District - United States

United States

There are several types of district in the United States.

A constituency with a representative in Congress is a congressional district. Each state is organized into one or more such districts; the exact number within each state is based on the most recent census. Only voters within each district are allowed to vote in the election for the member of the House of Representatives from that district. Overall, there are 435 congressional districts in the United States; each has roughly 630,000 people, with some variance.

A constituency with a representative in a state legislature is a legislative district; the territory over which a federal court has jurisdiction is a federal judicial district.

The District of Columbia is the only part of the United States, excluding territories, that is not located within any of the fifty states.

The United States also has many types of special-purpose districts with limited powers of local government. School districts are the most common, but other types of districts include community college districts, hospital districts, utility districts, irrigation districts, port districts, and public transit districts. In some parts of the United States, some of these districts are given the name "authority", so that an entity to manage bus service in the western US would be called a "transit district" and in the eastern US the same type of entity is called a "transit authority."

Many cities in the late 20th century adopted names for non-governmental districts as a way of increasing recognition and identity of these distinct areas and neighborhoods. Perhaps most apparently in Los Angeles, various areas and neighborhoods within the city are specified as districts. For instance, Hollywood is a district of Los Angeles, whereas Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are independent incorporated cities, with their own governments and police departments. This can be confusing, as the difference between districts and neighboring cities is usually not readily apparent, for they all make up the greater Los Angeles area. Typically, districts may or may not be distinguished at the boundary of the district with a "district sign" with the city's insignia; whereas at a city boundary, a city limit sign would usually be placed on the street with the city's name and population, at a minimum, but also often includes its elevation. The important distinction is that areas classified as districts are still part of the parent city and governed by the laws and ordinances of that city.

Various federal, regional and local agencies such as the National Register of Historic Places recognize historic districts.

Prior to the Act of Consolidation in 1854, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania had some districts acting like cities or towns.

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