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An unincorporated area is a region that is not governed by a local
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 ...
. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...

Canada
. Most other countries of the world either have no unincorporated areas at all or these are very rare: typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.


By country


Argentina

In Argentina, the provinces of , , Entre Ríos,
Formosa Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a Country, country in East Asia, at the junction of the East China Sea, East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) ...

Formosa
,
Neuquén Neuquén (; arn, Nehuenken) is the capital city of the Argentina, Argentine Provinces of Argentina, province of Neuquén Province, Neuquén and of the Confluencia Department, located in the east of the province. It occupies a strip of land wes ...
, Río Negro, , Santa Cruz,
Santiago del Estero Santiago del Estero (, Spanish for ''Saint-James-Upon-The-Lagoon'') is the capital of Santiago del Estero Province in northern Argentina. It has a population of 252,192 inhabitants, () making it the twelfth List of cities in Argentina by populatio ...

Santiago del Estero
,
Tierra del Fuego Tierra del Fuego (, ; Spanish for "Land of the Fire", rarely also Fireland in English) is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South America, South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of the main ...
, and Tucumán have areas that are outside any municipality or commune.


Australia

Unlike many other countries, Australia has only one level of local government immediately beneath state and territorial governments. A local government area (LGA) often contains several towns and even entire metropolitan areas. Thus, aside from very sparsely populated areas and a few other special cases, almost all of Australia is part of an LGA. Unincorporated areas are often in remote locations, cover vast areas, or have very small populations. Postal addresses in unincorporated areas, as in other parts of Australia, normally use the suburb or locality names gazetted by the relevant state or territorial government. Thus, any ambiguity regarding addresses rarely exists in unincorporated areas.
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_ ...

Queensland
,
Tasmania ) , nickname = , image_map = Tasmania in Australia.svg , map_caption = Location of Tasmania in AustraliaCoordinates: , subdivision_type = Country , subdi ...

Tasmania
, and
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 ...

Western Australia
are entirely partitioned into LGAs and have no unincorporated areas.


Australian Capital Territory

The
Australian Capital Territory The Australian Capital Territory (commonly abbreviated as ACT), known as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) until 1938, is a landlocked federal territory of Australia containing the national capital Canberra and some surrounding township#Aust ...
(ACT) has no municipalities. The territorial government is directly responsible for matters normally carried out by a local government. In some countries, this arrangement would be referred to as a
unitary authority A unitary authority is a local government, local authority responsible for all local government functions within its area or performing additional functions that elsewhere are usually performed by a higher level of sub-national government or the ...
, but the
Australian Bureau of Statistics The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the independent statutory agency of the Australian Government responsible for statistical collection and analysis and for giving evidence-based advice to federal, state and territory governments ...
refers to the whole of the ACT as an unincorporated area.


New South Wales

The far west and north of
New South Wales ) , nickname = , image_map = New South Wales in Australia.svg , map_caption = Location of New South Wales in AustraliaCoordinates: , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = Australia , established_title = Before federation , es ...

New South Wales
constitutes the
Unincorporated Far West Region The Unincorporated Far West Region is an unincorporated area in the Far West (New South Wales), Far West region of New South Wales, Australia. The area is one of only two areas in New South Wales that are not part of any Local government areas o ...
, which is sparsely populated and barely warrants an elected council. A civil servant in the state capital manages such matters as are necessary. The second unincorporated area of this state is
Lord Howe Island Lord Howe Island (; formerly Lord Howe's Island) is an irregularly crescent-shaped volcanic remnant in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, part of the Australian state of New South Wales. It lies directly east of mainland Port ...
.


Northern Territory

In 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 ...
, 1.45% of the total area and 4.0% of the population are in unincorporated areas, including the
unincorporated Top End region The Top End of Australia's Northern Territory is a geographical region encompassing the northernmost section of the Northern Territory, which aside from the Cape York Peninsula is the northernmost part of the Australian continent. It covers a ra ...
(the largest), the Northern Territory Rates Act Area,
Nhulunbuy Nhulunbuy () is a township that is the Northern Territory#Cities and towns, sixth largest population centre in the Northern Territory of Australia. Nhulunbuy was created on the Gove Peninsula in north-east Arnhem Land when a bauxite mine and ...
, the community of Alyangula on
Groote Eylandt Groote Eylandt (Anindilyakwa language, Anindilyakwa: ''Ayangkidarrba'' meaning "island" ) is the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria and the fourth largest island in Australia. It was named by the explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and is Dutch ...
in the northern region, and
Yulara Yulara is a town in the southern region of the Northern Territory, Australia. It lies as an unincorporated area, unincorporated enclave within MacDonnell Region. At the , Yulara had a permanent population of 1,099, in an area of . It is by road ...
in the southern region.


