The term township generally means the district or area associated with a town. However in some systems, especially in the U.S., no town need be involved, and indeed in the Scottish Highlands the term describes a very small agricultural community. Specific use of the term to describe political subdivisions has varied by country, usually to describe a local rural or semi-rural government within a county.
- In Canada, two kinds of township occur in common use. See: Township (Canada)
- In the People's Republic of China, townships are found at the fourth level of the administrative hierarchy, together with ethnic townships, towns and subdistricts. See Township of China.
- In England townships became obsolete long ago: the term referred to a subdivision used to administer a large parish. See Township (England)
- In New Zealand the designation of "township" traditionally refers to a small town: a place that in Britain might qualify as a village or a hamlet.
- In the Highlands and Islands of Scotland township means a traditional crofting township – that is, a group of agricultural smallholdings, each with its own few hectares of pasture and arable ground (in-bye land), but with a substantial tract of unimproved upland grazings held in common, which can range from a hundred to a few thousand hectares. Each Crofting Township comprises a formal legal unit.
- In South Africa under Apartheid the term township came to mean a residential development which confined non-whites (Africans, "coloureds" and Indians) who lived near or worked in white-only communities. Soweto ("SOuth-WEst TOwnships") furnishes a well-known example. See Township (South Africa)
- In the United States, two kinds of township occur. A state may have neither, only one, or both of these. In states that have both, the boundaries usually coincide. See Township (United States)
- In the context of Russia, the Soviet Union, and CIS states, the term is sometimes used to denote a small semi-urban, sometimes industrial, settlement and used to translate the terms поселок городского типа (townlet), посад (posad), местечко (mestechko, from Polish "miasteczko", a small town; in the cases of predominant Jewish population the latter is sometimes translated as shtetl).
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|Autonomous||banner | city | county | prefecture | province | region | republic | ward|
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