How many counties are there in the states?
The Census Bureau (part of the Commerce Bureau) counted no fewer than 87,900 local government units in the United States in 2002, including towns, counties, settlements, schools and other counties.
More than three quarters of the citizens of the United States live in towns, cities, or their suburbs. All citizens' needs are met in the city; there is everything from the police to the fire brigade to sanitary facilities, health regulations, training, infrastructure and residential complexes. Working with state and federal organizations is imperative.
The county is a subunit of the state, mostly
- but not always - consisting of two or more parishes and some villages. A board of directors issues taxes, borrows and collects money, determines the salaries of county employees, oversees elections, builds and maintains roads and bridges, and administers welfare programs at the national, state and county levels.
A special aspect of the city governments, mainly in the New England states, is the "town meeting". Once a year - more often if necessary - all registered voters of a city come to a public meeting and elect officials, discuss local politics and pass laws for the functioning of the government. As a group, they decide on road construction and repair, construction of public buildings and facilities, taxes and the city budget. The "town meeting", which has existed for two centuries, is often the purest form of democracy in which governance is not delegated but is exercised directly and regularly by all citizens.
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