What is Borough?

Definition and meaning of borough: A borough is a type of administrative division found in several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and others. In the United States, the term "borough" is mainly used in New York City. New York City is divided into five areas called boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Each borough is like its own mini-city, with its own local government and services, but they are all part of the bigger New York City government. Each of these five areas in New York City helps manage local issues.

The term "borough" harks back to medieval times, when the term referred to fortified towns, which were crucial to local governance and commerce. Across the world, the concept of a borough, while varying in specifics, generally captures the essence of localized governance. It represents a commitment to ensuring that even within larger administrative units, smaller communities have the representation and mechanisms they need to address their unique needs.


Explore free resources for civics education

Become a more informed citizen and get involved in your community
Frame 30 (1)