The atomic state densities of helium and argon plasmas produced by the microwave driven plasma torch called the "torche à injection axiale" are presented. They are obtained by absolute line intensity measurements of the excited states and by applying the ideal gas law to the ground state. It will be shown that the atomic state distribution function (ASDF) does not obey the Saha-Boltzmann law: the ASDF cannot be described by one temperature. From the shape of the ASDF it can be concluded that the plasma is ionising. By extrapolating the measured state densities towards the ionisation limit, a minimum value of the electron density can be determined.