U.S. Department of Commerce

Lists & Structure of Governments

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Number of school and special districts by county

Independent School Districts Special Districts

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

2012 Individual State Descriptions [PDF, 1,036MB]

  • Explains how each state is organized into the different types of local governments.
  • Explains how governments' responsibilities and authority vary from state to state, or within a state.

Number of Governments


2012 Census of Governments: The Many Layers of American Government [PDF, 3.5MB]


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Government Employment & Payroll | govs.employ@census.gov |  Last Revised: November 14, 2013