What Is A Township Vs City

When it comes to defining townships and cities, there can be a lot of confusion, especially for people who are not accustomed to the language of Administration and Governance. Despite the similarities in the way both townships and cities are structured, there are subtle differences that highlight a range of distinctions between the two. In this article, we will strive to explore the differences between a township and a city.

What Is A Township?

A township, in its simplest sense, is a small-scale administrative division typically found in countries like the United States and Canada. Typically, a Township is regarded as an administrative district, which represents a specific jurisdictional area. As a district, it is much smaller than a city, county or state but can also have its own governing body. Generally, townships are created to make the administration of local governance easier and to ensure that community-level representation is better streamlined.

At its core, a township is often rural, and hence it represents a small but tightly-knit community. These communities can come together to form a larger township that shares common resources such as sewer services, water supplies, and policing units.

What Is A City?

Unlike a Township, a city is a much larger administrative district that has a significant population, often more than 1,000 residents. The administrative limits that define a city mark a definite and recognizable jurisdiction encompassing a range of institutions, businesses, and residences.

Cities are often categorized based on the population recorded in their census. For instance, cities that have populations greater than 500,000 are deemed to be mega-cities, while those that have populations greater than 1 million are referred to as megalopolises.

One of the significant roles played by cities is to act as a center for commerce, industry, and infrastructure. Hence, cities typically boast of massive infrastructure that comprises sophisticated transport networks, financial districts, and a plethora of modern amenities like shopping malls, spas, and recreational centers.

Most cities have their respective governing bodies, divided into various departments that handle different issues ranging from municipal/garbage disposal, traffic, and police services to name but a few.

What Are the Differences Between A Township and A City?

Population Density: One of the most significant differences between townships and cities is population density. A township typically has a relatively low population compared to a city, which has a much higher density per square mile/kilometer.

Infrastructure: Townships typically have fewer amenities and infrastructure compared to cities. In most cases, cities boast of superior infrastructure with more substantial investments made in buildings, roads, and other amenities that cater to the diverse needs of its residents.

Size: In most cases, townships are much smaller than cities. This is because they only represent a small community in the larger scheme of things, while cities represent much larger populace or jurisdiction.

Government: Townships often have their respective governing councils, which are smaller and more locally led compared to those found in cities.


The differences between a township and a city are subtle, but they are essential in understanding the administrative distinctions involved in how society operates at both the local and national levels. While townships are typically small, rural communities, cities often have large populations that boast of outstanding infrastructure and resources. Understanding these differences is crucial as it helps to create a more efficient way of implementing policy and governance as we work to build better and more sustainable communities.