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Encyclopedia > Township (United States)

A township in the United States refers to a small geographic area, ranging in size from 6 to 54 square miles (15.6 km² to 140.4 km²), with 36 square miles (93 km²) being the norm.


The term is used in two ways:

  1. A survey township is simply a geographic reference, and is used to define property location for deeds and grants.
  2. A civil township is a unit of local government.

Contents

Survey township, sometimes called Congressional township, as used by the United States Public Land Survey System, refers to a square unit of land, that is nominally six (U.S. Survey) miles (~9. ... A civil township is a widely-used unit of local government in the United States, subordinate to a county. ...


Survey township

Main articles: Survey township Survey township, sometimes called Congressional township, as used by the United States Public Land Survey System, refers to a square unit of land, that is nominally six (U.S. Survey) miles (~9. ...


These townships are generally referred to by a number based on the Public Land Survey System (PLSS). A reference to the township will look something like "T2N R3E", and the use is fully explained in the PLSS article. Townships are marked on the U.S. Geological Survey maps of the United States. The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a method used in the United States to survey and identify land parcels, particularly for titles and deeds of rural, wild or undeveloped land. ... The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. ...


These townships are square, and are always 6 miles on each side (or 36 mi² in extent). They are divided into 36 numbered sections. They exist in some form in all states west of the original 13 colonies, except Louisiana and Texas. Betsy Ross purportedly sewed the first American flag with 13 stars and 13 stripes representing each of the 13 colonies. ... Official language(s) English and French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans at last official government census, but probably Baton Rouge since Hurricane Katrina Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 31st 134,382 km² 210 km 610 km 16 29°N to 33°N 89°W to... Official language(s) None. ...


This kind of township is similar to geographic townships in the Province of Ontario.


Civil township

Main article: Civil township A civil township is a widely-used unit of local government in the United States, subordinate to a county. ...


The township government is a local unit of government, originally rural in application. They are geographic and political subdivisons of a county. The township is identified by a name, such as Washington Township. The responsibilities and the form of the township government is specified by the state legislature. United States of America, showing states, divided into counties. ... Washington Township is any one of numerous townships in the United States and most likely named after the first president George Washington. ... State legislatures are the lawmaking bodies of the 50 states in the United States of America. ...


The most common form of township government has an elected board of trustees or supervisors. Some additional offices, such as Clerk or Constable, may also be elected. The most common responsibilities include such things as road maintenance, land use planning, and trash collection.


In most midwestern states, a civil township often corresponds to a single survey township, but in many cases, especially in less populated areas, the civil township may be made up of all or portions of several survey townships. In areas where there are natural features such as a lakeshore or large river, the civil township boundaries may follow the geographic features rather than the survey township. Municipalities such as cities may incorporate or annex land in a township, which is then generally removed from township government (although this varies--Indiana is the only state where every portion of the state is part of a township government, regardless of other municipalities, while in other states, some types of municipalities like villages remain a part of the township while cities are not. As urban areas expand, a civil township may entirely disappear—see, for example, Mill Creek Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. In other expanding urban areas, the township may incorporate itself into a city; this can be seen in the numerous square cities of Hennepin County, Minnesota. The Midwest is a common name for a region of the United States of America. ... The Mill Creek township of Hamilton County, Ohio was located in the south-central part of the county. ... Hennepin County is a county located in the state of Minnesota, named in honor of the 17th-century French explorer Louis Hennepin. ...


Pennsylvania and New Jersey are different; these states have civil townships that are not based on the PLSS survey system, but on the older Metes and bounds survey system. A New Jersey township differs only in name from other municipalities: its boundaries are fixed, it is an incorporated body, and it is free to adopt another form of government. The Federal Government has frequently failed to allow for this; some New Jersey municipalities, such as the Township of the Borough of Verona or Township of South Orange Village [1], changed their names to qualify for additional Federal aid. Official language(s) None Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 33rd 119,283 km² 255 km 455 km 2. ... Official language(s) None defined, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 47th 22,608 km² 110 km 240 km 14. ... Metes and bounds is a system or method of describing land, real property (in contrast to personal property) or real estate. ... Modern forms of municipal government Walsh Act/Commission 1923 Municipal Manager Faulkner Act forms of municipal government Mayor-Council Council-Manager Small Municipality Mayor-Council-Administrator A township, in the context of New Jersey local government, refers to one of five types and one of eleven forms of municipal government. ... The U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1789 by a constitutional convention, sets down the basic framework of American government in its seven articles. ... Verona is a township located in Essex County, New Jersey. ... South Orange is a township located in Essex County, New Jersey. ...


