List of United States counties and county equivalents

An enlargeable map of the 3,143 counties and county equivalents located in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The 100 county equivalents in the U.S. territories are not on this map.

This article lists the 3,143 counties and county equivalents of the United States.[1][2][a] The 50 states of the United States are divided into 3,007 counties, political and geographic subdivisions of a state.[3] 236 other local governments and geographic places are also first-order administrative divisions of their respective state/district/territory, but are called by different names. These are referred to collectively as county equivalents by the United States Census Bureau. The 236 county equivalents include 100 equivalents in the territories (such as those in Puerto Rico) outside the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The large majority of counties and equivalents were organized by 1970. Since that time, most creations, boundary changes and dissolutions have occurred in Alaska and Virginia.[2]

Among the 50 states, 44 are partitioned entirely into counties, with no county equivalents. Louisiana is instead divided into 64 equivalent parishes, while Alaska is divided into 19 equivalent boroughs and 11 sparsely populated census areas, the latter also known collectively as the unorganized borough. Virginia is composed of a mixture of 95 counties and 38 independent cities. Maryland, Missouri and Nevada are each composed entirely of counties, except that each also has exactly one independent city: Baltimore, St. Louis, and Carson City, respectively. The District of Columbia is a single federal district that is not part of any state or county. All of the above 136 exceptional cases are reckoned as county equivalents. The number of counties (or equivalents) per state ranges from the three counties of Delaware, to the 254 counties of Texas. In New England, where the town model predominates, several counties have no corresponding local governments, existing only as historical, legal, and census boundaries. These are the counties of Connecticut and Rhode Island,[4][5] as well as 8 of Massachusetts' 14 counties.[6] In all, the 50 states consist of 3,142 counties and equivalents. Adding the District of Columbia gives 3,143.

Similarly, the Census Bureau treats 100 subdivisions of the territories of the United States as county equivalents. These are the 78 municipalities of Puerto Rico, the three major islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the three districts and two atolls of American Samoa,[b] Guam as a single island and county equivalent, the four municipalities of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the nine island territories of the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.[7][8] As in the states, each territorial county equivalent has its own INCITS/FIPS codes.[9]


  1. ^ "2010 Census Geographic Entity Tallies by State and Type". United States Census Bureau.
  2. ^ a b "Substantial Changes to Counties and County Equivalent Entities: 1970-Present". United States Census Bureau.
  3. ^ "An Overview of County Government". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  4. ^ "Connecticut State Register and Manual, Section VI: Counties". Connecticut Official State Website (Office of Secretary of State).
  5. ^ "Rhode Island Facts and Figures". Rhode Island Official State Website (Office of Secretary of State).
  6. ^ "County Government". Massachusetts Official Commonwealth Website (Office of Secretary of Commonwealth).
  7. ^ Torrieri, Nancy; Davis, James (November 1994). "Geographic Areas Reference Manual" (PDF). United States Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of the Census. Chapter 4.
  8. ^ "Territories of United States Minor Outlying Islands". Statoids. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "2010 FIPS Codes for Counties and County Equivalent Entities". census.gov. Retrieved July 5, 2018.


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