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Massachusetts is an old state, divided into many different towns and cities. Some of these municipalities started out much larger than their present forms, like Andover, which once incorporated North Andover, Lawrence, and Methuen. Dedham and Salem are other good examples. Regardless, the following list represents the current administrative subdivisions of the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts is divided into counties, which are in turn divided into towns or cities. There are no incorporated areas in the state. That is to say, it's impossible to be in Massachusetts and not be in some town or city. Below is a list of counties and their constituent cities or towns, with an asterisk denoting the county seat and captials denoting the state capital. Please note that this list reflects the current governmental status of each town and city, though some cities (like Amesbury) are officially known as the "Town of Amesbury". Not buying into this sort of thing, I decided to list these "ghost" cities by their actual status.

Counties: Massachusetts has no county governments, unlike states like California, Texas, or even New York. Mainly this is due to the relatively small size of the state, and the fact that every square inch of land is incorporated. Thus, many functions performed by county governments, including law enforcement and education, are completely the responsibility of the municipalities. Some more broad-based functions, like large-scale planning, are handled directly by the state. Counties primarily exist for the state court system. The county sheriff is primarily responsible for jailing and ferrying around remanded defendants.

Municipalities: Typically, the difference between towns and cities is that towns are run by a town meeting (very New Englandy), board of selectmen, and town manager, whereas a city government is run by a city council and a mayor. Usually, municipalities of larger population are cities, like Boston, Worcester, Cambridge, and Springfield, but there are some smaller cities, like Newburyport, Amesbury, and Southbridge, which prove to be exceptions to the rule. In contrast, larger towns include Framingham, and Plymouth.

County of Berkshire

County of Franklin

County of Hampshire

County of Hampden

County of Worcester

County of Middlesex

County of Essex

County of Suffolk

County of Norfolk

County of Bristol

County of Plymouth

County of Barnstable

County of Dukes

County of Nantucket

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