What county Am I In?

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What Are Counties?


In the United States a county is a geographically mapped area within a state. Each county has a local government or administration. The main role of a county government is to support the communities within the county. Although each county government is unique to their location, they all have some of the same responsibilities to the residents and businesses in their county. According to the National Association of Counties these include- maintaining public records; coordinating elections, maintaining infrastructure and transportation; economic development; law enforcement and public safety; and to create and maintain programs from the federal, state and county levels.

According to the United States Census Bureau not all states have counties. For Administrative purposes they have areas that are considered equivalent to a county. In Louisiana this area is called a parish. In Alaska this area is called a borough. Maryland, Missouri, and Nevada each have one city government that is considered equivalent to a county, and the state of Virginia has forty-one. For administrative purposes the District of Columbia is considered its own state and county, and Yellow Stone National Park in Montana is considered a county.

Counties are one of the oldest forms of government in the United States. The political use of an area called a county originated as an Administrative unit in England. The idea of a county was brought to America by the early settlers. The first counties in America were established in Virginia in 1634. There are now over 3,100 counties, parishes and boroughs within the United States.