South Australia

In
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 ...

South Australia
, 60% of the state's area belongs to the Pastoral Unincorporated Area. Those located in this area – less than 0.2% of the state's population – receive municipal services provided by a state agency, the Outback Communities Authority.


Victoria

Victoria has 10 small unincorporated areas, which are either small islands directly administered by the state or
ski resort A ski resort is a resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. In Europe, most ski resorts are towns or villages in or adjacent to a ski area – a mountainous area with pistes (ski trails) and a ski lift system. In North ...

ski resort
s administered by state-appointed management boards.


Canada

In Canada, depending on the province, an unincorporated settlement is one that does not have a municipal council that governs solely over the settlement. It is usually, but not always, part of a larger municipal government. These range from small hamlets to large urbanized areas similar in size to a town or city. For example, were they incorporated, the
urban service area The province of Alberta, Canada, is divided into ten types of Local government in Canada, local governments – urban municipalities (including List of cities in Alberta, cities, List of towns in Alberta, towns, List of villages in Alberta, vil ...
s of
Fort McMurray Fort McMurray ( ) is an List of communities in Alberta#Urban service areas, urban service area in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in Alberta, Canada. It is located in Northern Alberta, northeast Alberta, in the middle of the Athabasca ...
in the
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (abbreviated RMWB) is a specialized municipality in northeast Alberta, Canada. It is the second largest municipality in Alberta by area and is home to oil sand deposits known as the Athabasca oil san ...
and
Sherwood Park Sherwood Park is a large hamlet (place)#Canada, hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area. It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton's eastern boundary, generally south of Alberta Highwa ...

Sherwood Park
in
Strathcona County Strathcona County is a specialized municipality in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region within Alberta, Canada between Edmonton and Elk Island National Park. It forms part of Census Division No. 11. Strathcona County is both urban and rural ...
would be the fifth- and sixth-largest cities in Alberta. In
British Columbia British Columbia (commonly abbreviated as BC) is the westernmost Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. It has a diverse geography, with rugged landscapes that include ...

British Columbia
, unincorporated settlements lie outside municipal boundaries entirely, and are administered directly by regional/county-level governments similar to the American system. Unincorporated settlements with a population between 100 and 1,000 residents may have the status of
designated place A designated place (DPL) is a type of community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as place, norms, religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors ...
in Canadian census data.More information on Designated place
.
Statistics Canada Statistics Canada (StatCan; french: Statistique Canada), formed in 1971, is the government agency, agency of the Government of Canada commissioned with producing statistics to help better understand Canada, its population, resources, Economy of ...
. 2009.
In some provinces, large tracts of undeveloped wilderness or rural country are unorganized areas that fall directly under the provincial jurisdiction. Some unincorporated settlements in such unorganized areas may have some types of municipal services provided to them by a quasigovernmental agency such as a local services board in Ontario. In New Brunswick, where a significant population lives in a
local service district A local service district is a type of designated place in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of New Brunswick. In the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, a local service district is a defined area led by an electe ...
, taxation and services may come directly from the province.


Czech Republic

The entire area of 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 ...
is divided into municipalities (, sg. ''obec''); the only exceptions are four military training areas. These are parts of the
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 ...
and do not form self-governing municipalities, but are rather governed by military offices (''újezdní úřad''), which are subordinate to the
Ministry of Defence {{unsourced, date=February 2021 A ministry of defence or defense (see spelling differences), also known as a department of defence or defense, is an often-used name for the part of a government A government is the system or group o ...
. Note: Brdy Military Area was abandoned by the
army An army (from Old French ''armee'', itself derived from the Latin verb ''armāre'', meaning "to arm", and related to the Latin noun ''arma'', meaning "arms" or "weapons"), ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on ...
in 2015 and converted into a Landscape Park, with its area being incorporated either into existing municipalities or into newly established municipalities based on the existing settlements. The other four military training areas were reduced in size in 2015 too. The decisions on whether the settlements joined existing municipalities or formed new ones were made by plebiscites.


