State and local government employees and payroll


Looking at the number of government employees in proportion to population, Kansas has many compared to other states, and especially so in education.

Each year the United States Census Bureau surveys federal, state, and local government civilian employees. I’ve gathered this data and present it in an interactive visualization using several views and supplementary calculations. 1

The Census Bureau collects both counts of employees and payroll dollars. Comparisons based on the number of employees are useful, bypassing issues such as differing costs of living and salaries in general.

Click for larger.
Considering all government functions, Kansas has 69.50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees per thousand residents in 2018. Only two states and the District of Columbia have more.

For total elementary and secondary education employment, Kansas has 29.78 such employees (full-time equivalent) per thousand residents. Only two states have more.

In the following chart of total employees, total elementary and secondary education employees, and total higher education employees, Kansas stands out from its neighbors and the nation. In almost all cases, Kansas has proportionally more government employees, and often by a large margin.

In this example from the visualization showing Kansas and nearby states, Kansas stands out. Click for larger.


  1. For details and to access the visualization, see here:


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