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Independent city

An independent city is a city in the United States of America which does not belong to any county. It should not be confused with a consolidated city-county, in which both city and county government are merged under the laws of the State, but which may contain other cities (such as Philadelphia and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Honolulu and Honolulu County, Hawaii, New Orleans and Orleans Parish, Louisiana, and Louisville and Jefferson County, Kentucky). It should also not be confused with a city-state, a city that is fully independent and part of no other state (such as Singapore).

The concepts are all similar however, and likewise some countries have made their capitals independent of any state. The city of Washington, for example is not in any state; it comprises the entirety of the District of Columbia, which has a home rule government that can be overridden by the United States Congress. The only governments are the city and federal, without any intervening state, territory, or district bureaucracy. The same is true of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, and Brasilia, Brazil. This is parallel to an independent city — a city under a state, with no county, parish, or borough in between, as is typical in other places.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, all municipalities incorporated as cities are by law independent cities. Other Virginia municipalities, even though they may be more populous than some existing independent cities, are incorporated as towns.

In other states, independent cities are relatively rare. To leave a county is a very limited example of urban secession, a concept which usually applies when a city is leaving a state or province but staying within a nation.

List of independent cities: (partial, add as known)

All municipalities incorporated as cities in Virginia are independent, even if they are the seat of a county: