Township Vs Town: Understanding The Differences


When it comes to living in a rural area, people often use the terms “township” and “town” interchangeably. However, these two terms have different meanings and implications. In this article, we will explore the differences between townships and towns, their characteristics, and how they function.

What is a Township?

A township is a type of administrative division used in some countries, including the United States. It is a geographic region that is typically smaller than a county and larger than a municipality. Townships are usually established to provide local services to rural areas, such as road maintenance, garbage collection, and public safety.

Characteristics of a Township

Townships are usually characterized by their rural nature and low population density. They are often located in agricultural areas and have a mix of residential and commercial properties. Townships are typically governed by a board of supervisors or trustees, who are elected by the residents.

What is a Town?

A town is a type of municipality that is larger than a village and smaller than a city. In the United States, towns are typically located in rural areas and have a population of less than 10,000 people. The governing body of a town is usually a town council or board of aldermen.

Characteristics of a Town

Towns are typically more urbanized than townships and have a higher population density. They are often the commercial and cultural centers of their respective regions and have a variety of businesses, services, and amenities. Towns may also have their own police department, fire department, and other public services.

Key Differences between Township and Town

The main difference between townships and towns is their size and population density. Townships are typically smaller and less densely populated than towns. Additionally, townships are often more focused on providing basic services to rural areas, while towns have a wider range of services and amenities.

Other Differences

Another key difference between townships and towns is their governmental structure. Townships are usually governed by a board of supervisors or trustees, while towns have a town council or board of aldermen. Additionally, towns may have more regulatory power than townships, allowing them to enact and enforce local laws and ordinances.

Benefits of Living in a Township

Living in a township can have several benefits, including: – Lower Cost of Living: Townships often have lower property taxes and living expenses than towns. – Rural Lifestyle: Townships offer a quieter, more relaxed lifestyle than towns, with plenty of open space and natural surroundings. – Community Spirit: Townships often have strong community ties and a sense of shared responsibility among residents.

Benefits of Living in a Town

Living in a town can also have several advantages, such as: – More Opportunities: Towns offer a wider range of job opportunities, services, and amenities than townships. – Cultural Diversity: Towns often have a more diverse population and cultural offerings, including museums, theaters, and festivals. – Modern Infrastructure: Towns tend to have better infrastructure, such as roads, public transportation, and public utilities.


In conclusion, townships and towns are two different types of communities with distinct characteristics, services, and benefits. Whether you prefer the rural lifestyle of a township or the urban amenities of a town, it is important to understand the differences and choose the type of community that best suits your needs and preferences.

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