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A county seat is an
administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a commune is located. In countries with French as one of their administrative languages (such as Be ...
, seat of government, or capital city of a county or
civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. C ...
. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Hungary and the United States.
County town In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a county town is the most important town or city in a county. It is usually the location of administrative or judicial functions within a county and the place where the county's members of Parliament are elected ...
s have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, as well as historically in Jamaica.


Function

In most of the United States,
counties A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
are the political subdivisions of a state. The city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. Generally, the county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records, jail and correctional facility are located in the county seat, though some functions (such as highway maintenance, which usually requires a large garage for vehicles, along with asphalt and salt storage facilities) may also be located or conducted in other parts of the county, especially if it is geographically large. A county seat is usually, but not always, an incorporated municipality. The exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as
Arlington County, Virginia Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia, often referred to simply as Arlington or Arlington, Virginia. The county is situated in Northern Virginia on the southwestern bank of the Potomac River directly across from the Distr ...
(where the county seat is the entire county).
Ellicott City Ellicott City is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in, and the county seat of, Howard County, Maryland, United States. Part of the Baltimore metropolitan area, its population was 65,834 at the 2010 census, qualifying it as th ...

Ellicott City
, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by
Towson Towson () is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place in Baltimore County, Maryland, United States. The population was 55,197 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Baltimore County and the second-most populous unincorpor ...
, the county seat of
Baltimore County, Maryland Baltimore County is the third-most populous county located in the U.S. state of Maryland and is part of the Baltimore metropolitan area. Baltimore County is part of the Northeast megalopolis, which stretches from Virginia northward to Boston. Ba ...
. Likewise, some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example,
Cape May Court House, New Jersey Cape May Court House is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Middle Township in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States.
, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or formerly included "Court House" as part of their name, (e.g.
Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia Spotsylvania Courthouse is a census-designated place (CDP) and the county seat of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, located 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Fredericksburg. Recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census designated place (CDP), the ...
).


Canada

The Canadian
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside ...
of
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton , largest_city = Calgary , l ...
,
Ontario , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , capital = Toronto , largest_city ...
,
Quebec ) , image_map = Quebec in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = French , capital = Quebec City , CapCoord = , largest_city ...
,
New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , capital = Fredericton , largest_city = Moncton , largest_metro = Great ...
,
Prince Edward Island (''The small protected by the great'') , image_map = Prince Edward Island in Canada (special marker) 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English (''de facto'') , capital ...
, and
Nova Scotia ) , image_map = Nova Scotia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English (''de facto'') , RegionalLang = French , capital = Halifax , l ...
have counties as an administrative division of government below the provincial level, and thus county seats. In the provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat.


China

County seats in China are the administrative centers of the counties in the
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
or the
Republic of China Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main island of Ta ...
. ''Xian'' have existed since the
Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period and concluded with the Qin wars of conquest th ...
and were set up nationwide by the
Qin Dynasty#REDIRECT Qin dynasty {{R from move ...

Qin Dynasty
. The number of counties in
China proper China proper, Inner China or the Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Manchu-led Qing dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many a ...

China proper
gradually increased from dynasty to dynasty. As
Qin Shi Huang Qin Shi Huang (, ; 18 February 25910 September 210) was the founder of the Qin dynasty and the first emperor of a unified China. From 247 to 221 BC he was Zheng, King of Qin (, ''Qín Wáng Zhèng'', personal name 嬴政 ''Yíng Zhèng'' or ...
reorganized the counties after his unification, there were about 1,000. Under the Eastern
Han Dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and a warring interregnum known a ...
, the number of counties increased to above 1,000. About 1400 existed when the
Sui dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han in the entirety of China proper, along with sinicization of for ...

