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b : absorption by a corporation of one or more others; also : any of various methods of combining two or more organizations (as business concerns)


A merger or amalgamation in a political or administrative sense is the combination of two or more political or administrative entities such as municipalities (in other words cities, towns, etc.), counties, districts, etc. into a single entity. This term is used when the process occurs within a sovereign entity. In United States politics, such an entity may be called a consolidated city–county. Unbalanced growth or outward expansion of one neighbor may necessitate an administrative decision to merge (see urban sprawl). In some cases, common perception of continuity may be a factor in prompting such a process (see conurbation). Some cities that have gone though amalgamation or a similar process had several administrative sub-divisions or jurisdictions, each with a separate person in charge.

Annexation is similar to amalgamation, but differs in being applied mainly to two cases:

1. The units joined are sovereign entities before the process, as opposed to being units of a single political entity. 2. A city's boundaries are expanded by adding territories not already incorporated as cities or villages.[1]