What Counties Do That Matters

Did you know there are 3,069 counties in the US, and they are the key level of government, serving the people directly? They are responsible for providing all essential public services and are mandated by federal and state laws and regulations.

That’s a lot of responsibility for the small amount of employees who manage them…and that’s why counties matter so much!

So, county workers, here’s your chance to brag. Next time someone asks, “What does my county do for me?” you can say:

  1. Counties manage expenditures of more than $450 billion, including law enforcement, construction, human services, education, and health services.
  2. Counties oversee more than 112,000 polling places and 700,000 poll workers every election year.
  3. Counties employ more than 3.2 million Americans, and 18,000 elected officials.
  4. Counties are responsible for health services such as administering flu shots, all while managing more than 1,900 health departments.
  5. Counties own 75 percent of publicly-owned nursing homes, operate 964 hospitals, and spend $68.3 billion on healthcare services every year.
  6. Counties invest tens of billions of dollars on infrastructure every year, including highways, roads, bridges, and utilities.
  7. Counties are responsible for 3,105 county sheriff and police departments nationwide which admit 11.8 million persons into county jails every year.
  8. Counties own and maintain 44 percent of America’s roads, 228,026 of America’s bridges, and 1/3 of transit and airport infrastructure.

Give yourself a round of applause, counties!  You deserve it!

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