AMERICANS now have more than a half-million elected officials carrying out federal, state, and local business.
The Census Bureau reports that its 1992 Census of Governments found 511,039 popularly elected officeholders in the country.
That was up from 497,155 in the last count five years earlier.
Only 542 of those officials are in Washington.
The 50 state governments have 18,828 elected positions and there were 491,669 elected jobs in the 84,955 local governments.
''The growth is from electing more members to the judiciary, and electing officials to the increasing number of special district governments,'' says Census statistician Marshall Moore.
More than two-thirds of elected officials were members of legislative bodies such as Congress, state legislatures, county and municipal councils, school boards and independent district boards.
The report found that 24 percent of local elected officials were women, with school boards having the largest share at 31 percent.