What is an unincorporated community?

As genealogists, there is plenty of terms we come across that we may have never heard before. While I had come across the term ‘unincorporated community’ while researching the area of Pyrmont, Indiana, I wasn’t quite sure what an unincorporated community was.

Pyrmont, Indiana
Pyrmont, Indiana

According to the definition, an unincorporated area or unincorporated community is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation but is administered as part of a larger division, such as a township, parish, county, city, etc.

This can vary from country to country, but in the United States, these places tend to fall outside of large cities in the rural areas with low populations. Some such communities are:

  • Hovland, Minnesota
  • Ceresco, Michigan
  • Nutbush, Tennessee
  • Yucca, Arizona

In the United States, due to the difference in state laws regarding the incorporation of communities, there is a great variation in the distribution and nature of unincorporated areas. In the seven Northeastern states, unincorporated regions are essentially nonexistent.

What other unincorporated communities have you come across?


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