Can vary in size but averages 4,000 people. Designed to remain relatively
stable across decades to allow statistical comparisons. Boundaries defined
by local officials using Census Bureau rules.
1. What most people call cities or towns. A locality incorporated under
state law that acts as a local government.
2. An unincorporated area that is well-known locally. Defined by state
officals under Census Bureau rules and called a "census designated place."
"CDP" is added to the end of name.
Counties (parishes in LA)
The primary subdivisions of states. To cover the full country, this includes
Virginia's cities and Baltimore, St. Louis and Carson City, Nev., which
sit outside counties; the District of Columbia; and the boroughs, census
areas and related areas in Alaska.
There are 2 basic kinds:
1. In 29 states, they have at least some governmental powers and are called minor civil divisions (MCDs). Their names may include variations on "township," "borough," "district," "precinct," etc. In 12 of those 29 states, they operate as full-purpose local governments: CT, MA, ME, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WI.
2. In states where there are no MCDs, county subdivisions are primarily statistical entities known as census county divisions. Their names end in "CCD."