Feature

Although licensure laws vary from state to state, becoming licensed as a psychologist is typically the culmination of earning a doctoral degree in clinical, counseling or school psychology, accruing postdoctoral clinical hours and passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

An estimated 106,500 psychologists possess current licenses in the United States.1

California (17,890) New York (12,020) and Pennsylvania (5,620) have the most licensed psychologists, while Wyoming (170), South Dakota (190) and Alaska (190) have the fewest.

How many psychologists are licensed in the United States?

Approximately 33.9 psychologists are licensed per 100,000 population in the United States.1,2

  • The District of Columbia (173.3) and Vermont (100.5) have the highest representation of licensed psychologists per 100,000 population, while Mississippi (11.9) and South Carolina (13.0) have the lowest.
  • The South (24.0) has the lowest representation of licensed psychologists when compared with the Midwest (30.6), West (37.5) and Northeast regions (54.2).1,2,3

Auntré Hamp, MEd, MPH, Karen Stamm, PhD, Peggy Christidis, PhD, Andrew Nigrinis, PhD, of APA's, Center for Workforce Studies.

1American Psychological Association (2014). 2012 APA state licensing board list. [Unpublished special analysis]. Washington, DC: Author.

2U. S. Census Bureau. (2012). Annual estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/popest/data/historical/2010s/vintage_2012/state.html

3Data were collected from state boards of psychology and de-duplicated internally by the American Psychological Association. U.S. Census region definitions were utilized to define regional per 100,000 population rates. http://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/maps/pdfs/reference/us_regdiv.pdf

4Jenks natural breaks classification method was utilized to determine map intervals.