Victoria 2 Bureaucrats: What They Do & How To Get Them

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In Victoria 2, bureaucrats are the POPs that actually run your nation and contribute to its administrative efficiency. They abstractly represent all government employees, everyone from tax collectors to constables (but not teachers, that is the job of clergy POPs).

All POPs must come from somewhere.

Your new bureaucrats mainly come from promotions – that is to say, people who decide to apply for a new job in your government.

Only primary or accepted culture POPs can become bureaucrats. Each POP belongs to a certain culture, and usually they correspond with the nation that they’re living in, so for example, most of France is filled with French culture POPs.

Non-accepted culture POPs will slowly assimilate to the primary culture. If you somehow manage to acquire non-accepted culture bureaucrats, they don’t do anything.


What is Administrative Efficiency?

Administrative efficiency reflects how well the state is able to enforce its policies. There are two kinds of administrative efficiency: at the national and state level.

(Click for full-size)
State administrative efficiency

Sources of state administrative efficiency include:

Source Effect
Base 20.0%
Monetary System (Commerce) Tech 5.0% per level (up to 30.0%)
Bureaucrats 0 to 100%
State has non-core province -5.0%

State administrative efficiencies are calculated with local bureaucrat POPs.

For national governments, it is calculated based solely on the national %bureaucrat POPs. The base requirement is 1.0% of your total population, increasing by 0.1% per level of social reforms, and it scales from 0% to 100%.

%national administrative efficiency = %bureaucrats ÷ %required bureaucrats

Administrative efficiency, state or national, can never exceed 100% in total.


Effects of Administrative Efficiency

  • Tax efficiency
  • Crime fighting efficiency
  • POP promotion speed

The most important use reason you’ll care about state administrative efficiency is that it increases tax efficiency, which is a direct multiplier on how much tax the state receives.

A similar principle applies to tariffs on a national level.

effective tax rate = nominal tax rate × tax efficiency

So with a nominal tax rate of 50% and a total tax efficiency of 37%, the effective rate is 18.5% = 50% × 37%.

It also directly controls crime fighting efficiency.

Low levels can periodically lead to bad province modifiers, ranging from relatively benign events like spoil system, which increases ruling party support by +200%, to quite problematic events like immoral business, which can decrease local RGO output by -20%.

POP promotion speed is also directly multiplied by administrative efficiency, scaling from 0% to 100%, which affects the rate at which you gain new bureaucrats!


How To Promote Bureaucrats

Bureaucrat POPs, like all POPs, naturally increase over time.

But the rate of natural growth is quite slow for a large industrializing country, so you’ll want to focus on promoting new bureaucrats.

This happens naturally over time – but there are some ways you can speed up the process.

Generally speaking, safe, prosperous, and literate POPs are able to focus on promotions.

That means you’ll want low militancy, high fulfilled needs, and high literacy.


Administrative Spending

The easiest way of getting new bureaucrats is through administrative spending.

It can be set in the administrative slider in the budget tab.

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National administrative efficiency and the administration slider

Recruitment is not instant, but a large and well-funded government tends to attract more applicants.

Bureaucrats are directly paid from the state budget in this slider, so you may notice that as you increase the slider, your administrative costs tend to increase quadratically.

You’ll want to set this slider as high as possible, even if you’re losing money, because administrative efficiency is what also affects tax efficiency – which is how the nation raises revenues in the first place!

Note that bureaucrats can also demote if they don’t meet enough of their needs.

They’re paid directly from national administrative spending (another reason why you want to keep that slider high at all times).

When they meet their luxury needs, they will also promote themselves to the upper classes like capitalists and aristocrats if they get the chance, although that is generally a good thing.


Social Reforms

Social reforms are a mixed bag when it comes to getting more bureaucrats.

While this increases the promotion speed of POPs to new bureaucrats, it also increases the total amount of bureaucrats you need to administer and implement new policies – which can lead to a decrease of administrative efficiency in the short term.

Promotion chances for prospective bureaucrats from other POPs / Victoria 2
Promotion chances for prospective bureaucrats from other POPs

National Focus

Lastly, you can set a national focus in order to encourage bureaucrats in a local region.

To do so, click on the highlighted square in order to open the national focus menu, and then click on any individual icon in the new menu order to set it.

How to set a national focus for bureaucrats / Victoria 2
How to set a national focus for bureaucrats

Generally, it isn’t worth using a national focus on bureaucrats when you can be encouraging capitalists instead in the early game.

And by the late game you shouldn’t have any problems with bureaucrats.

The only exception is in the case of colonies.


Colonies and Statehood

Bureaucrats are also required to turn a colony into a state.

To do so, you need at least 1.0% of local accepted culture bureaucrats.

In new colonies, the best way to quickly get enough bureaucrats is:

  1. Set a national focus encouraging immigration from your other regions
  2. Set a national focus to bureaucrats once you have enough accepted culture POPs

The main benefit of statehood is the ability to build factories.

So if you have enough colonial power and enough factories, you don’t need to turn to every colony into a state.



And that’s everything you need to know about bureaucrats. Whether you love them or hate them, they’re a vital part of your government in Victoria 2.

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Antigone Merlin

Pronoun: they/them. Believes in the power of games as a medium to tell stories. Thinks they can tell a story using only a tax spreadsheet. Their writer friends disrespectfully disagree.