What do I live in?

I live in a ‘Census Designated Place’ that, according to the 2000 census, has a population of a little under 5,000. Though ‘we’ are looking into becoming an incorporated city, we are not one yet. According to the Post Office, we live in a City with a population of 3,770 as of the 2000 census that is about four miles away.

‘Census Designated Place’ is a bit of a mouthful. What is an acceptable alternative term? Hamlet? Village? Town? Online definitions are not helpful. A hamlet is defined as a settlement smaller than a village. A village is a settlement larger than an hamlet and smaller than a town. A town is a settlement larger than a village.

We have a couple of gas stations, three or four restaurants, a bar, maybe three small churches (one looks like a rural church, one is in a former nightclub, and one is in an old building that has had lots of uses), water slides, a go-cart track and miniature train ride, and a fire station. I think ‘town’ meetings are held in one of the churches.

By whose definitiion?

In Nebraska you’d live in an unincorporated city (2nd class)

different states have different definitions.

In most of the country, Census designated places are commonly referred to as towns, although they may also be called villages, depending on the size. Typically, they’re not large enough to be incorporated as cities, which is why they’re CDPs rather than cities. There are exceptions…I live in a CDP that, if it were incorporated, would be the second-largest city in the state (Columbia, MD). Often, when a CDP doesn’t incorporate it’s because there is not a sufficient infrastructure to support it. For instance the community is served for emergency services (police, fire, emt) on the county level rather than the city level. That’s a generalization, of course, but it applies in many cases.

Sounds like you live in a town to me. I grew up in a county area that wasn’t really a city and had no municipal government, but was kind of part of a small metro area around a village that became a small city. Really a bunch of little towns abutting each other with the gaps between them filled in with housing but they aren’t all under one municipality, yet they all use the same schools and such. We just always accepted that we lived in a county. There was a big road that circumnavigated the area we lived called, “El Cerro Loop”, so we called it “El Cerro”, but that wasn’t an official designation. No one seems to care about the lack of municipal coverage.

Is your [del]hovel[/del] locale listed here —> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_census-designated_places_in_Washington


Johnny L.A., you are best equipped to answer your own question.

If you were writing a bio, what would you say?

“I live in a town called Hereville.”

“I live in the village of Hereville.”

“I live in the city of Hereville.”

I’d just say the name of the place.

Personally, I think a ‘town’ would have municipal buildings. ‘Hamlet’ sounds to quaint. I usually call it a village – but I don’t know if I’m being accurate. If we are incorporated, then I’ll call us a city (unless we are incorporated as ‘Town of’).

Towns have some sort of governance in addition to the county/parish; e.g. town councilors, town meetings.

In Oregon you would be in a “unincorporated area”. For example, there is a portion of Clackamas County that is surrounded by Portland, Happy Valley, and Milwaukee but lies within the borders of none of them. That is referred to as “Clackamas” in the census, even though there is no such city or town.

ETA: As an aside, in England you have to have a Cathedral in order to be called a city.

Round here, we’d say you lived in ‘unincorporated [City]’ which is still kind of a mouthful.

Although my mailing address has my street and the name of the nearest little town, I tell people I live in Rural Mesquite County.

In New York, counties are divided into Towns and Cities, and towns may have villages incorporated within them. If you’re in a town but outside a village, you’re said to be in an unincorporated area of that town.

In addition, New York recognizes a quasi-official designation of a Hamlet, which refers to a village-like but unincorporated area of a town, with loosely defined borders that may be used for some purposes by the town government.

Yeah, CA just calls this sort of thing an “unincorporated community”. And there’s a LOT of them.

In PA, you might identify yourself with the “township”, which probably wouldn’t have the same name as your group of buildings, but covers an area smaller than the county. The basic idea is that all unincorporated areas are covered by them:

Here you go. The laws of the state of Wisconsin talk about the incorporation of “villages and cities from town territory.”

You aren’t incorporated, so you aren’t either a village or a city. I think “town” describes it perfectly.

I’m a Washington resident myself. I describe my address as “the ******** neighborhood” (the development name) or “unincorporated ******** county between city A and B.” The post office gives us a city name (city A), but we’re not in its city limits and we actually get service from a post office in city B because B is closer to us than A.

Yeah, it’s a friggin’ mess up here. Don’t even get me started on how this affect sales tax codes and rates.

Look yourself up! :slight_smile:


this is the official source of placenames in the US. Of course you may find that only they use the official name, but at least it is a start.

If it were here (in CT), I’d call it a village. Like Northford in North Branford, Oakville in Watertown, or Plantsville in Southington (I think). But then again, CT is odd, because the counties don’t matter. We don’t have county governments, or county cops, or county anything. Hell, I don’t even know why we have counties.

I’d say “I live in a small town, Hereville.” If someone asks for more clarification, you could then add, “It’s an unincorporated area. We have about 4000 people, but we’re not a city.”

When I think of a ‘town’, I think of a place that has a town hall.

It says I’m in a Census Designated Place. That just sounds too bureaucratic.

If I may rephrase the question: What historically colloquial name is for a low-population, unincorporated settlement without public buildings?