Denmark

Ertholmene Ertholmene (formerly spelled ''Ærtholmene)'' is a small archipelago in Denmark. The largest island is Christiansø, and its name Pars pro toto, often refers to the entire archipelago. Ertholmene is situated northeast of Gudhjem, Bornholm, a ...

Ertholmene
, so named because its islands are small as a
pea The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the flowering plant species ''Pisum sativum''. Each pod contains several peas, which can be green or yellow. Botanically, pea pods are fruit, since they contain seeds and d ...

pea
( ''Danish'', ert, (modern) ært) forms the easternmost part of
Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark ...

Denmark
. This small
archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster, or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands. Examples of archipelagos include: the List of islands ...

archipelago
lies 20 kilometers northeast of
Bornholm Bornholm () is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, to the east of the rest of Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , ...

Bornholm
. Population of less than 100.
Statistics Denmark Statistics Denmark ( da, Danmarks Statistik) is a Denmark, Danish governmental organization under the Ministry of the Interior and Housing (Denmark), Ministry of the Interior and Housing and which reports to the Minister of Economic and Internal A ...
groups it with Bornholm in Landsdel Bornholm.


Germany

Since
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...

Germany
has no administrative level comparable to the townships of other countries, the vast majority of the country, close to 99%, is organized in
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 ...
(German: ''Gemeinde'', plural ''Gemeinden''), often consisting of multiple settlements that are not considered to be unincorporated. Because these settlements lack a council of their own, usually an ''Ortsvorsteher'' or ''Ortsvorsteherin'' (village chairman / chairwoman) is appointed by the municipal council, except in the very smallest villages. In 2000, the number of unincorporated areas in Germany, called ''gemeindefreie Gebiete'' (municipality-free areas) or singular ''gemeindefreies Gebiet'', was 295 with a total area of and around 1.4% of its territory. However, these are mostly unpopulated areas such as forests, lakes and their surroundings, military training areas, and the like. , Germany had 248 uninhabited unincorporated areas (of which 214 are located in
Bavaria Bavaria ( ; ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (german: Freistaat Bayern, link=no ), is a state in the south-east of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the sec ...

Bavaria
), not belonging to any municipality, consisting mostly of forested areas, lakes, and larger rivers. Also, three inhabited unincorporated areas existed, all of which served as
military training area A military training area, training area (Australia, Ireland, UK) or training centre (Canada) is land set aside specifically to enable military forces to train and exercise for combat. Training areas are usually out of bounds to the general public, ...
s: Osterheide and in Lower Saxony, and Gutsbezirk Münsingen in
Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg (; ), commonly shortened to BW or BaWü, is a states of Germany, German state () in Southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the southern part of Germany's western border with France. With more than 11.07 million inha ...
. They had fewer than 2,000 inhabitants in total. After losing its inhabited parts to adjacent municipalities on 1 January 2011, Gutsbezirk Münsingen is now uninhabited.


Largest

The following shows the largest unincorporated areas in Germany (including all inhabited areas, but excluding lakes) with an area of more than 50 km2: † No inhabitants since 1 January 2011 as a result of reduction in area. In Bavaria, there are other contiguous unincorporated areas covering more than 50 km2; these are however composed of several adjacent unincorporated areas combined, each of which is under 50 km2 in area.


Israel

In Israel, almost all land is subdivided into 393 municipalities which are further classified, normally by population, 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 ...
, local council, or regional council. All three types of municipality provide services including zoning and planning. However, a few unincorporated areas exist, whether because of omissions and ambiguities left in official maps dating from the British Mandate for Palestine, or due to deliberate policy of ensuring facilities of national importance, such as
Ben Gurion Airport Ben Gurion International Airport, ; ar, مطار بن غوريون الدولي , commonly known by the Hebrew-language acronym (), is the main international airport of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْر ...
,
Mikveh Israel Mikveh Israel ( he, מִקְוֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל, 'Hope of Israel') is a youth village and boarding school A boarding school is a school where pupils live within premises while being given formal instruction. The word "boarding" ...
boarding school, or the BAZAN Group oil refineries, would not have their operation affected by local considerations. The largest unincorporated area in Israel is the so-called "Reservation area", a triangular region whose vertexes are
Beersheba Beersheba or Beer Sheva, officially Be'er-Sheva ( he, בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע, ''Bəʾēr Ševaʿ'', ; ar, بئر السبع, Biʾr as-Sabʿ, Well of the Oath or Well of the Seven), is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. ...

