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Old 01-30-2014, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,473,824 times
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I imagine this has been brought up here before, and I apologize for the redundancy if this is so.

But I wondered what a lot of folks here classify as a "small town" as far as population goes.

Fewer than 2,000 people? Up to 20,000 people?

I doubt there would be a solid consensus, but I am curious as to what people think.

While I much prefer rural/small town living (and will soon be escaping the city to either a rural area or a small town since I just started a new job in a nice little town of about 6000 residents!) I have lived the majority of my life in larger cities (100,000 people to millions...sheesh I can't take that anymore.)

What I mean to say is, from my perspective, based on where I have lived before (and incidentally I also have lived rurally and in some small town environments) a town of 20,000 or under might be a "small town" to me while others here might think of a town of 20,000 as a surging metropolis.

Guess I'm just trying to see if there is any kind of agreed-upon definition of "small town" among the posters here.

Thanks for any discussion and input!
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Under the Redwoods
3,748 posts, read 6,291,903 times
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I've lived in big cities, Bay Area and S. Cal. And I have lived in small towns. Smallest being population 330. No, I did not forget any zeros. And I have lived in a community that the only 'service' was a post office.
Currently I live in a town of about 10,000. It is considered small by most people. It is not connected to another town/city. The main road through from end to end is 5 miles. We have a Walmart and 2 Starbucks and 2 Mc Donald's.
To me, those businesses would not set up in a small town.
Now isn't there some sort of 'rule' about the difference between city and town when it comes to population or services?
Something like a place has to have a post office to be put on a map.
Towns are under X# of people and cities are over that #?
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:19 AM
 
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Every person has a different reply.

For me, a small town is under 2,000.

Everyone's opinion will be different.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:27 AM
 
5,879 posts, read 5,361,392 times
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City-Data itself, the mother site of this forum, defines "Bigger Cities" as having more than 6000 population. I've always thought that was odd, but that's how CD keeps its stats!

"Smaller cities" are defined by CD as 1000 - 6000 pop, and "Very small towns" are under 1000 pop.

I think under 6000 is good definition of a small city.

But I think CD should break up it's "Bigger Cities" statistics sets into 6000 - 100,000, 100,000 to 500,000, and 500,000 +. It would make it more useful for people doing research. (Are you reading this, administrator??)
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:45 AM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
3,032 posts, read 5,092,094 times
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City and town designation in Maine to my knowledge is a form of government, not based on population. The Town of Perry at 32 square miles of area has a pop. of about 1,500 while the City of Eastport at 3.6 square miles has pop. of 1,330. They have selectmen and we have a council that meets monthly. I would base it on population and density. Perry is a lot more spread out than us and still maintains a farming base. Most of our farms were subdivided over 100 years ago.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Michigan also goes by how the area is incorporated. I live in a "city" of 1200.

That being said, I think small town is less than 1500-2000 in population. Some will come on here and say a city of 100,000+ is a small town .
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
5,181 posts, read 6,008,848 times
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Last time I was in Cleveland, Montana, there was a post office, a bar, 2 houses, 1 trailer house and a couple of barns.
That's a realllllllly small town

The idea of a small town can directly be influanced by the state you are in as well. In Montana, the largest city is 100,000, most of the major cities are under 50,000, the vast majority of towns are under 1500 residents.

Some of the "larger" towns that may serve as the shopping center for a large area like Miles City have a normal population under 6000.

When the population of the entire state is only around 1 million, (reached that number last year), and you are the 4th largest state in the union, people get spread out so towns are often very small with limited services. You may have to drive several hours to go shopping or see a medical specialist.
Emergency services could have a more than 1 hour response time, especially in poor weather.

I currently live in a town of about 600 during the week, far too crowded for my tastes, but that is where the job is.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtinbender View Post
City and town designation in Maine to my knowledge is a form of government, not based on population. The Town of Perry at 32 square miles of area has a pop. of about 1,500 while the City of Eastport at 3.6 square miles has pop. of 1,330. They have selectmen and we have a council that meets monthly. I would base it on population and density. Perry is a lot more spread out than us and still maintains a farming base. Most of our farms were subdivided over 100 years ago.

Difference between Maine and my former town in Minnesota is in words.

In Minnesota.............a township is a 6 mile x6mile area governed by a 3 man board of directors,
A township would not have a post office or mailing address.

Your address would be where the post office was located and it would be located in what we call either a "town", village" or " very small city"

I believe what Maine residents refer to as " town" would be similar to our " township" so to even compare it to a " village" or " small city " is ludicrous.

apples to oranges !
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:48 AM
 
3,438 posts, read 4,838,505 times
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In Minnesota, if you have a mayor and city council you are a " town", " village" or " small city"


If you have 3 elected supervisors and have a once a year meeting where the annual budget is set, you are a " township"

Very few similarities, so I don't know why people even bring up "townships" and try to call them " small towns" or " small cities"

Most of them are not even incorporated so they shouldn't count in the discussion.( imho )
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:26 PM
 
Location: The Carolinas
2,038 posts, read 2,071,833 times
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It's a small town if it doesn't have a McDonalds.
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