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The same is true of the boroughs of New York City, each of which is coextensive with a county of New York State. Most are directly divided into municipalities or similar units, which are sometimes treated as equivalent of counties for statistical purposes: The site of a county's administration, and often the county courthouse, is called the county seat ("parish seat" in Louisiana, or "borough seat" in Alaska).Several New England counties use the term "shire town" for the county seat.A consolidated city-county is simultaneously a city, which is a municipality (municipal corporation), and a county, which is an administrative division of a state, having the powers and responsibilities of both types of entities. S., including Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Lexington, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and San Francisco, California.

The county with the largest population, Los Angeles County (10,170,292), Counties were among the earliest units of local government established in the Thirteen Colonies that would become the United States.

Alaska's Unorganized Borough is divided into 10 census areas that are statistically equivalent to counties.

As of 2017, there are currently 3142 counties and county-equivalents in the United States.

Pennsylvania and New York delegated significant power and responsibility from state government to county governments and thereby established a pattern for most of the United States, although counties remained relatively weak in New England.

When independence came, "the framers of the Constitution did not provide for local governments. Subsequently, early state constitutions generally conceptualized county government as an arm of the state." In the twentieth century, the role of local governments strengthened and counties began providing more services, acquiring home rule and county commissions to pass local ordinances pertaining to their unincorporated areas.

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