Home > Local electoral representation
  • 2,568
  • 5,304
  • 8,724
  • 15,270

The average number of constituents per elected local representative is an important indicator of the state of local democracy in the United States. After all, the smaller the number of constituents represented by each representative, the larger the voice each individual is likely to have in public deliberations and decision-making. On average, the degree of electoral representation in the United States appears to be quite reasonable, with each elected local representative on average representing the voices, opinions, and perspectives of around 6,600 residents.

Elected representation, however, is quite unevenly distributed across states: whereas some states have a high degree of electoral representation (with 1,000-3,000 constituents per elected local representative, on average), local governments in other states have a much lower degree of democratic representation (exceeding 30,000 residents per elected local representative). Based on a preliminary exploration of the state of local democracy in the United States (July 2018), the map shows the average number of residents per elected local representative in each state.

Table III. Local Government Constituents per Elected Representative
Local government average
RankStateAverage
1Vermont777
2South Dakota886
3North Dakota887
4Nebraska1019
5Arkansas1594
6Maine2130
7Montana2197
8Massachusetts2312
9Wisconsin2395
10Illinois2513
11Iowa2568
12Kansas2697
13Wyoming2844
14Missouri3110
15Alaska3267
16Oklahoma3459
17Connecticut3614
18Idaho4197
19Minnesota4447
20Tennessee5034
21Mississippi5304
22Michigan5448
23New Hampshire5527
24Rhode Island5538
25New York5655
26New Mexico6401
27West Virginia6986
28Colorado7125
29Texas7517
30Indiana7714
31Oregon8724
32South Carolina9410
33Pennsylvania11412
34Washington12025
35Ohio12872
36Utah12913
37Delaware13377
38Virginia14205
39Georgia15083
40Kentucky15178
41North Carolina15270
42Louisiana16629
43New Jersey16945
44Alabama26679
45Arizona26889
46Nevada36265
47Florida40463
48DC43377
49Maryland43439
50California45033
51Hawaii126573