Number of Local Governments by State

Some states are home to significant numbers of local governments, with numerous jurisdictional boundaries and overlapping special districts.

Illinois has 6,963 local governments, the most of any state, followed by Pennsylvania and Texas. Many local governments consist of specialized districts or entities, such as library or fire protection districts. In terms of per capita rates, North Dakota's total local governments far exceed other states. The state comprises about 390 local governments per every 100,000 residents, many of which are small townships in rural regions.

The Census Bureau conducts the Census of Governments every five years, categorizing each government in the country. 

General purpose governments include all counties, cities and other localities. Special districts consist of school districts, water authorities, parks districts and other public entities serving a more specific function.

 

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Census of Governments

The following table shows numbers of governments per capita using the data above and 2012 Census population estimates:

State Total Local Governments Total Governments per 100k General Purpose Governments per 100k
U.S. Total 90,056 28.7 12.4
Alabama 1,208 25.1 10.9
Alaska 177 24.2 22.1
Arizona 674 10.3 1.6
Arkansas 1,556 52.8 19.6
California 4,425 11.6 1.4
Colorado 2,905 56.0 6.4
Connecticut 643 17.9 5.0
Delaware 339 37.0 6.5
District of Columbia 2 0.3 0.2
Florida 1,650 8.5 2.5
Georgia 1,378 13.9 6.9
Hawaii 21 1.5 0.3
Idaho 1,168 73.2 15.3
Illinois 6,963 54.1 22.0
Indiana 2,709 41.4 25.5
Iowa 1,947 63.3 34.0
Kansas 3,826 132.6 69.2
Kentucky 1,338 30.5 12.2
Louisiana 529 11.5 7.9
Maine 840 63.2 37.9
Maryland 347 5.9 3.1
Massachusetts 857 12.9 5.4
Michigan 2,875 29.1 18.8
Minnesota 3,672 68.3 50.6
Mississippi 983 32.9 12.7
Missouri 3,768 62.6 22.9
Montana 1,265 125.9 18.2
Nebraska 2,581 139.1 56.0
Nevada 191 6.9 1.3
New Hampshire 541 41.0 18.5
New Jersey 1,344 15.2 6.6
New Mexico 863 41.4 6.5
New York 3,453 17.6 8.2
North Carolina 973 10.0 6.7
North Dakota 2,685 383.8 246.3
Ohio 3,842 33.3 20.2
Oklahoma 1,852 48.5 17.5
Oregon 1,542 39.5 7.1
Pennsylvania 4,897 38.4 20.6
Rhode Island 133 12.7 3.7
South Carolina 678 14.4 6.7
South Dakota 1,983 238.0 154.1
Tennessee 916 14.2 6.8
Texas 5,147 19.8 5.6
Utah 622 21.8 9.6
Vermont 738 117.9 47.0
Virginia 518 6.3 4.0
Washington 1,900 27.5 4.6
West Virginia 659 35.5 15.5
Wisconsin 3,128 54.6 33.6
Wyoming 805 139.7 21.2

SOURCE: Governing calculation of 2012 Census of Governments data, 2012 Census Population estimates

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