Sui dynasty
abolished the commandery level (郡 jùn), which was the level just above counties, and demoted some commanderies to counties. In Imperial China, the county was a significant administrative unit because it marked the lowest level of the imperial bureaucratic structure; in other words, it was the lowest level that the government reached. Government below the county level was often undertaken through informal non-bureaucratic means, varying between dynasties. The head of a county was the
magistrate The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a ''magistratus'' was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both judicial ...
, who oversaw both the day-to-day operations of the county as well as civil and criminal cases. The current number of
counties A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
mostly resembled that of the later years of
Qing Dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The mult ...
. Changes of location and names of counties in
Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient histo ...
have been a major field of research in Chinese historical geography, especially from the 1960s to the 1980s. There are 1,355 counties in
Mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since October 1, 1949. It include ...
out of a total of 2,851 county-level divisions. In Taiwan, the first counties were first established in 1661 by the
Kingdom of Tungning The Kingdom of Tungning () or Kingdom of Formosa was a government that ruled part of southwestern Formosa (Taiwan) between 1661 and 1683. It was founded by Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong) as part of the loyalist movement to restore the Ming dynasty in ...
. The later ruler
Qing empire The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The mult ...
inherited this type of administrative divisions. With the increase of
Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on 2013-04-26.
Hanzu, or Han peopleProtestant missionaries in China first romanized the term as hien. When
Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main island of Ta ...
became a Japanese colony in 1895, the hierarchy of divisions also incorporated into the Japanese system in the period when
Taiwan under Japanese rule Japanese Taiwan was the period of Taiwan and the Penghu Islands under Japanese rule between 1895 and 1945. Taiwan became a dependency of Japan in 1895 when the Qing dynasty of China ceded Taiwan Province in the Treaty of Shimonoseki after Japan ...
. By September 1945, Taiwan was divided into 8
prefectures A prefecture (from the Latin ''Praefectura'') is an administrative jurisdiction traditionally governed by an appointed prefect. This can be a regional or local government subdivision in various countries, or a subdivision in certain international ...
( and ), which remained after the Republic of China took over Taiwan. Currently there are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of
county-administered city A county-administered city ( is a unit of administrative division in Taiwan. Under the administrative structure of Taiwan, it is at the same level as a township or a district. Such cities are under the jurisdiction of counties. It is also the lowes ...
, urban township or rural township.


