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A subdivision of government in most American states. Most of the time, a county is a municipal level below the state government but above a city or township. Counties serve different purposes, depending on the state. In some states, they have courts and a sheriff's office. The chief prosecutor (district attorney) for an area is often employed at the county level. In Oklahoma and many other states, counties have jurisdiction over all land in their boundaries not otherwise incorporated into a city or other municipality. In some states like Maryland, counties have quite broad responsibilities, including the provision of public health services and education. On the other hand, counties have no authority in Rhode Island. In Louisiana, counties are called parishes. In Alaska, they are called boroughs. See also: ABCD Counties.


A political subdivision within a state. It is usually the largest government body within the state.In Louisiana,the equivalent is called a parish.

References in periodicals archive ?
Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, the Republican nominee for governor, realizes the importance of the collar counties and has "people reaching out to all the various groups," said Tern Hickey, a Ryan spokeswoman.
In 1990, two-thirds of the farming-dependent counties had no town with over 2,500 population (Cook & Mizer, 1994).
But emergency officials in some urban counties questioned the state's reasoning.
Ventura and Kern counties had 10 percent to 25 percent of their roads in bad shape, while five counties, including Orange County, had less than 10 percent.
Knight claims the communities within his proposed county do not get their fair share of services from their respective counties, considering what they contribute in tax revenue.
lowest life expectancy, ranking 1,119 of 2,077 counties for males and 1,208 of 2,077 for females, Murray's study shows.
We're surprised and disappointed at the dismissal of our views with very little consideration by the state Supreme Court that 20 counties have followed this law for 14 years,'' said Noel Klebaum, ``.
In fact, she said Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties have benefited from Ventura County's emergency plan and network of volunteers.