small clustered human settlement smaller than a town
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A village is a place where people live, normally in the countryside. It is usually larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town or city. In some places, it may be a kind of local government. The dwellings in a village are clustered fairly near one another, not scattered broadly over the landscape.

Kampung Naga, a village in West Java, Indonesia

In the past, villages were where most people lived. Villages were a usual form of community for societies that do subsistence agriculture, and for some non-agricultural societies. After the industrial revolution, when people started making a lot of things in factories, people lived more in towns. Moving to towns is called urbanization. When villages grow a lot they can grow into towns and then cities. This is what happened to Dubai and Chicago.[1]

United Kingdom


In The U.K. the main difference between a hamlet and a village is that many villages have a church.[2]

Most villages are long-standing. The land has been settled (peopled) since the ice age. The soil is generally very fertile, and the land was once heavily forested. Much of what was forest was cut down to make ships, and farming replaced it. The land is fertile because of the deep loam (soil) in many places. That is partly due to the ice age, since the ice cover moved and ground against the bedrock.

United States


Incorporated villages


The word "village" is not used in most states. However, in twenty US states, a "village" is a sort of local government, similar to a city but with less power and for a smaller place. But this is not so in all the United States. In many states, there are villages which are bigger than the smallest cities in the state. The difference is not the population, it is how much power the different sorts of places have, and what they do for people living there.

New York


In the state of New York, a village is a place which is usually called a town.

Unincorporated villages


In many states, a "village" is only a place where people live, with no legal power, similar to a hamlet in New York state. The name for these is "unincorporated villages".


  1. City Worlds - Page 22, Steve Pile - 2005
  2. Dr Greg Stevenson, "What is a Village?" Archived 2006-08-23 at the Wayback Machine, Exploring British Villages, BBC, 2006, accessed 20 October 2009