Lists of ROC county seats by county


United States


U.S. counties with more than one county seat

Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery , LargestCity = Birmingham , LargestCounty = Baldwin County ...
,
Arkansas Arkansas () is a state in the South Central region of the United States, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the Osage language, a Dhegiha Siouan language, and referred to their relatives, the Quapaw people. Th ...
,
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), one of the states of the United States of America Georgia may also refer to: Historical states and entities * Kingdom of Georgia ...
,
Iowa Iowa () is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the ea ...
,
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state in the Upland South region of the United States, bordered by Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north; West Virginia and Virginia to the east; Tennessee to the south; and Mi ...
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Connecticut to the southwest and Rhode Island to the sout ...
,
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississi ...
,
Missouri Missouri is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. With more than six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the country. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia; the capita ...
,
New Hampshire New Hampshire () is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. New Hamps ...
, New York, and
Vermont Vermont () is a state in the New England region of the United States. It borders the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont is the on ...
have two or more county seats, usually located on opposite sides of the county. An example is
Harrison County, Mississippi Harrison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 187,105, making it the second-most populous county in Mississippi. Its county seats are Biloxi and Gulfport. The county is named after U ...
, which lists both
Biloxi Biloxi (; ) is a city and one of two county seats of Harrison County, Mississippi, United States (the other seat being the adjoining city of Gulfport). The 2010 United States Census recorded the population as 44,054, and in 2019 the estimated popu ...
and Gulfport as county seats, and
Hinds County, Mississippi Hinds County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 245,285, making it the most populous county in Mississippi. Its county seats are Raymond and Jackson, the state capital. The county is nam ...
, which lists both
Raymond Raymond is a male given name. It was borrowed into English from French (older French spellings were Reimund and Raimund, whereas the modern English and French spellings are identical). It originated as the Germanic ''Raginmund'' or ''Reginmund''. ...
and the state capital of
Jackson Jackson may refer to: People * Jackson (name), including a list of people with the surname or given name, with nicknames including "Jackson" "Jacky" or "Jack" Places Australia *Jackson, Queensland, a town in the Maranoa Region *Jackson North, ...
. The practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days when travel was difficult. There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride (and jobs) for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats (no more than two each) in 11 states: *
Coffee County, Alabama Coffee County is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,948. Its county seat is Elba. Its name is in honor of General John Coffee. Coffee County comprises the Enterpri ...
* St. Clair County, Alabama *
Arkansas County, Arkansas Arkansas County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,019. Located in the Arkansas Delta, the county has two county seats, De Witt and Stuttgart. The first of the state's 75 present-day co ...
*
Carroll County, Arkansas Carroll County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 27,446. The county has two county seats, Berryville and Eureka Springs. Carroll County is Arkansas's 26th county, formed on November 1, 18 ...
*
Clay County, Arkansas Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,083. The county has two county seats, Corning and Piggott. It is a dry county, in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is restricted or pro ...
*
Craighead County, Arkansas Craighead County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 96,443. The county has two county seats — Jonesboro and Lake City. Craighead County is Arkansas's 58th county, formed on February 19, 1 ...
*
Franklin County, Arkansas Franklin County is a county in Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,125. The county has two county seats, Charleston and Ozark. The county was formed on December 19, 1837, and named for Benjamin Franklin, American statesman. To t ...
*
Logan County, Arkansas Logan County (formerly Sarber County) is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,353. Its two county seats are Booneville and Paris. History The Arkansas General Assembly defined the state's 64 ...
*
Mississippi County, Arkansas Mississippi County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 46,480. There are two county seats, Blytheville and Osceola. The county was formed on November 1, 1833, and named for the Mississippi Ri ...
*
Prairie County, Arkansas Prairie County is in the Central Arkansas region of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The county is named for the Grand Prairie, a subregion of the Arkansas Delta known for rice cultivation and aquaculture that runs through the county. Created as Arkansa ...
*
Sebastian County, Arkansas Sebastian County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 125,744, making it the fourth-most populous county in Arkansas. The county has two county seats, Greenwood and Fort Smith. Sebastian Count ...
*
Yell County, Arkansas Yell County is a county in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,185. The county has two county seats, Dardanelle and Danville. Yell County is Arkansas's 42nd county, formed on December 5, 1840 from portions of ...
*
Columbia County, Georgia Columbia County is a county located in the east central portion of the US state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 124,035. The legal county seat is Appling, but the ''de facto'' seat of county government is Evans.Lee County, Iowa Lee County, Iowa, was established in 1836. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population was 35,862. It has two county seats — Fort Madison and Keokuk. Lee County is part of the Fort Madison–Keokuk, IA-IL-MO Micropolitan ...
*
Campbell County, Kentucky Campbell County is a county located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 90,336. Its county seats are Alexandria and Newport.Kenton County, Kentucky Kenton County is a county located in the northern part of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 159,720, making it the third most populous county in Kentucky (behind Jefferson County and Fayette County). Its county ...
*
Essex County, Massachusetts Essex County is a county in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the total population was 743,159, making it the third-most populous county in the state. It is part of the Greater Boston area (the Bosto ...
*
Middlesex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2019, the estimated population was 1,611,699, making it the 22nd most populous county in the United States, and the most populous county in both Massachus ...
*
Plymouth County, Massachusetts Plymouth County is a county in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 494,919. Its county seats are Plymouth and Brockton. In 1685, the County was created by the Plymouth General Court, the legislature of Plymo ...
*
Bolivar County, Mississippi Bolivar County ( ) is a county located on the western border of the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 34,145. Its county seats are Rosedale and Cleveland. The county is named in honor of Simón Bolívar, early 19th ...
*
Carroll County, Mississippi Carroll County is a county in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,597. Its county seats are Carrollton and Vaiden. The county is named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the last surviving signatory of the Dec ...
*
Chickasaw County, Mississippi Chickasaw County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,392. Its county seats are Houston and Okolona. The county is named for the Chickasaw people, who lived in this area for hundreds of ...
*
Harrison County, Mississippi Harrison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 187,105, making it the second-most populous county in Mississippi. Its county seats are Biloxi and Gulfport. The county is named after U ...
*
Hinds County, Mississippi Hinds County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 245,285, making it the most populous county in Mississippi. Its county seats are Raymond and Jackson, the state capital. The county is nam ...
*
Jasper County, Mississippi Jasper County is located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,062. As of 1906, the state legislature established two county courts, one at the first county seat of Paulding in the eastern part of the county ...
*
Jones County, Mississippi Jones County is in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 67,761. Its county seats are Laurel and Ellisville. Jones County is part of the Laurel micropolitan area. History Less than a ...
*
Panola County, Mississippi Panola County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 34,707. Its county seats are Sardis and Batesville. Panola is the anglicization of ''ponolo'', a word meaning thread in both old Choctaw a ...
*
Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County is a county in the U.S. state of Mississippi. At the 2010 census, the population was 15,378. Its county seats are Charleston and Sumner. Tallahatchie County is located in the Mississippi Delta region, divided by the Tallahatchi ...
*
Yalobusha County, Mississippi Yalobusha County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,678. Its county seats are Water Valley and Coffeeville. History Yalobusha is a Native American word meaning "tadpole place," and be ...
*
Jackson County, Missouri Jackson County is located in the western portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 674,158. The estimated population in 2019 is 703,011 making it the second-most populous county in the state (after St. Louis C ...
*
Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Hillsborough County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. As of the 2010 census, the population was 400,721. The population was estimated at 417,025 in 2019. Its county seats are Manchester and Nashua. Hillsborough is nort ...
*
Seneca County, New York Seneca County is located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 35,251. The primary county seat is Waterloo, moved there from the original county seat of Ovid in 1819. It became a two-shire county in 1822, which c ...
*
Bennington County, Vermont Bennington County is a county in the U.S. state of Vermont. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,125. The shire towns (county seats) are jointly Bennington ("The Southshire") and Manchester ("The Northshire"), and the largest municipality i ...


