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About Township Governments

Terms that States Use for "Township"

This category includes governmental units officially designated as "towns" in the six New England states, New York, and Wisconsin and some "plantations" in Maine, as well as townships in other areas.

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," they 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 Bureau statistics on governments as town or township governments.

Excluded from this count of town or township governments are

  • unorganized township areas;
  • townships, coextensive with cities where the city governments have absorbed the township functions;
  • townships known to have ceased performing governmental functions; and
  • townships in Iowa, which are not counted as separate governments, but are classified as subordinate agencies of county governments.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Lists & Structure of Governments | 1 (800) 242-2184 | govs.org@census.gov |  Last Revised: May 31, 2012