Source: U.S. Census Bureau, August 2012
From the press release:
The U.S. Census Bureau today released preliminary counts of local governments as the first component of the 2012 Census of Governments. In 2012, 89,004 local governments existed in the United States, down from 89,476 in the last census of governments conducted in 2007…
…Conducted every five years (for years ending in “2” and “7”), the census of governments provides the only uniform source of statistics for all of the nation’s state and local governments. These statistics allow for in-depth trend analysis of all individual governments and provide a complete, comprehensive and authoritative benchmark of state and local government activity.
The census of governments measures three components: organization, employment and finance. These components provide statistics on the number of governments that exist, the services they provide, the number of their employees and their financial activity. In addition to the information provided for states, cities, counties and townships, the census of governments also provides information on special districts and school districts.
Among the key findings in the 2012 Census of Governments preliminary counts:
– Illinois leads the nation with 6,968 local governments — approximately 2,000 more
– Hawaii has 21 local governments, the fewest of any state.
– Texas remains first in the nation with the most independent school districts at 1,079. Closely behind is California, with 1,025 independent school districts.
– Seventeen states had more special districts compared with 2007, and 29 had fewer. Five states (including the District of Columbia) had no change.
– Ten states had fewer townships because of mergers and consolidations. Kansas decreased the most, moving from 1,353 in 2007 to 1,268 in 2012, a decrease of 85.