Beersheba
, and Arad, in which all Negev Bedouins were concentrated in the 1950s. As no municipal services are provided within unincorporated area, this effectively makes all Bedouin settlements in the area unrecognized, with the sole exception of those included within the Abu Basma Regional Council.


Netherlands

The Netherlands has had regular periods with unincorporated land when newly reclaimed land
polder A polder () is a low-lying tract of land that forms an artificial hydrological entity, enclosed by embankments known as dikes. The three types of polder are: # Land reclaimed from a body of water, such as a lake or the seabed # Flood plains ...

polder
s fall dry. Unincorporated land is since medieval times administered by an appointed officer with the name '' Landdrost'' or ''Drossaart''. Also, Elten and Tudderen, both annexed from Germany after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, were governed by a ''Landdrost ''until they were ceded to Germany in 1963. The most recent period with unincorporated land started in 1967, when the dyke around was closed, but several years are required before the polder is genuinely accessible for cultivation, and construction of roads and homes can start, as in the first years, the soil is equivalent to
quicksand Quicksand is a colloid consisting of fine granular material (such as sand, silt or clay) and water. It forms in saturated loose sand when the sand is suddenly agitated. When water in the sand cannot escape, it creates a Liquefaction, liquefied ...
. During the initial period of inhabitation, a special, government-appointed officer was installed, the l''anddrost''. During the administrative office of a'' Landdrost'', no municipal council forms. In 1975, the first homes in what is now the city of
Almere Almere () is a Planned community, planned List of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality in the Provinces of the Netherlands, province of Flevoland, Netherlands, located about 20 km ...
were built, and from 1976 to 1984, the area was governed by the ''Landdrost'' as the executive of the ''Openbaar Lichaam Zuidelijke IJsselmeerpolders'' (Southern IJsselmeerpolders Public Body). In 1984, the ''Landdrost'' became the first mayor of the new city Almere. Since that date, the Netherlands does not have any unincorporated land areas. The ''Openbaar Lichaam'' remained, however, only governing the water body of the
Markermeer The Markermeer () is a lake in the central Netherlands in between North Holland, Flevoland, and its smaller and larger neighbors, the IJmeer and IJsselmeer. A shallow lake at 3 to 5 m in depth, matching the reclaimed land to its west, nort ...

Markermeer
. After the municipal division of the Wadden Sea (1985), the territorial waters in the North Sea (1991) and the IJsselmeer (1994), all water bodies are now also part of a municipality and no unincorporated areas exist in the Netherlands anymore. The ''Openbaar Lichaam Zuidelijke IJsselmeerpolders'' was dissolved in 1996.


Norway

In
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of ...

Norway
, the outlying islands of
Bouvet Island Bouvet Island ( ; or ''Bouvetøyen'') is an island claimed by Norway, and declared an uninhabited protected nature reserve. It is a subantarctic volcanic island, situated in the South Atlantic Ocean at the southern end of the Mid-Atlantic Ri ...

Bouvet Island
,
Jan Mayen Jan Mayen () is a Norway, Norwegian high island, volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean with no permanent population. It is long (southwest-northeast) and in area, partly covered by glaciers (an area of around the Beerenberg volcano). It has t ...

Jan Mayen
, and
Svalbard Svalbard ( , ), also known as Spitsbergen, or Spitzbergen, is a Norway, Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. North of continental Europe, mainland Europe, it is about midway between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. The ...

Svalbard
are outside of all of the country's
counties 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 ...

counties
and
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 ...
. They are ruled directly by national authorities without any local democracy. An exception is the
Longyearbyen Community Council Longyearbyen Community Council ( no, Longyearbyen lokalstyre) is the local government for Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway. It has many of the same responsibilities of a municipalities of Norway, municipality. It is organized with a 15-member coun ...
in Svalbard, which since 2004 in reality acts partly like a Norwegian municipality. Svalbard has a
governor A governor is an administrative leader and head of a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized s ...
appointed by the government of Norway, ruling the area. Jan Mayen has no population, only radio and weather stations with staff, whose manager has the responsibility for the activities. Bouvet Island has only occasional visitors.


United States

In
local government in the United States Local government in the United States refers to governmental jurisdictions below the level of the state. Most states and territories have at least two tiers of local government: counties and municipalities. Louisiana uses the term parish and ...
, an unincorporated area generally refers to the part 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 ...
that is outside any municipality. An unincorporated community is one general term for a geographic area having a common social identity without municipal organization or official political designation (i.e., incorporation as a city or town). The two main types of unincorporated communities are: * a neighborhood or other community existing within one or across multiple existing incorporated areas (i.e., cities or towns). In this sense, a community is part of a municipal government, but not ''separately'' incorporated from it. For example,
Hyannis, Massachusetts Hyannis is the largest of the seven villages in the town of Barnstable, Massachusetts, in the United States. It is the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod and was designated an urban area at the 1990 census. Because of this, many refer t ...
is an unincorporated village within the town of Barnstable, and
Intervale, New Hampshire Intervale is an Unincorporated area, unincorporated community in Carroll County, New Hampshire, located on the boundary between the towns of Bartlett, New Hampshire, Bartlett and Conway, New Hampshire, Conway in the White Mountains Region. The vil ...
is an unincorporated community on the border of the towns of Bartlett and Conway. * a neighborhood or other community existing outside an incorporated municipal government. In this sense, the community is outside any municipal government, and entirely unincorporated. Examples include Hovland, Minnesota; Nutbush, Tennessee; and Yucca, Arizona; all are small rural settlements of low population. Most states have granted some form of
home rule Home rule is government of a colony, dependent country, or region by its own citizens. It is thus the power of a part (administrative division) of a State (polity), state or an external dependent country to exercise such of the state's powers o ...
, so that
county commission A county commission (or a board of county commissioners) is a group of elected officials (county commissioners) collectively charged with administering the County (United States)#County government, county government in some U.S. state, states of ...
s (or Board of Supervisors, boards or councils) have the same powers in these areas as city councils or town councils have in their respective incorporated areas. Some states, instead, put these powers in the hands of townships, which are minor civil divisions of each county, and are called "towns" in some states. Due to differences in state laws regarding the incorporation of communities, a great variation exists in the distribution and nature of unincorporated areas. Unincorporated regions are essentially nonexistent in eight of the northeastern states. All of the land in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York (state), New York, and Rhode Island, and nearly all of the land in New Hampshire, Local government in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, and Vermont municipality, Vermont, is part of an incorporated area of some type. In these areas, types (and official names) of local government entities can vary. In New England (which includes five of those eight states, plus the less fully incorporated state of Maine), local municipalities are known as New England town, towns or cities, and most towns are administered by a form of direct democracy, such as the open town meeting or representative town meeting. Larger towns in New England may be incorporated as cities, with some form of mayor-council government. In New Jersey, multiple types exist, as well, such as City (New Jersey), city, Township (New Jersey), township, Town (New Jersey), town, Borough (New Jersey), borough, or Village (New Jersey), village, but these differences are in the structure of the legislative branches, not in the powers or functions of the entities themselves. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Virginia "strong county" model. Virginia and other states with this model, such as Alabama, Maryland, and Tennessee, set strict requirements on incorporation or grant counties broad powers that in other states are carried out by cities, creating a disincentive to incorporate, and thus have large, urbanized areas which have no municipal government below the county level. Meanwhile, in other mid-Atlantic states, such as New York (state), New York and Pennsylvania, a hybrid model that tries to balance the two approaches is prevalent, with differing allocations of power between municipalities and counties existing. Throughout the U.S., some large cities have annexed all surrounding unincorporated areas within their counties, creating what are known as consolidated city–county forms of government (e.g., Jacksonville, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee). In these cases, unincorporated areas continue to exist in other counties of their respective metropolitan areas. Conversely, there are a number of "county islands" that exist, where an unincorporated area is surrounded on most or all sides by municipalities. In areas of sparse population, the majority of the land in any given state may be unincorporated. Some states, including North Carolina, grant extraterritorial jurisdiction to cities and towns (but rarely villages), so that they may control zoning for a limited distance into adjacent unincorporated areas, often as a precursor (and sometimes as a legal requirement) to later Municipal annexation, annexation of those areas. This is especially useful in rural counties that have no zoning at all, or only spot zoning for unincorporated communities. In California, all counties except the City and County of San Francisco have unincorporated areas. Even in highly populated counties, the unincorporated portions may contain a large number of inhabitants. In Los Angeles County, California, Los Angeles County, the county government estimates the population of its unincorporated areas to exceed one million people. Despite having 88 incorporated cities and towns, including the state's most populous, 65% of the land in Los Angeles County is unincorporated, this mostly consisting of Angeles National Forest and sparsely populated regions to its north. California law makes no distinction between "city" and "town", and municipalities may use either term in their official names.California Government Code Sections 34502 and 56722.