Other variations


New England

In
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of ...

New England
, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government. Historically, counties in this region have served mainly as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems.
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of human development behind Massachusetts, and highest median household ...
(since 1960) and
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area and the seventh-least populous (1,059,361 as of 2019), but it is also the sec ...
have no county level of government and thus no county seats, and
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Connecticut to the southwest and Rhode Island to the sout ...
has dissolved many but not all of its county governments. In
Vermont Vermont () is a state in the New England region of the United States. It borders the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont is the on ...
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Connecticut to the southwest and Rhode Island to the sout ...
, and
Maine Maine () is a state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast; and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest, respectively ...
the county seats are legally designated ''shire towns''. County government consists only of a
Superior Court In common law systems, a superior court is a court of general competence which typically has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to civil and criminal legal cases. A superior court is "superior" in relation to a court with limited jurisdiction (see l ...
and
Sheriff A sheriff is a government official, with varying duties, existing in some countries with historical ties to England where the office originated. There is an analogous although independently developed office in Iceland that is commonly translated ...
(as an
officer of the court In common law jurisdictions (so named because it was "common" to all the king's courts across England—originated in the practices of the courts of the English kings in the centuries following the Norman Conquest in 1066, and later spread to the fa ...
), both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County, Vermont has two shire towns (
Manchester Manchester () is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. The city has the country’s fifth-largest population at 547,627 (as of 2018) and lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a populati ...
for the ''North Shire'', Bennington, for the ''South Shire''), but the Sheriff is located in Bennington.


Virginia

In
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are s ...

