Officially, the Westchester County Department of Planning divides the county into North, Central and South geographical sub-regions. Municipalities in Westchester are often referenced in connection to the geographical half of the county they are in; either northern or southern.
In New York State, there are three types of political subdivisions (i.e. municipalities) of counties: cities, towns, and villages. While cities are incorporated entities, towns are not. However, areas within a town can incorporate; when this occurs, the said area is called a "village". Villages have their own additional level of government along with the government of the town the village lies within. Sometimes a town contains a village with the same name; this village usually contains the town's center.
Furthermore, certain areas of the incorporated (non-village) part of a town often develop their own identity, based around perhaps a school district or zip code; this unofficial formation is known as a hamlet and may or may not be acknowledged by the United States Census for statistical purposes. No matter how closely its residents may identify with their hamlet, a hamlet is not technically a town and has no political meaning. Rather, it could be described as a "mock village". A hamlet can incorporate into a village if a charter is drawn up and the state government approves.
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