Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature: Meaning, Characteristics, Differences

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Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature

The formation of states, governments, and legislature is no piece of cake. A complex structural organization is therefore required to set such guidelines, and one of them is the structure of the parliament. Moreover, the parliamentary structure or legislatures can be of two types; Unicameral or Bicameral Legislatures. The main difference between the two arises based on the number of chambers or units constituting the legislature. 

Furthermore, the legislature consists of deliberately elected people who make laws for a society. Now whether this power of devising laws is concentrated with one central body or divided into two separate parliamentary houses decides if the legislature is unicameral or bicameral. Let’s explore the two in detail. 

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What is a Unicameral Legislature?

An arrangement where there is only one house to make and implement laws for the state or country is called a Unicameral Legislature. It can operate individually on the National or State level. Additionally, a unicameral legislature is considered to be more efficient due to the centralization of legislative powers but it has disadvantages of its own. 

What Countries have a Unicameral Legislature?

There are various countries having a single house at the centre to control the laws, budget and every major decision of the country level. Some of these countries are listed below. 

  1. Iran
  2. Norway
  3. Sweden
  4. Hungary
  5. Denmark
  6. Finland
  7. Israel
  8. New Zealand

What Indian States have a Unicameral Legislature?

Though India has two chambers at its centre, some Indian states follow a unicameral legislature system at the state government level. These states are mentioned below. 

Arunachal Pradesh West BengalUttarakhand 
Tripura Punjab Puducherry
Tamil NaduNagalandOdisha
Rajasthan Meghalaya Madhya Pradesh
Kerala Jharkhand Goa 
Himachal Pradesh Haryana Gujarat 
Chhattisgarh Delhi Assam 
Indian States that have a Unicameral Legislature

What is a Bicameral Legislature?

Understandably, the legislative body comprising two houses is a bicameral legislature. The roles of functioning and administration of a state or nation in this set-up are distributed among two houses. These two houses are interconnected yet exclusive. They may also differ in the number of seats, voting procedures, distribution of power and so on. 

What Countries have a Bicameral Legislature?

There are many countries that follow the bicameral system of legislature. This reduces the abuse of power and allows discussions to take place in the parliament at different levels and with different perspectives. Here are some countries that follow the Bicameral legislature system. 

  1. India
  2. Canada
  3. Japan
  4. Spain
  5. Italy
  6. United Kingdom

What Indian States have a Bicameral Legislature?

Indian states and Union territories that follow a bicameral legislature system are given below. 

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Bihar
  3. Karnataka
  4. Maharashtra
  5. Telangana
  6. Uttar Pradesh

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What is the Differences Between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature?

Apart from the fundamental differences of formation, there are also some other more functional differences between the Unicameral and Bicameral legislatures. The differences are elaborated below. 

FeatureUnicameral LegislatureBicameral Legislature
Government SystemUnitary Federal
Decision MakingEfficient & FlexibleElaborate and Time-consuming
DeadlockLeast or NeverCommon as both houses can disagree
ResponsibilitiesConcentrated to oneDivided among the houses
Efficient in Smaller countriesLarger countries
ExpeditesDecision makingDiversity of opinion
Differences Between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature


Why do only 7 states have bicameral legislature?

Before it was 7 States, but now it is 6 States that have a Bicameral Legislature. It so happened that the state of Jammu and Kashmir turned into a Union Territory in 2019. These 6 states have a Bicameral Legislature as their populations are higher than the other states.

Is India a unicameral or bicameral legislature?

India is a Bicameral Legislature as it has the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

How many states are unicameral in India?

22 States are Unicameral in India.

How many states are bicameral in India?

6 States are Bicameral in India.

Lastly, we hope you liked our blog and gained an understanding of the Attorney General of India. Moreover, you may even read more blogs and empower yourself with knowledge regarding Civics and Polity!

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