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County (US)

Also known as:
Parish (Louisiana)
Borough (Alaska)
Usa counties large.svg
Category Second-level administrative division
Location States of the United States of America
Number 3,144 (including 137 county equivalents)
Populations Greatest: Los Angeles County, California—10,170,292 (2015)
Least: Kalawao County, Hawaii—89 (2015)
Areas Largest: San Bernardino County, California—20,057 sq mi (51,950 km2)
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska (county equivalent)—145,505 sq mi (376,860 km2)
Smallest: Kalawao County, Hawaii—12 sq mi (31 km2)
Independent City of Falls Church, Virginia (county equivalent)—2 sq mi (5.2 km2)
Government County commission, Board of Supervisors (AZ, CA, IA, MS, VA, WI) County council (WA), Commissioners' Court (TX), Board of chosen freeholders (NJ), Fiscal Court (KY), Police Jury (LA)
County executive, County mayor, County judge, County manager, Sole commissioner
Subdivisions Township

In the United States, the administrative or political sub-division of a state is a county, which is a region having specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 U.S. states, while Louisiana and Alaska have functionally equivalent subdivisions called parishes and boroughs respectively.

Most counties have subdivisions which may include municipalities and unincorporated areas. Others have no further divisions, or may serve as a singular consolidated city-county. Some municipalities are in multiple counties; New York City is uniquely partitioned into multiple counties/boroughs.

The U.S. federal government uses the term "county equivalent" to describe non-county administrative or statistical areas that are comparable to counties. Louisiana parishes; the organized boroughs of Alaska; the District of Columbia; and the independent cities of the states of Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, and Nevada are equivalent to counties for administrative purposes. Alaska's Unorganized Borough is divided into 11 census areas that are statistically equivalent to counties. As of 2013, the United States has 3,007 counties and 137 county equivalents for a total of 3,144 counties and county equivalents.