Insular areas

In the context of the insular areas of the United States, the word "Unincorporated territories of the United States, unincorporated" refers to territories in which the United States Congress has determined that only selected parts of the United States Constitution apply, and which have not been formally incorporated into the United States by Congress. Currently, the five major unincorporated U.S. insular areas are American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Unincorporated insular areas can be Cession, ceded to another nation or be granted independence. The U.S. has one incorporated insular area, Palmyra Atoll. Incorporation is regarded as Perpetual Union, perpetual by the U.S. federal government; once incorporated, the Territory cannot be disincorporated. (''See: United States territory.'') The U.S. Minor Outlying Islands without a permanent civilian population are "unorganized" in the sense that they do not have a local government and they are administered by the Office of Insular Affairs directly. The populated American Samoa is also "unorganized" in the sense that Congress has not passed an organic act but it does have a constitution and locally elected territorial legislature and executive.


U.S. Census Bureau

An unincorporated community may be part of a census-designated place (CDP). A CDP is an area defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. It is a populated area that generally includes one officially designated, but currently unincorporated community, for which the CDP is named, plus surrounding inhabited countryside of varying dimensions, and occasionally, other, smaller unincorporated communities, as well. Otherwise, it has no legal status. The Census Bureau designates some unincorporated areas as "unorganized territories", as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau where portions of County (United States), counties are not included in any legally established minor civil division (MCD) or independent incorporated place. These occur in 10 MCD states: Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota. The Census recognizes such separate pieces of territory as one or more separate county subdivisions for statistical purposes. It assigns each unorganized territory a descriptive name, followed by the designation "unorganized territory". Unorganized territories were first used for statistical purposes in conjunction with the 1960 census. At the United States Census, 2000, 2000 census there were 305 of these territories within the United States. Their total land area was 85,392 square miles (221,165 km2) and they had a total population of 247,331. South Dakota had the most unorganized territories, 102, as well as the largest amount of land under that status: 39,785 square miles (103,042 km2), or 52.4% of the state's land area. North Dakota followed with 86 territories, 20,358 square miles (52,728 km2), or 29.5% of its land area. Maine was next with 36 territories, 14,052 square miles (36,396 km2), or 45.5% of its land area. Minnesota had 71 territories, 10,552 square miles (27,330 km2), or 13% of its land area. Several other states had small amounts of unorganized territory. The unorganized territory with the largest population was Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, a United States Marine Corps base with a census population of 34,452 inhabitants. In the 2010 United States census, 2010 census, unorganized territory areas were identified in nine U.S. states: Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, and South Dakota.


U.S. mail delivery

Many unincorporated communities are also recognized as acceptable place names for use in mailing addresses by the United States Postal Service (USPS) (indeed, some have their own post offices), and the United States Census Bureau uses the names of some widely recognized unincorporated communities for its CDPs for which it tabulates census data. In some instances, unincorporated areas have a mailing address indicating the name of an incorporated city, as well as those where residents of one incorporated city have mailing addresses indicating another incorporated city. Mailing addresses do not necessarily change whether an area becomes a part of an incorporated place, changes to another incorporated place, or disincorporates. For example, places in Kingwood, Houston, Kingwood, Texas, previously unincorporated, retained "Kingwood, TX" mailing addresses after the 1996 annexation of Kingwood into the City of Houston. The Houston city government stated on its website, "The U.S. Postal Service establishes ZIP codes and mailing addresses to maximize the efficiency of their system, not to recognize jurisdictional boundaries." The USPS is very conservative about recognizing new place names for use in mailing addresses and typically only does so when a place incorporates. The original place name associated with a ZIP Code is still maintained as the default place name, even though the name of the newly incorporated place is more accurate. As an example, Sandy Springs, Georgia, Sandy Springs is one of the most populated places in Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia, but is served by a branch of the Atlanta post office. Only after the city was incorporated in 2005 has "Sandy Springs" been approved by the USPS for use in mailing addresses, though "Atlanta" remains the default name. Accordingly, "Atlanta" is the only accepted place name for mailing addresses in the nearby unincorporated town of Vinings, Georgia, Vinings, also served by a branch of the Atlanta post office, even though Vinings is in Cobb County, Georgia, Cobb County and Atlanta is in Fulton County, Georgia, Fulton and DeKalb County, Georgia, DeKalb counties. In contrast, neighboring Mableton, Georgia, Mableton has not been incorporated in nearly a century, but has its own post office and thus "Mableton" is the only acceptable place name for mailing addresses in the town. The areas of Dulah, California, Dulah and Faria, California, Faria, California, which are unincorporated areas in Ventura County, California, Ventura County between Ventura, California, Ventura and Carpinteria, California, Carpinteria, have the ZIP Code of 93001, which is assigned to the post office at 675 E. Santa Clara St. in Ventura; thus, all mail to those two areas is addressed to Ventura. If an unincorporated area becomes incorporated, it may be split among ZIP codes, and its new name may be recognized as acceptable for use with some or all of them in mailing addresses, as has been the case in Johns Creek, Georgia, Johns Creek and Milton, Georgia. If an incorporated area disincorporates, though, this has no effect on whether a place name is "acceptable" in a mailing address or not, as is the case with Lithia Springs, Georgia. ZIP code boundaries often ignore political boundaries, so the appearance of a place name in a mailing address alone does not indicate whether the place is incorporated or unincorporated.


