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Q: City and Town names ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Subject: City and Town names
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: ryw-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 02 May 2005 19:12 PDT
Expires: 01 Jun 2005 19:12 PDT
Question ID: 517035
What U.S. city or town name is used more often than any other?
Subject: Re: City and Town names
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 02 May 2005 19:37 PDT
I love these sort of questions.

As you can see from the results of the Google search at this link:


the most common town/city name in the US is mostly given as Fairview
(according to the 1996 book, The Top Ten of Everything), but is also
reputed to be Centerville or Springfield.

So which is it?

Happily, there's a quick and easy way to count them up.

Head to this US Geological Survey site at:
Query Form For The United States And Its Territories

Enter the name of a town or city in the "Feature Name" box, and set
the "Feature Type" to "populated places".  Doing this for the three
town names above, the system returns the following information:

90 feature records have been selected from GNIS

121 feature records have been selected from GNIS. 

286 feature records have been selected from GNIS.

So it's Fairview by a landslide.

Let me know if you have any questions.


search strategy -- Used bookmarked websites for geography.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 03 May 2005 05:25 PDT
Here's a bit more perspective on the most common name, from the
Geonames (USGS) website FAQs page:

13. What is the most frequently occurring community (city, town,
village, etc.) name in the United States?

There are no official definitions of city, town, village, hamlet,
neighborhood, etc. We classify all named entities where people live as
Populated Place, and we include incorporated places (20 percent of the
Nation's communities), as well as unincorporated places (the
majority), housing developments that are not yet incorporated places,
and neighborhoods within incorporated places in the count of entities
classified as Populated Place (ppl).

The most frequently occurring name continues to alternate, primarily
because we are still compiling data. Last year it was Midway at 212
occurrences and Fairview at 202. Today, it is Fairview at 288 and
Midway at 256. Also of note, Springfield is often supposed to be the
only community name occurring in each of the 50 States of the United
States. It is not even close, occurring in, according to our records,
only 34 States. According to our records, Riverside has the most
occurrences in the States of the U.S. at 186 occurrences found in 46
States with only Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Oklahoma without a
community named Riverside.
Subject: Re: City and Town names
From: justaskscott-ga on 02 May 2005 21:33 PDT
Other web pages indicate that Midway is a close competitor.  And
although the USGS query for Midway among populated places produces
only 254 results, rather than 286, it seems that more of those results
have just that one name and are not historical, subdivisions, or part
of a longer place name.
Subject: Re: City and Town names
From: pafalafa-ga on 03 May 2005 05:00 PDT
Midway!!!???  Whodathunkit?  I don't think I've ever even been through
a town called Midway in all my days.

But you're right, Scott, that definitely belongs on the Top 5 list. 
Thanks for pointing it out.

Subject: Re: City and Town names
From: foraneagle2-ga on 04 May 2005 10:44 PDT
"Smith" gets 299 results, but includes everything from Smith Acres to Smithwyck.
Subject: Re: City and Town names
From: pafalafa-ga on 04 May 2005 10:52 PDT
Thanks for the 'Smith' find, foraneagle2-ga.  By the way, if you
search GNIS for [ smith ] with a space after the name, you eliminate
names that only begin with "Smith" --  like Smithwyck -- and wind up
with only 98 results.


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