These visualizations depict the growth of special districts and decline of school districts over time: 1952-2012. Darker shades indicate more governmental units. Gray indicates that the governmental unit has no data for that census year. The geographic distribution of special districts and school districts to counties is an approximation based on single county associations, though special districts and school districts in some parts of the U.S. may have boundaries that intersect multiple counties.
Structure of Governments
Individual State Descriptions Report available September 2013
Descriptions of local governments in each state.
Explains how governments' responsibilities and authority vary from state to state, or within a state.
Number of Governments by Type and State
Local Governments including Public School Systems by type and State: 2012 (includes Preliminary 2012 data) PDF [13KB] |
Government Units by State: Census Years 1942 to 2012 (includes Preliminary 2012 data) PDF [10KB] | Excel [33KB]
Did you know there were 89,004 governments in the U.S. in 2012, down from 89,527 in 2007.
Late 2013: Preliminary release of 2012 Census of Governments: Employment data.
Late 2014: Preliminary release of 2012 Census of Governments: Finance data for state and local governments.
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