How Many Levels of Government Are There?

The United States has three levels of government: federal, state and local, and each level covers a different geographical jurisdiction. At the local level, many subdivisions exist and include counties, cities or municipalities, towns, townships, school districts and special-purpose districts.

The structure, authority and responsibilities for the federal level of government are set forth in the U.S. Constitution, and the federal level covers the entire United States. In state governments, each state has a constitution similar to the federal one. However, a state constitution only applies to the state and reflects state priorities. Each state government follows the structure of the federal government and has executive, legislative and judicial branches.