What is County Data?

What is a County?

A county is the largest geographic division of local government. According to the National association of Counties,

(Looking for the county of a specific address? Use our postal address verification tool.

Traditionally, counties performed state-mandated duties, which included assessment of property, record keeping (e.g., property and vital statistics), maintenance of rural roads, administration of election and judicial functions, and poor relief. Today, counties rapidly are moving into other areas, undertaking programs relating to child welfare, consumer protection, economic development, employment/training, planning and zoning, and water quality, to name just a few.

Service delivery responsibilities, however, vary widely among counties. For most, construction/maintaining local roads is one of their prime duties. North Carolina counties, however, have no responsibilities in this area. Wide variations also exist in the social service responsibilities and the types of utility services (e.g., water supply) provided by county governments.

Why would I need county data?

There are many reasons for wanting to perform a county lookup by address, including:

  • Proper assignment of voting districts
  • Correct calculation of sales tax
  • Demographic profiling using MSA (CBSA) analysis
  • Regulatory compliance, such as medical or insurance-related compliance
  • Assignment of school districts
  • Justice and public safety laws
  • Allocation of local tax funds

How do I find the county of a particular address?

Any of the Smarty (formerly SmartyStreets) address validation APIs can do that for you! We perform address standardization and check it against USPS data to determine the official county to which the address is assigned.

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