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For a list of references which "The Village" could refer to, see The Village

A village is a human residential settlement commonly found in rural areas. It is usually larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town or city. Villages have been the normal unit of community living in most areas of the world throughout its history, up until the Industrial revolution and the ongoing process of urbanization. In many U.S. states, a village is a type of municipal government (see below).


[edit] Traditional villages

Although many types and organizational patterns of village life have existed, the typical village was small, consisting of perhaps 5 to 30 families. Homes were situated together for sociability and defense, and land surrounding the living quarters was farmed.

[edit] India

A typical village in central India.

"The Soul of India lives in its villages", declared M. K. Gandhi in the beginning of 20th century. According to the Indian Census of 2001, 74% of Indians live in villages. In north India, village is referred by gram or gaon, and in south India by gramam. Villages in India varies hugely if its population is considered. 236,004 Indian villages have a population less than 500. At the same time, 3,976 villages have a population of 10,000+. Each village may have its own temple or mosque or church depending on the faith of the people. It is interesting that in many villages more than one religious worship place co-exist and people of the village celebrate all the festivals of all the religions there. [citations needed]

[edit] Vietnam

Village, or "làng", is a basis of Vietnam society. Vietnam's village is the typical symbol of Asian agricultural production. Vietnam's village contains: a village gate, "lũy tre" (bamboo hedges), "đình làng" (communal house) where "thành hòang" (tutelary god) is worshiped, "đồng lúa" (rice field), "chùa" (pagoda) and houses of all families in the village. All the people in Vietnam's villages have a blood relationship. They are farmers who grow rice and have the same traditional handicraft. Vietnam's villages have an important role in society (saying: "Custom rules the law" -"Phép vua thua lệ làng". When someone in Vietnam die, he always wants to be buried in his village.

[edit] Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine

Selo (Cyrillic: село) is a Slavic word meaning "village" in Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine. For example there are numerous sela called Novo Selo in Bulgaria, and others in Serbia, and Macedonia. Another example is Sviyazhsk in Russia.

[edit] Bulgaria

In Bulgaria the different types of sela vary in size. From a small selo of 5 to 30 families to one of several thousand people. In Bulgaria it is becoming popular to visit different types of villages in the countryside for the authentic atmosphere, culture, crafts, hospitality of the people and the surrounding nature. This is called the "selski tourism" (Bulgarian:селски туризъм meaning village tourism) .

[edit] Russia

Image:Russia village.jpg
Typical house in a present-day Russian village (derevnya)

In most of Russia, the bulk of the rural population would traditionally be concentrated in fairly small compact villages. In Russian, two terms are used for these rural settlements: selo (село) or derevnya (деревня) (see a typical selo village - Logduz). Historically, the formal indication of status was religious: a city (gorod) would have a cathedral, a selo would have a church, while a derevnya would not have either.

The lowest administrative unit of Russian Empire, volost, or its Soviet or modern Russian successor, selsoviet, would usually be headquartered in a selo and embrace a few neighboring (selo or derevnya) villages.

Between 1926 and 1989, Russia's rural population shrunk from 76 million people to 39 million, due to urbanization and the WWII lossses, but has nearly stabilized since. Most Russian villages have populations of less than 200 people, and it the smaller villages which take the brunt of depopulation: e.g., in 1959, about one half of Russia's rural population lived in villages of fewer than 500 people, while now less than one third does. (In the 1960s and 70s, the depopulation of the smaller villages was driven by the central planner's drive to get the farm workers out of smaller, "prospect-less" hamlets and into the collective or state farm's main village, with more amenities). <ref>Rural Russia measured demographically (Российское село в демографическом измерении). (Russian). This article reports the following census statistics:

Census year 1959 1970 1979 1989 2002
Total number of rural settlements in Russia 294059 216845 177047 152922 155289
Of them, with population 1 to 10 persons 41493 25895 23855 30170 47089
Of them, with population 11 to 200 persons 186437 132515 105112 80663 68807


Most rural residents are involved in agricultural work, and it is very common for villagers to produce their own food; however, it is not uncommon when village residents work in nearby cities and towns in other industries. As prosperous urbanites purchase village houses for their second homes, Russian villages sometimes are transformed into dacha settlements, used mostly for seasonal residence.