Virginia
, a county seat may be an
independent city#REDIRECT Independent city#REDIRECT Independent city {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center; for example, Fairfax City is both the county seat of
Fairfax County Fairfax County, officially the County of Fairfax, is located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. Part of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County borders both the City of Alexandria and Arlington County and forms part of the suburban r ...
and completely surrounded by Fairfax County, but the city is politically independent of the county. When the county seat is in the independent city, government offices such as the courthouse may be in the independent city under an agreement, such as in Albemarle, or may in be
enclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly s ...
s of the county surrounded by the independent city, such as in Fairfax. Others, such as
Prince William A prince is a male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary, in some European states. The femi ...
, have the courthouse in an enclave surrounded by the independent city and have the county government, the Board of Supervisors, in a different part of the county, far from the county seat. The following counties have their county seat in an independent city: *
Albemarle County Albemarle County is a county located in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its county seat is Charlottesville, which is an independent city and enclave entirely surrounded by the county. Albemarle County is part of the Charlotte ...
(
Charlottesville Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. It is named after the British ...
) * Alleghany County ( Covington) * Augusta County ( Staunton) *
Fairfax County Fairfax County, officially the County of Fairfax, is located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. Part of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County borders both the City of Alexandria and Arlington County and forms part of the suburban r ...
( Fairfax) * Frederick County (
Winchester Winchester is a cathedral city in Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, at the western end of the South Downs National Park, on the River Itchen. It is south-west of London an ...
) * Greensville County ( Emporia) * Henry County ( Martinsville) * James City County ( Williamsburg) *
Prince William County Prince William County is located on the Potomac River in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 402,002, on July 1, 2019, the population was estimated to be 470,335, making it Virginia's seco ...
(
Manassas Manassas (; formerly Manassas Junction) is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,821. The city borders Prince William County, and the independent city of Manassas Park, Virginia. The Bure ...
) *
Roanoke County Roanoke County is a county located in the U.S. state of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 92,376. Its county seat is Salem, but the chief administrative offices are located in the unincorporated Cave Spring are ...
( Salem) *
Rockbridge County Rockbridge County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 22,307. Its county seat (and largest community) is the city of Lexington. The independent cities of Buena Vista (6,680) and Lexing ...
( Lexington) * Rockingham County ( Harrisonburg) As well,
Bedford Bedford is a historic market and the county town of Bedfordshire, England. At the 2011 Census, the population of the Bedford built-up area (including Biddenham and Kempston) was 106,940, whilst the Borough of Bedford had a population of 157,479 ...
was an independent city from 1968 to 2013, while also being the county seat of Bedford County. Bedford reverted to an incorporated town, and remains the county seat, though is now part of the county.


South Dakota

Two counties in
South Dakota South Dakota () is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who comprise a large portion of the population and historically dominated the territory. Sou ...
(
Oglala Lakota The Oglala (pronounced , meaning "to scatter one's own" in Lakota language) are one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota people who, along with the Dakota, make up the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires). A majority of the Oglala live on th ...
and
Todd Todd or Todds may refer to: Places ;Australia: *Todd River, an ephemeral river ;United States: *Todd, California *Todd, Missouri *Todd, North Carolina *Todd County, Kentucky *Todd County, Minnesota *Todd County, South Dakota *Todd Fork, a river i ...
) have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county. Their county-level services are provided by Fall River County and Tripp County, respectively.


Louisiana

In
Louisiana Louisiana (, ); Standard French: ' ; es, Luisiana is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 19th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by the s ...

Louisiana
, which is divided into
parishes A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest, often termed a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or mo ...
rather than counties, county seats are referred to as ''parish seats''.


Alaska

Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's west coast. A semi-exclave of the U.S., it borders the Canadian pro ...
is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the county seat in these case is referred to as the "borough seat"; this includes six consolidated city-borough governments (one of which is styled as a "municipality"). The
Unorganized Borough The Unorganized Borough is made up of the portions of the U.S. state of Alaska which are not contained in any of its 19 organized boroughs. While referred to as the "Unorganized Borough", it is not a borough itself, as it forgoes that level of go ...
, which covers 49% of Alaska's area, has no borough government or borough seat.


Lists of U.S. county seats by state

The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, and the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3.


See also

*
County seat war A county seat war is an American phenomenon that occurred mainly in the Old West as it was being settled and county lines determined. Incidents elsewhere, such as in southeastern Ohio, have also been recorded. As new towns sprang up and county l ...
* Administrative center *
County town In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a county town is the most important town or city in a county. It is usually the location of administrative or judicial functions within a county and the place where the county's members of Parliament are elected ...
, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK * Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, and Tunisia * Municipality, equivalent to ''county'' in many countries


References

{{reflist


External links


National Association of Counties
Counties, Seat