Numbers that highlight the scope of local governments in the United States

Some of my published work involves examining the actions of local governments. Thus, I was interested to read some published numbers about the size of local government:

Photo by Charles Parker on

The United States has nearly 90,000 local governments, with hundreds of thousands of elected officials. Indeed, the vast majority of elected officials serve at the local level. Moreover, local governments employ over ten million workers and collect nearly a quarter of the nation’s total tax revenues (Trounstine 2009, 2010).

(Warshaw, 2019, “Local Elections and Representation in the United States”)

Americans tend to like local government as it reduces the distance between voter and representative and can also address local interests more directly. But, put all of those local government units together – and they are not evenly spread out depending on location, Illinois has more, and population – and many people and lots of resources are involved. Additionally, the interaction between local government and other layers and levels of government also requires a lot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s