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 6,968 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. The table below lists 2012 totals and per capita rates per 100,000 residents, calculated using 2011 population estimates.

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.


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