The historically Cossack regions of Southern Russia and parts of Ukraine, with their fertile soil and absence of serfdom, traditionally had a rather different pattern of settlement from central and northern Russia. As opposed to the peasants of central Russsia living in a village around the lord's manor, a Cossack family would often live on a farm of their own, called khutor. The word stanitsa (Russian: стани́ца; Ukrainian: станиця, stanytsia) would be used to refer to a an administrative unit including a central village as well as a number of such khutors. Such a stanitsa village, often with a few thousand residents, would usually be larger than a selo in central Russia.

The main street of the village of Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England

[edit] England

In England the main historical distinction between a hamlet and a village is that the latter will have a church, and will therefore usually have been the worship centre of a parish. The population of such a settlement could range from a few hundred people to around five thousand. A village was traditionally distinguished from a town in that:

  • A village should not have a regular agricultural market, although today such markets are uncommon even in settlements which clearly are towns.
  • A village does not have a town hall and mayor.
  • There should also be a clear green belt or open fields surrounding its parish borders.
  • The village should not be under the administrative control of an adjacent town or city.

Due to the vagueness of these definitions, there is some question as to which is the largest village in England. [citations needed]

[edit] Philippines

In urban areas of the Philippines, the term "village" most commonly refers to private subdivisions, especially gated communities. These villages emerged in the mid-twentieth century and were initially the domain of elite urban dwellers. However, they are now ubiquitous in Metro Manila and other major cities in the country and their residents can have a wide range of income levels. They may or may not correspond to administrative units (usually barangays) and/or be privately administered. Some examples of well-known villages in Metro Manila are Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village.

[edit] United States

[edit] Incorporated villages

See also: Administrative divisions of New York#Village and Village (Oregon)

In twenty U.S. states, the term "village" refers to a specific form of incorporated municipal government, similar to a city but with less authority and geographic scope. However, this is a generality; in many states, there are villages that are an order of magnitude larger than the smallest cities in the state. The distinction is not necessarily based on population, but on the relative powers granted to the different types of municipalities and correspondingly, different obligations to provide specific services to residents.

In some states such as New York, Wisconsin, or Michigan, a village is an incorporated municipality, usually, but not always, within a single town or civil township. Residents pay taxes to the village and town or township and may vote in elections for both as well. In some cases, the village may be coterminous with the town or township. There are also many villages which span the boundaries of more than one town or township, and some villages may even straddle county borders.

There is no limit to the population of a village in New York; Hempstead, the largest village in the state, has 55,000 residents, making it more populous than some of the state's cities. However, villages in the state may not exceed five square miles (13 km²) in area.

In the state of Wisconsin a village is always legally separate from the township(s) that it has been incorporated from. The largest village is Menomonee Falls, which has over 32,000 residents.

Michigan and Illinois also have no set population limit for villages and there are many villages that are larger than cities in those states.

Villages in Ohio are almost always legally separate from any townships that they may have been incorporated from (there are exceptions, such as Chagrin Falls, where the township includes the entirety of the village). They have no area limitations, but must reincorporate as cities if they grow to over 5,000 in population. Villages have the same home-rule rights as cities with fewer of the responsibilities. Unlike cities, they have the option of being either a "statutory village" and running their governments according to state law (with a six-member council serving four-year terms and a mayor who votes only to break ties) or being a "charter village" and writing a charter to run their government as they see fit. [citations needed]

[edit] Unincorporated villages

In many states, the term "village" is used to refer to a relatively small unincorporated community, similar to a hamlet in New York state. This informal usage may be found even in states that have villages as an incorporated municipality, although such usage might be considered incorrect and confusing.

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes


[edit] External links

Village types:

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