Counties are one of America’s oldest forms of government, dating back to 1634 when the first county governments (shires) were established along the eastern shores of Virginia. Today, though the governance and organizational structures vary nationally and even within a state, all 3,069 county, parish and borough governments are on the front lines of delivering vital services to residents.

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About the Primer

Counties are one of America’s oldest forms of government, dating back to 1634 when the first county governments (shires) were established along the eastern shores of Virginia. Though today, the governance and organizational structures vary nationally and even within a state, all 3,069 county, parish and borough governments are on the front lines of delivering vital services to residents.

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Tell Your Story

Resources to help tell your county's story. Apply for a NACo Achievement Award, celebrate National County Government Month and educate students in your community on the critical role of counties.

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Achievement Awards

The Achievement Awards is a non-competitive awards program recognizing innovative county government programs. Award-winning programs are featured in NACo content and celebrated at NACo's Annual Conference.

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County Explorer Data

Explore your county through over 1000 indicators and nearly 100 datasets.

ICivics Game

Counties Work Game & Curriculum

NACo, together with iCivics, has created an online game and curriculum to educate students grade levels 6-12 about the important role and functions of county government. 

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National County Government Month

Held each April, NCGM is an annual celebration of county government. NACo equips counties with template materials, social media graphics, and more resources to kick off the month of recognition.

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