USGS definition of "populated place"

Unincorporated areas with permanent populations in the United States are defined by the US government scientific agency United States Geological Survey (USGS) as "populated places", a "place or area with clustered or scattered buildings, and a permanent human population (city, settlement, town, village)." No legal boundaries exist, although a corresponding "civil" record may occur, the boundaries of which may or may not match the perceived populated place.


Other nations

Some nations have some exceptional unincorporated areas: * The China, People's Republic of China's special administrative region of Hong Kong (except for the Lok Ma Chau Loop) is divided into districts of Hong Kong, districts. * The Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark has three unincorporated areas: ** In Denmark, Denmark proper, the former naval fortress
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with less than 100 inhabitants is still governed directly by the Ministry of Defence. ** In Greenland, all land is incorporated except for the Northeast Greenland National Park and the Thule Air Base. * In France, all land is incorporated except for Clipperton Island, a small overseas island possession held as an overseas state private property under the direct authority of the French government, administered by France's Minister of the Overseas (France), Overseas Minister. * In India, there are several union territory, union territories (central government administered region). Unlike the states and union territories of India, states of India, which have their own governments, union territories are federal territories governed, in part or in whole, by the Government of India. Many of these were created at the time of India's independence or after being acquired from non-British colonial powers or princely states. * Azad Kashmir has no official status in Pakistani law, but is nonetheless ''de facto'' governed by Pakistan. * Slovakia is divided into municipality, municipalities. There are two types of municipalities: towns (''mesto'', pl. ''mestá'') and villages (''obec'', pl. ''obce''), with minor differences between them. Additionally, there are several Proving ground, military areas which are not part of any municipality. Each military area is a municipality of its own right. However, the military areas hold no elections and have no mayors or other elected representatives. Instead, they are administered directly by the Slovak Ministry of Defence. * In Spain, the Constitution of Spain, Spanish Constitution of 1978 says that the land is divided into Autonomous communities of Spain, Autonomous Communities, Provinces of Spain, provinces and Municipalities of Spain, municipalities. Each of these have certain powers determined by law. Autonomous Communities and municipalities are enabled to appeal to the Constitutional Court of Spain, Constitutional Court any public decision that violates their autonomy by other entities (State or Autonomous Community power).
Nevertheless, some regions, like Navarre, have some unincorporated areas. The largest of these, the Bardenas Reales has a surface of 418 km2 and is governed by a board of representatives of 20 bordering municipalities, a valley in the Pyrenees, and a monastery, all of which have rights to use the area. The plazas de soberanía also functions as ''de facto'' unincorporated areas under the administration of the Ministry of Defence (Spain), Spanish Ministry of Defence. * Switzerland also has a few exceptions: 22 lakes and a forest, as described by the Swiss federal statistical office (See: :de:Gemeindefreies Gebiet#Schweiz, Gemeindefreie Gebiete ). * In Ukraine, all land is divided into amalgamated hromada, hromadas except for the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The latter contains parts of Kyiv Oblast and Zhytomyr Oblast and is directly administered by a designated government agency.


