A recent article in Governing magazine detailed recent data on government “fragmentation,” counting the entities and layers of governments providing local services by state. As is often the case with such analyses, the local governments in Maryland are dramatically leaner than in many other states.
A data summary from the article shows Maryland as having the second-lowest per capital total government units in any state, with only Hawai’i fielding a lower density of governmental units. Maryland’s fairly geographically broad counties, its consolidated county-wide school boards, and relatively few incorporated municipalities are usually the elements that lead to these conclusions.
From the article:
Government fragmentation has long been torn between two competing interests. On one hand, many officials argue consolidation boosts efficiency and makes coordination easier. Citizens, though, remain attached to their local governments and often resent representation by a perceived group of outsiders.