township: see town.

A township (or municipality) is a settlement which has the status and powers of a unit of local government. Specific use of the term to describe political subdivisions has varied by country.

Uses of the term

Township (or municipality) is generally associated with an urban area. However there are many exceptions to this rule, especially in the U.S. In the Scottish Highlands the term describes a very small agricultural community, usually describing a local rural or semi-rural government within a county.

"Municipality" refers to a town or "an area governed like a town". Small (in terms of population) rural subdivisions with limited administrative responsibilities are better referred to as "parishes" or "communities", and this (rather than "municipality") is the preferred translation of the expressions commune, gemeende, Gemeinte, comuna, obec, etc referred to below.

In most countries, a municipality is the smallest administrative subdivision to have its own democratically elected representative leadership.

The largest municipalities can be found in Canada and Greenland. Possibly the largest municipality in the world is Baie-James in northern Quebec, Canada, with a land area of 297,330 km² (114,800 sq. miles), which is larger than the United Kingdom.

First-level entities

See also


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