Minor Civil Divisions (MCDs)

Minor Civil Divisions (MCDs) are the primary governmental or administrative divisions of a county in
many states. MCDs represent many different kinds of legal entities with a wide variety of
governmental and/or administrative functions. MCDs include areas variously designated as
American Indian reservations, assessment districts, barrios, barrios-pueblo, boroughs, census
subdistricts, charter townships, commissioner districts, counties, election districts, election
precincts, gores, grants, locations, magisterial districts, parish governing authority districts,
plantations, precincts, purchases, supervisor's districts, towns, and townships. The Census Bureau
recognizes MCDs in 29 states, Puerto Rico, and the Island areas. The District of Columbia has no
primary divisions, and the incorporated place of Washington is treated as an equivalent to an MCD
for statistical purposes (it is also considered a state equivalent and a county equivalent).

In 23 states and the District of Columbia, all or some incorporated places are not part of any MCD.
These places also serve as primary legal subdivisions and have a unique FIPS MCD code that is the
same as the FIPS place code. The ANSI codes also match for those entities. In other states 

incorporated places are part of the MCDs in which they are located, or the pattern is mixed --
some incorporated places are independent of MCDs and others are included within one or more MCDs.

The MCDs in 12 states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin) also serve as general-
purpose local governments that generally can perform the same governmental functions as
incorporated places. The Census Bureau presents data for these MCDs in all data products for
which place data are provided.

In New York and Maine, American Indian reservations (AIRs) exist outside the jurisdiction of any
town (MCD) and thus also serve as the equivalent of MCDs for purposes of data presentation.