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How many politicians are there in the USA? (Infographic)

Turning on your television it can feel like politicians are everywhere. But the politicians that dominate the news barely scratch the surface of how many politicians there are in the United States. There are almost 100,000 unique governments in the United States, all electing 1 or more people to oversee that government. From School Board to City Council to President, the numbers of elected officials can be dizzying, which is why we put together this infographic to look at all of them, and break down the numbers.


If you'd like to dig into the data sets, or see it broken down by state, scroll below the infographic to get tables and links to our data.

This data was collected from a number of sources, the main one being the 1992 Census of Governments which collected data on every elected official in the United States. We took appended this data from the National Conference of State Legislators and compared it to Jennifer Lawless's 2012 book Becoming a Candidate. Where possible we updated this data with more recent numbers, but the data on local governments from that time period is the best we have.

See the Data by State

State Population Total Federal State Local Politicians Per 10,000 citizens
United States 327,167,434 512,658 534 17,628 493 830 20.6
Alabama 4,887,871 4,385 9 436 3 949 10.9
Alaska 737,438 1,929 3 255 1 674 35.1
Arizona 7,171,646 3,289 11 239 3,050 9
Arkansas 3,013,825 8,408 6 349 8,059 35.8
California 39,557,045 18,925 55 226 18 699 6.4
Colorado 5,695,564 8,605 9 280 8 325 26.1
Connecticut 3,572,665 9,147 7 333 8 814 27.8
Delaware 967,171 1,171 3 80 1 091 17.6
District of Columbia 702,455 348 0 348 5.7
Florida 21,299,325 5,588 29 934 4,654 4.3
Georgia 10,519,475 6,529 16 465 6,064 10.1
Hawaii 1,420,491 183 4 91 92 1.7
Idaho 1,754,208 4,775 4 171 4,604 47.4
Illinois 12,741,080 42,336 20 623 41,713 37
Indiana 6,691,878 11,624 11 506 11,118 21
Iowa 3,156,145 16,479 6 319 16,160 59.4
Kansas 2,911,505 18,895 6 343 18,552 76.3
Kentucky 4,468,402 7,060 8 565 6,495 19.2
Louisiana 4,659,978 5,051 8 629 4,422 12
Maine 1,338,404 6,556 4 210 6,346 53.4
Maryland 6,042,718 2,123 10 356 1,767 4.4
Massachusetts 6,902,149 22,173 11 225 21,948 36.9
Michigan 9,995,915 18,704 16 652 18,052 20.1
Minnesota 5,611,179 18,870 10 623 18,247 43.3
Mississippi 2,986,530 4,754 6 296 4,458 18.5
Missouri 6,126,452 17,281 10 994 16,287 33.8
Montana 1,062,305 5,106 3 201 4 905 63.9
Nebraska 1,929,268 13,899 5 201 13 698 88.1
Nevada 3,034,392 1,218 6 141 1,077 10.1
New Hampshire 1,356,458 7,347 4 430 6 917 66.2
New Jersey 8,908,520 9,042 14 121 8 921 11.8
New Mexico 2,095,428 2,201 5 220 1 981 14.5
New York 19,542,209 25,932 29 950 24 982 14.4
North Carolina 10,383,620 5,820 15 593 5 227 8.8
North Dakota 760,077 15,482 3 205 15 277 242.3
Ohio 11,689,442 19,366 18 231 19 135 17.9
Oklahoma 3,943,079 8,989 7 362 8 627 28.6
Oregon 4,190,713 7,833 7 290 7 543 27.6
Pennsylvania 12,807,060 30,476 20 1 200 29 276 25.7
Rhode Island 1,057,315 1,138 4 155 983 11.3
South Carolina 5,084,127 3,943 9 195 3 748 11.3
South Dakota 882,235 9,684 3 155 9 529 139.1
Tennessee 6,770,010 6,950 11 321 6 629 14.3
Texas 28,701,845 27,628 38 815 26 813 16.3
Utah 3,161,105 2,711 6 200 2 511 15.7
Vermont 626,299 8,534 3 186 8 348 151.6
Virginia 8,517,685 3,104 13 143 2 961 5
Washington 7,535,591 7,724 12 537 7 187 15.9
West Virginia 1,805,832 2,772 5 205 2 567 15.5
Wisconsin 5,813,568 17,829 10 450 17,379 36.5
Wyoming 577,737 2,742 3 121 2,621 60.4

According to these data sources, there are 519,682 politicians across the United States. Of these, 535 are Federal politicians, 18,749 are State Politicians, and 500,396 are local politicians. Note that the state data is slightly lower than the totals, as we do not include territories in the table.


We break this down further by each level:


Federal Politicians



There are 435 United States Congresspeople, 100 United States Senators, and of course 1 US President and 1 US Vice President.


State Politicians



There are 5,411 State Representatives, 1972 State Senators, 10,35 statewide office holders, and 1,331 state boards.


The average number by state is 376.6.


Statewide office holders includes the big names, things like governor, or attorney general, but many states put office holders like administrative offices or judges. The vast majority of these seats are judicial, which are elected in a judicial district which is larger than a county area, so it is considered a statewide office.


Local Politicians



The vast majority of politicians, 96.2%, are local elected officials. These break down to 135,531 city elected officials, 126,958 township members, 58,108 county officers, 95,000 school board members, and 84,089 special district members.


States range wildly in how they administer local governments. For instance, 20 states administer what are called "townships", small municipal governments that are usually below 10,000 citizens. These are referred to as "towns" in New England states.


Special districts are unique to various geographic areas. For a comedic take on these (and a great explanation) see John Olivers great take down of special districts.

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