Difference Between Village and Town

Human settlement is a very complex arena. From ancient times till this date it is evolving and expanding beyond conventional background.


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There is a lot of confusion regarding what area is what, what it is called, and what are its specifications. Two such types of human settlements that are often confusing are villages and towns.

Both these terms are differently used all over the world and they have their specifications according to their community.

Village vs Town

The difference between village and town is that in a town the major revenue of the villagers is from agricultural means or a few cottages or home-based industries. Whereas in town the people are dependent on commercial or industrial activities for revenue.

Village vs Town

The villages lack job opportunities and villagers often leave their space and come to town in search of jobs. Whereas in towns jobs are found in abundance.

Villages are considerably small human settlements. They usually have a population ofa couple of hundred people to a couple of thousand people. Villages are usually situated in rural areas.

Towns are a larger area of human settlement. The population of a town is usually more as it is more urbanized than a village.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonVillageTown
Human SettlementThey are smaller in sizeThey are larger in size
RecognitionThey are a part ofa  town or a separate settlementIt is a  government recognized space
SpecialtyIt does not have any separate marketIt has a separate market space
AuthorityIt does not have any governing bodyHas local government and authority
Commercial ExposureThere no commercial exposureIt has a lot of commercial exposure
RevenueDependent on agricultural meansRelies on commercial and industrial activity
DiversityIt does not have much diversityIt is very diverse in nature

What is Village?

A village is a small community or a cluster of human settlement, which is located in a rural area. It is larger than a hamlet smaller than a town.

The term village was derived from a French word which meant a group of buildings. A population of a village typically ranges from a couple of hundreds to a couple of thousands.

Villages are permanent dwelling space. Mostly located in rural areas but at a certain time, the term urban village has also been mentioned referring to a specific urban village.

On rare occasions, temporary villages are also found. In the village, the houses are closely packed to each other and not scattered on a larger landscape.

The only medium the villagers earn revenue is through agricultural methods and cottage or home-based industries.

Due to the lack of job opportunities available in the villages and also due to the industrial revolution a lot of villagers leave their village and come to the town or cities in search of jobs.

Villages have different names all over the world such as “deh” in Afghanistan, “dehat” or “gaaon” in Pakistan, “ayul” in Kazakhstan, “tusen” in china, “kampong” in Brunei and Malaysia,

“kampong” or “desain” in Indonesia, “lang” in Vietnam, “selo” in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, North Macedonia, Russia, Siberia and  Ukraine, “commune” in France, “pueblo” in Spain, “dorp” in Netherland.

All of these are just a few examples of what village is known in each community, the majority of them have their specifications and classifications to call a community a village.


What is Town?

Towns are larger human settlements. The term town has been originated from the German word Zaun, the Dutch word tuin, and the Old Norse word tun.

The original term referred to a designated fence or a hedge. In English, the term meant walled and fenced areas such as farm, village, or courtyard. It is larger than a regular village but smaller than the cities.

The criterion of a town varies from community to community around the world.

In certain places, the word town is an alternative for a city or village. Town in certain places is also considered as a short term for “township”.

In a town, people are denoted on the manufacturing industry, commercial and public services for their income and not agricultural terms. The population is not a factor of determination for towns.

Towns are governed by local government authorities and administration.

The town can be further classified under 5 categories based on their age according to Thomas Griffith Taylor namely- infantile town (no clear zoning),

juvenile town (have developed area of the shop), adolescent town (factories have started to appear), mature town (specific industrial and commercial area using defined residential area).


Main Differences Between Village and Town

  1. Villages are smaller in size whereas towns are larger.
  2. A village is a part of a town or a separate settlement in is a rural space but a town is a government-recognized space.
  3. A village does not have a separate market space all that are available are locally obtained nothing comes from outside the village. In a town, there is a separate marketplace for buying and selling goods nothing is found locally.
  4. There is no governing body looking after the village. There is no governing authority in a village. A town is governed by local government and authorities.
  5. There is no commercial exposure available in the village everything happens locally whereas in a town a lot of commercial opportunities are found such as stores, banks, and markets.
  6. Villages do not provide many jobs. Jobs available in a village are mainly agriculture-based are cottage or home industry-based. Villager softens have to leave villages to find suitable and better jobs. Whereas plenty of jobs are available in towns based on commercial and industrial activities.
Difference Between Village and Town


  1. http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/576
  2. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19611800176
  3. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=UQvGNKBfCgsC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=towns&ots=yScGQq1AJQ&sig=mWnYLlb8GT9JQ2VbVeD6QvTNm1Y
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