Difference Between City and Municipality

City vs Municipality

Municipality and city are words that are spoken in reference to urban settlements in different countries around the world. In different countries, there are different nomenclatures to refer to the systems of local governance that have evolved over a period or trough trial and error. It is up to the country to decide upon a name for smaller divisions in urban settlements. There are many similarities between cities and municipalities to create confusion in the minds of students of civics. However, despite similarities, there are enough differences between city and municipality that will be highlighted in this article.

What is a City?

Nearly half of the world population today lives in places that can be termed as urban settlements. These places are clearly different from rural areas, countryside, and villages that are quieter and less polluted than cities. It was the industrial revolution that necessitated setting up of cities with planned residential and commercial places and industries set up on the outskirts of these urban settlements. The lifestyle and better opportunities in these cities attracted rural population that migrated from villages and countryside to work as labourers in city industries. In general, the city is an urban settlement that is permanent in nature and has a large population. It also differs from rural areas in the sense that it is much more planned and systematic.

What is a Municipality?

Municipality is a generic term that has different meanings in different places or countries of the world. However, there is a consensus that a municipality is an administrative body with some degree of control over a geographic area. It is a body that operates in an urban settlement whether it is a city, town or a grouping consisting of several units. Municipality is a civic body that has an elected mayor and councilors with the political party having majority of seats in the council running the affairs of the body. Thus, municipality is a democratically elected governing body that has the powers to levy taxes on the people living inside it and to spend it on the development of the area. Municipalities come in all sizes and density of populations with Greenland and Canada having municipalities larger than even some countries of the world.

What is the difference between City and Municipality?

• Municipality is an administrative division that may be a city, town, or a grouping of towns.

• A city is an urban settlement that is planned and has a large population.

• In different countries, the word municipality has different meanings.

• While cities are divisions of a state or province, municipalities are divisions of a place that are so divided for local self-governance.

• There are different criteria set for municipalities and cities in different countries.

• Some countries have municipalities larger than even some countries of the world.

• Civic administration and provision of better facilities is the responsibility of the municipality, and it also has the power to collect taxes from the population.

• A municipality can be a clear-cut geographic division inside a city.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between City and Country
  2. Difference Between Town and City
  3. Difference Between County and City
  4. Difference Between Countryside and City