Commune-level town (Vietnam)
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On the Third Tier, Vietnam is divided into 1,581 wards, 603 townships and 8,978 communes. By virtue of Decree No. 42/2009/ND-CP, Township (Vietnamese: thị trấn) are officially classified as Class IV or Class V. Ward (phường), together with Township (thị trấn) and Commune (xã) have an equal status under the Third Tier units.
The difference between a township and a commune is mainly related to their industrialization rate. Communes are dominated by the practice of agriculture (including farming, forestry, fishery, and so on), whereas townships generally have a more diversified economic base. Population density in townships is also higher than in communes. Other criteria, such as population (as opposed to density), revenue received from taxes, and land area are generally not taken into account. Townships often have higher budgets than communes, but many counter-examples exist.
The seat of government of a district is generally located in a township designated as a district capital (Vietnamese: huyện lỵ)—as opposed to a commune—except when the town's geographical location is not favorable.
As of December 31, 2008, Vietnam had 617 commune-level towns. Thanh Hóa Province with 30 commune-level towns is the most of all province-level administrative units, followed by Hanoi with 22 commune-level towns. Ninh Thuận Province has only three commune-level towns and Đà Nẵng has none.
- The data of local administrative subdivisions till 31 December 2008 by Vietnam Statistics General Office. Archived 1 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.