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Generally, in everyday's 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 area metropolitana. 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: In Japan city status shi was traditionally reserved for only a few particularly large settlements.
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 name is a contraction of two Latvian words: A village is called ciemats or ciems in Latvian. In Lithuanian , a city is called miestas , a town is called miestelis literally "small miestas.
Metropolis is called didmiestis literally "big miestas. In Malaysia , a town is the area administered by Municipal Council Malay: Before there was a legal distinction between stad and non-stad parts of the country, but the word no longer has any legal significance.
About places got "stadsrechten" city rights and are still so called for historical and traditional reasons, though the word is also used for large urban areas that never got such rights. Because of this, in the Netherlands , no distinction is made between "city" and "town"; both translate as "stad". A hamlet "gehucht" usually has fewer than 1, inhabitants, a village "dorp" ranges from 1, up to 25, inhabitants, and anything above the latter can call itself either village or city, mostly depending on historic reasons or size of the place.
Staverden , with only 40 inhabitants would be a hamlet, but because of city rights it may call itself a city. 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, and 20, 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 Taupo. Typically, once a town reaches a population of somewhere between 20, and 30, 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. In Norway , "city" and "town" both translate to " by ", even if a city may be referred to as "storby" "large town".
They will all be part of and administered as a " kommune " " municipality ". Norway has had inland the northernmost city in the world: In the Philippines , the local official equivalent of the town is the municipality Filipino bayan. Every municipality, or town, in the country has a mayor Filipino alkalde and a vice mayor Filipino bise alkalde as well as local town officials Sangguniang Bayan.
Philippine towns, otherwise called as municipalities, are composed of a number of villages and communities called barangays with one or a few cluster of barangay s serving as the town center or poblacion. Unique in Philippine towns is that they have fixed budget, population and land requirements to become as such, i. Respectively, examples of these are the town of B. Dujali in Davao del Norte province, which was formed in from a cluster of 5 barangays , and the city of El Salvador , which was converted from a town to a city in Each town in the Philippines was classified by its annual income and budget.
A sharp, hierarchical distinction exists between Philippine cities Filipino lungsod or siyudad 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 LGU's grouped under and belong to provinces and regions ; both each are composed of barangays and are governed by a mayor and a vice mayor supplemented by their respective LGU legislative councils.
Similarly to Germany and Sweden, in Poland there is no linguistic distinction between a city and a town. The word for both is miasto , as a form of settlement distinct from following: Town status is conferred by administrative decree, new towns are announced by the Government in a separate Bill effective from the first day of the year. Some settlements tend to remain villages even though they have a larger population than many smaller towns.
Town may be called in diminutive way as "miasteczko", what is colloquially used for localities with a few thousand residents. Such localities have usually a Mayor burmistrz as a chief of town council. Cities are the biggest localities, generally must be bigger than thousand of residents, they are ruled by President prezydent as a chief of City Council. There are bare a few mainly historic or political exemptions which have allowed towns lesser than thousand of people, to obtain President title for their Mayors, and to become recognized as Cities that way.
Just to name a few: 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:. In this context, the town or city is subordinate to the local authority civil parish or municipality , in comparison to the North American context, where they have political functions.
In special cases, some villages may be granted the status of town if they possess historical, cultural or architectonic importance. The Portuguese urban settlements heraldry reflects the difference between towns and cities,  with the coat of arms of a town bearing a crown with 4 towers, while the coat of arms of a city bears a crown with 5 towers.
This difference between towns and cities is still in use in other Portuguese speaking countries, but in Brazil is no longer in use. In Romania there is no official distinction between a city and a town the word for both in Romanian is: Some settlements remain villages communes even though they have a larger population than other smaller towns. 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.
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. A "town" is a settlement that has a size that is smaller than that of a city. In Spain , the equivalent of town would be villa, a population unit between a village pueblo and a city ciudad , 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 is technically a villa , Barcelona , with a smaller population, is known as a city. The Swedish language does not differentiate between towns and cities in the English sense of the words; both words are commonly translated as stad , a term which has no legal significance today. The term tätort is used for an urban area or a locality, which however is a statistical rather than an administrative concept and encompasses densely settled villages with only inhabitants as well as the major cities.
The word köping corresponds to an English market town chipping or German Markt but is mainly of historical significance, as the term is not used today and only survives in some toponyms. Some towns with names ending in -köping are cities with over inhabitants today, e. Before , larger municipalities in Sweden enjoyed special royal charters as stad instead of kommun which is similar to a US county. However, since all municipalities are officially defined as kommun , thus making no legal difference between, for instance, Stockholm and a small countryside municipality.
Every urban area that was a stad before is still often referred to as a stad in daily speech. Since the s, 14 of these municipalities brand themselves as stad again, although this has no legal or administrative significance, as they still have refer to themselves as kommun in all legal documentation.
For statistical purposes, Statistics Sweden officially defines a stad as an urban area of at least 10, inhabitants. In the Swedish language the term for a major city is storstad literally "big town" , but there is no clear definition as to when a stad should be called a storstad.
Most Swedes would only call Stockholm , Gothenburg and Malmö storstäder , i. Today informally, town is also referred to cities of district significance , cities with small population, and former Jewish shtetls. In England and Wales , a town traditionally was a settlement which had a charter to hold a market or fair and therefore became a " market town ". 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 , 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 towns " which were created during the 20th century, such as Basildon , Redditch and Telford. Milton Keynes was designed to be a "new city" but legally it is still a town despite its size. Some settlements which describe themselves as towns e.
