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National censuses use a variety of definitions - invoking factors such as population, population density, number of dwellings, economic function, and infrastructure - to classify populations as urban. Typical working definitions for small-city populations start at around 100,000 people. Common population definitions for an urban area (city or town) range between 1,500 and 50,000 people, with most U. S states using a minimum between 1,500 and 5,000 inhabitants. Some jurisdictions set no such minima. In the United Kingdom, city status is awarded by the Crown and then remains permanently. (Historically, the qualifying factor was the presence of a cathedral, resulting in some very small cities such as Wells, with a population 12,000 as of 2018[update] and St Davids, with a population of 1,841 as of 2011[update]. ) According to the "functional definition" a city is not distinguished by size alone, but also by the role it plays within a larger political context. Cities serve as administrative, commercial, religious, and cultural hubs for their larger surrounding areas. Examples of settlements called "city" which may not meet any of the traditional criteria to be named such include Broad Top City, Pennsylvania (population 452), and City Dulas, Anglesey, a hamlet.

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