Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Is Australia over governed?

An interesting discussion popped up on Twitter earlier about whether Australia is over governed/represented. After doing a few searches and some back of an envelope calculations We (myself (@australiavotes), @banditcountry and @The_kennel)  came up with some interesting numbers. Australia has (by my count) around 7,380 elected officials which going by the ABS population clock is 1 for every 3003 people.

EDIT: Canada was brought up as it's similar in population and size to Australia. My figure (which could be way off) is based on results I could find and includes Federal and State MPs plus regional Mayors, Councillors and schhol boards. I work it out 4100 which is 1 for every 8048 people.

1 for every 3003 people
1 for every 8048 people
1 for every 2,745  people

In 1992, The U.S had 1 for every 501 people. They elected judges, school baords, and plenty of other things though.

EDIT: Have been told by Anonymous in comments that the U.K figure is 1 for every 2,745 people.


  1. I think your UK figures are wrong.

    There are 641 MPS in the Westminster Parliament and 129 in the Scottish Parliament. There are another 108 MLAs in the Northern Irish Assembly and 60 in the Welsh Assembly. That equals 938.

    There are 19,657 councillors in England, 1,222 in Scotland, 1,264 in Wales and 582 in Northern Ireland. 21,625 in total.

    Add on the 25 members of the London Authority and the 13 directly elected mayors you have a grand total of 22,601. This works out at one politician for every 2,745.

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