Shipston-on-Stour , Warwickshire are smaller than some large villages e. The status of a city is reserved for places that have Letters Patent entitling them to the name, historically associated with the possession of a cathedral. Some large municipalities such as Northampton and Bournemouth are legally boroughs but not cities, whereas some cities are quite small — such as Ely or St David's.
The city of Brighton and Hove 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 Kent has been a city for centuries but, when in the Medway district was created, a bureaucratic blunder meant that Rochester lost its official city status and is now technically a town.
It is often thought that towns with bishops' seats rank automatically as cities: St Asaph , which is the seat of the diocese of St Asaph , only became a city on 1 June 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 , and the formerly established Church in Wales or Church of Ireland , ceased to apply from 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 is sometimes referred to colloquially as "London town". The " City of London " 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 is also technically a city and is also a London borough.
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. Many locations of greatly different size will be encountered with a name ending with -town , -ton , -toun etc. A burgh pronounced burruh is the Scots' term for a town or a municipality.
They were highly autonomous units of local government from at least the 12th century until their abolition in , when a new regional structure of local government was introduced across the country. Usually based upon a town, they had a municipal corporation and certain rights, such as a degree of self-governance and representation in the sovereign Parliament of Scotland adjourned in 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. It should be noted that 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 burghs , followed by burghs of regality and burghs of barony.
Some newer settlements were only designated as police burghs from the 19th century onward, a classification which also applies to most of the older burghs. Since the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution largely leaves local-government organization to the individual U. 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 , for example — differs from state to state. In some states, a town is an incorporated municipality ; that is, one with a charter received from the state, similar to a city see incorporated town , 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 still 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:.
In Alabama , the legal use of the terms "town" and "city" is based on population. A municipality with a population of 2, or more is a city, while less than 2, is a town Code of Alabama , Section 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, Code of Alabama , Section In Arizona , 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.
In California , the words "town" and "city" are synonymous by law see Cal. There are two types of cities in California: Cities organized as charter cities derive their authority from a charter 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. Like charter cities, general law cities may incorporate as "City of Name " or "Town of Name.
Some cities change their minds as to how they want to be called. The sign in front of the municipal offices in Los Gatos, California , 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. 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.
The Hawaiian Island of Oahu 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.
The towns on Oahu are merely unincorporated census-designated places. In Illinois , 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 , in that it is generally governed by a president and trustees rather than a mayor. Evanston , Berwyn and Cicero 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.
In Louisiana a "town" is defined as being a municipal government having a population of 1, to 4, inhabitants. While a "town" is generally considered a smaller entity than a "city", the two terms are legally interchangeable in Maryland.
The only exception may be the Independent city of Baltimore , which is a special case, as it was created by the Constitution of Maryland. In Nevada , 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 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 , and towns as large as Paradise , in Census , home of the Las Vegas Strip.
Most county seats are also towns, not cities. In the six New England states, a town is a municipality and a more important unit than the county. In Connecticut , Rhode Island and 7 out of 14 counties in Massachusetts , in fact, counties only exist as map divisions and have no legal functions; in the other three states, counties are primarily judicial districts, with other functions primarily in New Hampshire , Maine , and Vermont.
In all six, 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 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 is a town, even though it is fairly urban, because of its form of government. A "town" in the context of New Jerseyan 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 allowed any municipality or area with a population exceeding 5, to become a Town through a petition and referendum process. Under the 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 completely revised the Town form of government and applied to all towns incorporated under the Town Act of and to those incorporated by a special charter granted by the Legislature prior to Under the 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 consists of eight members serving staggered two-year terms with two elected from each of four wards. One councilman from each ward is up for election each year. Towns with different structures predating the Act may retain those features unless changed by a petition and referendum process. Two new provisions were added in 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.
In New York , a town is similarly a division of the county, but with less importance than in New England. Of some importance, a town provides a closer level of governance than its enclosing county, providing almost all municipal services to unincorporated communities, called hamlets , and selected services to incorporated areas, called villages. 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. Everyone in New York who does not live on an Indian reservation or a city lives in a town and possibly in one of the town's hamlets or villages. There are no towns in the five counties — also known as boroughs — that make up New York City.
What is a "town" in New York is called a township in some other states. In North Carolina , all cities, towns, and villages are incorporated as municipalities. 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, residents, while some towns, such as Cary , have populations of greater than , In Pennsylvania , only one municipality is incorporated as a "town": Most of the rest of the state is incorporated as townships there are also boroughs and cities , which function in much the same way as the towns of New York or New England, although they may have different forms of government.
In Texas , 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. In Utah , the legal use of the terms "town" and "city" is based on population. A municipality with a population of 1, or more is a city, while less than 1, is a town. In addition, cities are divided into five separate classes based on population.
In Virginia , 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. A town in the state of Washington is a municipality that has a population of less than 1, at incorporation, however an existing town can reorganize as a code city.
See List of towns in Washington. Wisconsin 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 from the former town of Menasha.
Wyoming statute indicates towns are incorporated municipalities with populations of less than 4, Municipalities of 4, or more residents are considered "first-class cities". In Vietnam, a district-level town Vietnamese: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Town disambiguation.
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