10 Facts About Comparison of U.S. State Governments


In the United States, the government of each of the 50 states is structured in accordance with its individual constitution.

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.

A government is the system by which a state or community is controlled.

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In turn, each state constitution must be grounded in republican principles.

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Article IV, Section 4, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution tasks the federal government with assuring that each state’s government is so organized.


All state governments are modeled after the federal government and consist of three branches : executive, legislative, and judicial.


All state governments are also organized as presidential systems where the governor is both head of government and head of state.

Head of government is a generic term used for either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony who often presides over a cabinet.

A presidential system is a system of government where a head of government is also head of state and leads an executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch.

A head of state or Chief of State is the highest-ranking position in a sovereign state and is vested with powers to act as the chief public representative of that state.


The government of each of the five permanently inhabited U.S. territories is modeled and organized in a like fashion.


Each state is itself a sovereign entity, and as such, reserves the right to organize in any way deemed appropriate by its people.


As a result, while the governments of the various states share many similar features, they often vary greatly with regard to form and substance.


No two state governments are identical.


The following tables compare and contrast some of the features of U.S. state, and territorial governments, and also the government of the District of Columbia, its capital city.

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as "Washington", "the District", or simply "D.C.", is the capital of the United States.

A capital city is the municipality enjoying primary status in a country, state, province, or other region, usually as its seat of government.

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