris-Diderot, France — Access to Geopolis Database {{Authority control Types of populated places