Census statistics

Towns and townships are considered minor civil divisions of counties by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes. According to the Census Bureau, in 2002 town or township government applied to 16,504 organized governments in the following 20 states: Minor civil division (MCD) is a term used by the United States Census Bureau to designate the primary governmental and/or administrative subdivisions of a county, such as a civil township, precinct, or magisterial district. ... The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce. ...

This categorization includes governmental units officially designated as "Towns" in the New England states, New York, and Wisconsin, some plantations in Maine and locations in New Hampshire. In Minnesota, the terms town and township are used interchangeably with regard to township governments. Although towns in the six New England states and New York, and townships in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are legally termed municipal corporations, perform municipal-type functions, and frequently serve densely populated urban areas, they have no necessary relation to concentration of population, and are thus counted for census purposes as town or township governments. Even in states beyond New England, townships often serve urbanized areas and provide municipal services typically provided by incorporated municipalities. Michigan has created charter townships as a separate type of government to allow greater flexibility for township governments to serve urbanized populations. Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 48th 14,371 km² 113 km 177 km 12. ... Official language(s) English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 25th 149,998 km² 340 km 629 km 4. ... Official language(s) English Capital Indianapolis Largest city Indianapolis Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 38th 94,321 km² 225 km 435 km 1. ... Official language(s) None Capital Topeka Largest city Wichita Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 15th 82,277 mi²; 213,096 km² 211 mi; 340 km 400 mi; 645 km 0. ... Official language(s) None Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 39th 86,542 km² 305 km 515 km 13. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 27,360 km² 305 km 80 km 25. ... Official language(s) English de-facto Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 11th 96,889 mi² / 250,941 km² 239 miles / 385 km 491 miles / 790 km 41. ... State nickname: North Star State, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, The Gopher State Official languages None Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) Senators Mark Dayton (D) Norm Coleman (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 12th 225,365 km² 8. ... State nickname: The Show Me State Official languages English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City (largest metropolitan area is Saint Louis) Governor Matt Blunt (R) Senators Kit Bond (R) Jim Talent (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 21st 69,709 mi²; 180,693 km² 1. ... Official language(s) English Capital Lincoln Largest city Omaha Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 16th 200,520 km² 340 km 690 km 0. ... Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 46th 24,239 km² 110 km 305 km 3. ... Official language(s) None defined, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 47th 22,608 km² 110 km 240 km 14. ... Official language(s) English Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ... Official language(s) English Capital Bismarck Largest city Fargo Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 19th 183 272 km² 340 km 545 km 2. ... Official language(s) None Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus (largest metropolitan area is Cleveland) Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 34th 116,096 km² 355 km 355 km 8. ... Official language(s) None Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 33rd 119,283 km² 255 km 455 km 2. ... State nickname: The Ocean State, Little Rhody Official languages None Capital Providence Largest city Providence Governor Donald Carcieri (R) Senators Jack Reed (D) Lincoln Chafee (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 50th 4,005 km² 32. ... Official language(s) English Capital Pierre Largest city Sioux Falls Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 17th 199,905 km² 340 km 610 km 1. ... State nickname: The Green Mountain State Official languages None Capital Montpelier Largest city Burlington Governor Jim Douglas (R) Senators Patrick Leahy (D) Jim Jeffords (I) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 43th 24,923 km² 3. ... Official language(s) None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 23rd 169,790 km² 420 km 500 km 17 42°30N to 47°3N 86°49W to 92°54W Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 18th 5,453,896 38. ... First Flag of New England, 1686-c. ... A Charter Township is a form of local government in the U.S. state of Michigan. ...


The count of 16,504 organized township governments does not include unorganized township areas (where the township may exist in name only, but has no organized government) or where the townships are coextensive with cities and the cities have absorbed the township functions. It also does not include townships in Iowa, which are not separate governments, but are classified as subordinate agencies of county governments. Official language(s) English Capital Des Moines Largest city Des Moines Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 26th 145,743 km² 320 km 500 km 0. ...


Of the 16,504 town or township governments, only 1,179 (7.1 percent) had as many as 10,000 inhabitants in the 2000 census and 52.4 percent of all towns or townships had fewer than 1000 inhabitants. There was a decline in the number of town or township governments from 16,629 in 1997 to 16,504 in 2002. Nearly all of the decline involved townships in the Midwest.


