While many people believe that most federal workers live near the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., this is not always the case. While Virginia, the state closest to the District of Columbia, has the second-most federal employees, the most can be found in California with 152,466 federal employees. As of 2019 statistics, about 85% of federal employees work outside of Washington D.C. and over 35% live in rural areas.
The largest department in the federal government is the Department of Veterans Affairs. This department comprises about 16% of the total federal government workforce. In total, there are 285,735 permanent employees currently working for this department.
The following largest departments at the federal government level are the Army, Navy, and Air Force Departments. These are three different and independent offices that work together under the federal government umbrella. Currently, The Department of the Army is the largest with 244,891 employees, the Department of the Navy is the second largest with 191,403 employees and the Department of the Air Force is the smallest of the three with 167,877 employees.
One of the largest agencies under the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security is robust, holding more employees than the Department of the Air Force. In total, the Department of Homeland Security employs 172,848 total people.
Moving into a different branch of the federal government, the Department of Justice is part of the Judicial branch. This department alone employs 113,490 employees at the federal government level. This includes correctional officers, criminal investigators, and attorneys.
With 108,110 permanent employees, the Department of Treasury is responsible for maintaining the investments, money, trusts, and interest rates throughout the country.
Separate from the military branches and departments, the federal government also has a Department of Defense. This department employs 85,579 people at the federal government level.
Although one of the smaller departments at the federal government level, this department performs a vital function to keep our plants, animals, and food sources healthy and well-provided. It is better known as the USDA. The Department of Agriculture employs 86,562 permanent workers and 21,729 temporary workers.
Responsible for maintaining optimum health throughout the country, establishing systems, and implementing human services throughout the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services employs about 83,202 people, with 59,905 permanent workers.
The Department of Transportation helps maintain the airways, rails, roads, and bridges throughout the United States, ensuring tax money is well-allocated to appropriate projects to improve the overall infrastructure in the country. The Department of Transportation employs 56,508 people.
The Department of the Interior helps manage the country's natural resources, like the National Parks throughout the country. The Department of the Interior employs 58,416 people throughout the country.
Several other small agencies make up the federal government, including the Department of State (22,120), the Department of Energy (15,936), the Department of Education(4,082), the Department of Commerce (41,103), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (9,442). Together, these agencies are made up of an additional 92,683 people working for the federal government. In total, there are more than 2.1 million federal government employees.
% of Total
Department of Defense
Annuitants Plus Employees
|District of Columbia||141,367||7.56||11,693||36,575||177,942|