When does a town become a city?

April 4, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Commentary

Town and city in the sense of an urban community are relative terms and hard to distinguish exactly. In the most general sense of the terms, a city is merely a municipality with a larger population than a town. There is no uniformity in the legal characteristics of cities and towns throughout the United States and the terms are often used interchangeably. The United States Bureau of the Census classifies incorporated or chartered communities as urban when they contain 2,500 or more inhabitants. A political subdivision not incorporated as a municipality is classed as urban if it contains 10,000 or more inhabitants and has a population density (of at least i,000 to the square mile. The purpose of the Bureau of the Census, however, is to classify population and not to designate any particular urban center as a city or town. For statistical purposes some Federal agencies define city as a town with 8,000 or more inhabitants.


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