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County (United States)

A U.S. county is a local level of government below the state but above a city in a U.S. state or territory. The term county is used in 48 of the 50 states. Louisiana uses the term parishes and Alaska uses boroughs. Including those, there are 3141 counties in the United States, on average 63 per state. The state with the fewest number of counties is Delaware with three, and the state with the largest number is Texas with 254. In addition there is the District of Columbia, which is a unified city-county, as is San Francisco, California.

The power of the county government varies widely from state to state as does the relationship between counties and incorporated cities. In New England, counties function only as judicial court districts (in Connecticut and Rhode Island, they have lost even those functions) and most local power is in the form of towns.

Many states have counties named after U.S. Presidents such as Washington, Madison, Polk, Jefferson, etc. Counties are also commonly named after famous individuals, local Native American tribes once in the area, cities located within the county, and land features (Cerro Gordo, Iowa, meaning "Fat Hill" in Spanish).

Lists of counties by state:
List of counties in alphabetical order

See also

External links