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What is the State Government Revenue?

In FY 2015, state government revenue was “guesstimated” to be $1.68 trillion. In FY 2013, the latest year reported by the Census Bureau, state government revenue was $1.67 trillion.

State Government Revenue Analysis   also: Spending Charts  Debt Charts  

 

This page shows the current trends in US State revenue. There are also charts on US State revenue history.

Recent US State Government Revenue

Chart R.01s: Recent State Revenue

Chart R.02s: Recent State Revenue as Pct GDP

State Government Revenue was increasing strongly, year on year, in the mid 2000s from $1.3 trillion to $6.6 trillion in 2007. But state revenues cratered in the Great Recession, down to a little over $0.62 trillion in 2009 due to $0.5 trillion losses in state employee pension funds. But state revenues snapped back to $1.5 trillion in 2010 and apart from 2012 has stayed steady at over $1.6 trillion since.

Viewed from a GDP perspective, state revenue was increasing steadily as a percent of GDP from 2005 to reach nearly 11 percent in 2007. In the Great Recession state revenues plunged down to 4.4 percent GDP in 2009, due to losses in state employee pension funds, and then returned to around 9 to 10 percent GDP.

US State Revenue Since 1900

Chart R.03s: State Revenue in 20th Century

At the start of the 20th century state government revenue was the smallest component of government revenue, amounting to less than 2 percent of GDP each year. But state government revenue inceased exponentially in the first half of the 20th century, reaching 5 percent of GDP in the late 1930s. By the end of World War II state government revenue had been slashed to 3 percent of GDP, but began a slow and steady increase, year on year, for the second half of the century, reaching almost 10 percent of GDP in 2000. Since 2000 losses in state government pension funds in recession years have created huge fluctuations in state government revenues.

Federal, State, Local Revenue in 20th Century

Chart R.04t: State Government Revenue
by Government Level


At the start of the 20th century, about half of government revenue was local government revenue. Out of a total of 7 percent of GDP, a full 3.5 percent was collected at the local level. Federal revenue spiked in World War I, but by the mid 1920s, local government revenue and federal revenue were about equal at 5 percent of GDP, with state revenue below 2 percent of GDP. During the 1930s this changed, as state revenue surged to 5 percent of GDP while federal revenue increased to 7 to 8 percent of GDP and local revenue increased to about 6 percent of GDP. After the spike of World War II, when federal revenue briefly hit almost 24 percent of GDP, state and local governments entered the 1950s at about 4 percent of GDP while federal revenue fluctuated between 16 and 18 percent of GDP. Since the 1950s state and local revenue has steadily increased, with state revenue reaching 10 percent of GDP and local revenue reaching 6.5 percent of GDP in 2000.

State-by-State Comparison of State and Local Revenue

Chart R.05c: State and Local Revenue Comparison


The bubble chart shows total state and local revenue for each state in dollars per capita compared against the Gross State Product (GSP) in dollars per capita. The chart shows that the overwhelming number of states show a correlation between state and local revenue and GSP. Notable outliers are Texas and Massachusetts, on the low taxing side and New York, California, Vermont, and North Dakota, on the high taxing side.

Top Revenue Requests:

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Revenue Data Sources

Revenue data is from official government sources.

Gross Domestic Product data comes from US Bureau of Economic Analysis and measuringworth.com.

Detailed table of revenue data sources here.

Federal revenue data begins in 1792.

State and local revenue data begins in 1890.

State and local revenue data for individual states begins in 1957.

Spending 101 Courses

Spending | Federal Debt | Revenue | Defense | Welfare | Healthcare | Education
Debt History | Entitlements | Deficits | State Spending | State Taxes | State Debt


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Next Data Update

> Federal Budget FY16

> data update schedule.

Data Sources for 2011_2021:

Sources for 2011:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported revenue forward to future years

Sources for 2021:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported revenue forward to future years

> data sources for other years
> data update schedule.

Federal Budget for FY17 Released

On February 9, 2016, we updated usgovernmentspending.com with the numbers from the historical tables in the Budget of the United States Government for Fiscal Year 2017. Actual revenue for FY 2015 and estimated revenue through FY 2021 come from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, and 2.5. Actual spending for FY 2015 and estimated spending at the subfunction level through FY 2021 comes from Table 3.2. Budget Authority estimates come from Table 5.1, federal debt estimates come from Table 7.1 and GDP estimates come from Table 10.1. Intergovernmental transfers come from Table 12.3.

Here is how headline budget estimates for the upcoming FY 2017 fiscal year have changed since the release of the FY 2016 budget a year ago in 2015.

FY 2017 Federal Budget Changes Since 2015
$ billionEstimate in
FY16 Budget
Estimate in
FY17 Budget
Change
Federal Outlays$4,217.8$4,147.2-$70.6
Federal Receipts$3,755.0$3,643.7-$111.3
Federal Deficit$462.8$503.5+$40.7

You can see line item changes from budget to budget here. You can compare budget estimates with actuals here.

Account level spending estimates through FY 2021 come from the Outlays table in the Public Budget Database and were updated on usgovernmentspending.com on February 9, 2016.

Account level budget authority estimates through FY 2021 come from the Budget Authority table in the Public Budget Database and were updated on usgovernmentspending.com on February 9, 2016.

Tax links

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