Use by state

Because township government is defined by each state, the use of this form also varies by state. States using a township form include:

Official language(s) English Capital Indianapolis Largest city Indianapolis Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 38th 94,321 km² 225 km 435 km 1. ... Official language(s) None Capital Topeka Largest city Wichita Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 15th 82,277 mi²; 213,096 km² 211 mi; 340 km 400 mi; 645 km 0. ... Official language(s) English de-facto Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 11th 96,889 mi² / 250,941 km² 239 miles / 385 km 491 miles / 790 km 41. ... State nickname: The Show Me State Official languages English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City (largest metropolitan area is Saint Louis) Governor Matt Blunt (R) Senators Kit Bond (R) Jim Talent (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 21st 69,709 mi²; 180,693 km² 1. ... State nickname: North Star State, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, The Gopher State Official languages None Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) Senators Mark Dayton (D) Norm Coleman (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 12th 225,365 km² 8. ... Official language(s) None defined, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 47th 22,608 km² 110 km 240 km 14. ... Official language(s) English Capital Bismarck Largest city Fargo Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 19th 183 272 km² 340 km 545 km 2. ... Official language(s) None Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus (largest metropolitan area is Cleveland) Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 34th 116,096 km² 355 km 355 km 8. ... Official language(s) None Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 33rd 119,283 km² 255 km 455 km 2. ... Official language(s) English Capital Pierre Largest city Sioux Falls Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 17th 199,905 km² 340 km 610 km 1. ... Official language(s) None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 23rd 169,790 km² 420 km 500 km 17 42°30N to 47°3N 86°49W to 92°54W Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 18th 5,453,896 38. ... Official language(s) English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 25th 149,998 km² 340 km 629 km 4. ... Official language(s) English Capital Lincoln Largest city Omaha Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 16th 200,520 km² 340 km 690 km 0. ... First Flag of New England, 1686-c. ... Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 48th 14,371 km² 113 km 177 km 12. ... Official language(s) None Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 39th 86,542 km² 305 km 515 km 13. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 27,360 km² 305 km 80 km 25. ... Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 46th 24,239 km² 110 km 305 km 3. ... Official language(s) English Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ... State nickname: The Ocean State, Little Rhody Official languages None Capital Providence Largest city Providence Governor Donald Carcieri (R) Senators Jack Reed (D) Lincoln Chafee (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 50th 4,005 km² 32. ... State nickname: The Green Mountain State Official languages None Capital Montpelier Largest city Burlington Governor Jim Douglas (R) Senators Patrick Leahy (D) Jim Jeffords (I) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 43th 24,923 km² 3. ... Official language(s) English Capital Little Rock Largest city Little Rock Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 29th 137,732 km² 385 km 420 km 2. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 3rd 410,000 km² 402. ... Official language(s) English Capital Des Moines Largest city Des Moines Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 26th 145,743 km² 320 km 500 km 0. ... Official language(s) None Capital Carson City Largest city Las Vegas Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 7th 286,367 km² 519 km 788 km 0. ... Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 28th 139,509 km² 805 km 240 km 9. ... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 20th 181,196 km² 355 km 645 km 1. ... State nickname: Palmetto State Official languages English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Governor Mark Sanford (R) Senators Lindsey Graham (R) Jim DeMint (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 40th 82,965 km² 6 Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 26th 4,012,012 51. ...

See also

The term township generally means the district or area associated with a town. ... Modern forms of municipal government Walsh Act/Commission 1923 Municipal Manager Faulkner Act forms of municipal government Mayor-Council Council-Manager Small Municipality Mayor-Council-Administrator A township, in the context of New Jersey local government, refers to one of five types and one of eleven forms of municipal government. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Civil township - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (759 words)
A civil township is a widely-used unit of local government in the United States, subordinate to a county.
Township functions are generally attended to by a governing board (the name varies from state to state) and a clerk.
A township in New Jersey is a form of municipal government equal in status to a village, town, borough, or city.
Township (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (970 words)
A township in the United States refers to a small geographic area, ranging in size from 6 to 54 square miles (15.6 km² to 140.4 km²), with 36 square miles (93 km²) being the norm.
In most midwestern states, a civil township often corresponds to a single survey township, but in many cases, especially in less populated areas, the civil township may be made up of all or portions of several survey townships.
Towns and townships are considered minor civil divisions of counties by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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