County Basics

Counties Are Close to Home

Even if you live in a city or town that has its own government, there is another government very close by: your county government!

Think of government like a series of layers. There are very small layers, like a school board, and there is the giant layer of the federal government. In between are lots of other layers you may not even be aware of.

A county is a geographical area that is usually larger than a city but much smaller than a state. It has its own government and its own responsibilities to serve the people that live inside its borders.

Some states call their counties by a different name. These states have “county equivalents” – geographic areas that operate like a county but aren’t called counties.

Follow the link to find out about the county where you live.

  • When the page opens, close the popup that appears.
  • Click “State Search” near the top of the page and select your state from the drop-down box. A popup will appear showing a map your state’s counties.
  • In the popup box, click the menu icon in the upper left corner. A list of your state’s counties will appear.

Answer the questions below. Do not leave the website when you’re finished! You’ll need it on the next slide.

Response Question: 
  • Does your state have counties or county equivalents? If your state has county equivalents, what are they called?
  • What is the name of the county or county equivalent where you live?
  • How many people live in your county?
  • What is the name of your county’s county seat? Is that where you live?
Response required