Countries without unincorporated areas

Many countries, especially those with many centuries of history with multiple tiers of local government, do not use the concept of an unincorporated area. * The whole of the territories of Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Finland, Metropolitan France, Greece, Japan, Lithuania, Montenegro, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, and Sweden are divided into municipalities. * In Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, all land must belong to a municipality. Even large uninhabited areas, such as forests or grasslands, are, by law, part of the nearest "city". This is because in Latin America, a "municipality" is the equivalent of what in the United States and Canada is called a "county". * In Mainland China, every piece of land belongs to a administrative divisions of China, county-level (third level) administrative division (equivalent to a municipality), either a district (China), district (区 qū) in an urban area, or a county-level city, county-level city (县级市 xiànjíshì), counties of China, county (县 xiàn) or banners of Inner Mongolia, banner (旗 qí). There is also a township-level (fourth level) administrative division, which may be a subdistricts of China, subdistrict (街道 jiēdào), towns of China, town (镇 zhèn), townships of China, township (乡 xiāng), or sum (country subdivision), sumu (苏木 sūmù). * In Croatia, every piece of land belongs either to a city (''grad'') or to a municipality (''općina''). * In Estonia, the entire territory is divided into 79 Municipalities of Estonia, municipalities, of which 14 are municipal towns and 65 are parishes. The entire territory of the country is divided into settlements of four types: towns, boroughs, small boroughs and villages. * In France, the territory is subdivided into 36,685 ''Communes of France, communes'' (municipalities). An elected council and a mayor form the governing body of a municipality. This applies to mainland France and to DROM, overseas departments and regions, however, some territories like Clipperton Island are not incorporated. Six List of French villages destroyed in World War I, communes depopulated during World War I were maintained incorporated for memorial reasons, although they have no population. * In Indonesia, every piece of land belongs to a City status in Indonesia, municipality (''kotamadya'') or a Regency (Indonesia), regency (''kabupaten''). * In Japan, every piece of land belongs to a Municipalities of Japan, municipality, of which there are four types: Cities of Japan, cities (市 ''shi''); Special wards of Tokyo, the special wards (特別区 ''tokubetsu-ku'') of Tokyo; List of towns in Japan, towns (町 ''chō'' or ''machi''); List of villages in Japan, villages (村 ''mura'' or ''son''). The four southernmost islands of Hachijō Subprefecture are currently not part of any municipality as the town of Hachijō, Tokyo, Hachijō and village of Aogashima, Tokyo, Aogashima both claim administrative rights. * In Peru, the whole territory is divided into districts ("distritos"), which form provinces ("provincias"), which form regions ("regiones"). Some districts, especially in the Amazon rainforest, Amazon, are vast portions of territory, but they're governed from a district capital (which can be anywhere from a city to a small village). * In the Philippines, all land belongs to either a Cities of the Philippines, city or a Municipalities of the Philippines, municipality, which are further subdivided into barangays. * In Portugal, the constitution defines territorial divisions as parishes, municipalities, and administrative regions. It has no official definition of city limits, so a city may include several parishes, or a parish may cover several villages or townships, but a municipality is usually administered from the city or town that bears its name. * In South Africa, the constitution gives every place in the country democratically elected third-tier government. * In South Korea, every piece of land belongs to a Administrative divisions of South Korea, municipality, either a List of districts in South Korea, district (구/區 gu) in a List of cities in South Korea, city (시/市 shi) or a Eup (administrative division), town (읍/邑 eub) or Myeon (administrative division), township (면/面 myeon) in a List of counties in South Korea, county (군/郡 gun). * In Sweden, all territory is divided into municipalities. Sweden has post-glacial rebound, so the land area is increasing, but municipal boundaries extend into the sea, so new land is not unincorporated. * In the free area of the Republic of China (Taiwan Island, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and some minor islands), every piece of land belongs to either a Township (Taiwan), township or a county-administered city in County (Taiwan), county, or District (Taiwan), district in Provincial city (Taiwan), provincial city. There are, in total, 368 townships, county-administered cities and districts in Taiwan. See also: administrative divisions of Taiwan. * In the United Kingdom: ** In England, all land is within a ceremonial counties of England, county or districts of England, local government district, both of which exercise power over their jurisdictions. ** In Northern Ireland, all land is within one of 11 districts. ** In Scotland, all land is within one of 32 unitary authority, unitary authorities designated as councils. ** In Wales, all land is within one of 22 unitary authority, single-tier principal areas.Local Government (Wales) Act 1994


See also

* County island, County Island * Main road town * Unorganized area * Unorganized Borough, Alaska, an area without county-level government. * Unparished area, areas of England outside any civil parish


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Unincorporated Area Unincorporated areas Unincorporated communities in the United States, Urban studies and planning terminology