If you were asked to write the longest word you know, what would it be? Perhaps, Mary Poppins’ legendary song,” Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?” How about a city name? Can you recall visiting, or maybe even residing in a city that has an unusually long name? The team at 24/7 Wall St. set out to discover the 50 longest city names in the country.
To find the longest city name, we reviewed all incorporated towns, cities, and villages in the nation that are tracked by the U.S. Census.
Each place has its own history and folklore of how the names came to be. Some were founded near larger cities and adopted similar names with the addition of modifiers such as “heights” or “falls” or “woods” at the end. For example, South Chicago Heights is just 25 miles south of Chicago. Other names are hyphenated, which typically indicates that two formerly distinct municipalities were merged into one, doubling the length of a normal city name.
As is the case with most city names, the origin of each is either relatively effortless to identify or terribly difficult to interpret. A handful of towns maintain the same name that was given by their first settlers. Others underwent a name-change to reflect their relation to neighboring landmarks, cities, or a string of communities they are a part of.
For example, the names of three cities neighboring Detroit begin with Grosse Pointe, and they’re all located within a three-mile radius of each other. Each of these Grosse Pointe cities is characterized as an upscale, affluent community.
Some cities have a comical twist to their names’ origins. Take the quirky town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico as an example. The town acquired its current funky name from a radio show called, you guessed it, “Truth or Consequences.” The town, which was originally called Hot Springs, offered to change its name to that of the radio show’s in return for the program coming to town for an episode. The rest is, as they say, history.
Read on to get the scoop on all of the other longest city names.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey and ranked each U.S. city, more than 29,000 of them, in order of the characters in their name to determine the longest city names in the nation. We omitted suffixes like “city,” “borough,” “village,” and “town” from a city name. Population data came from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey five-year averages.