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You are here: Economic Programs Overview -> Governments -> Annual Survey of State Government Finances

PURPOSE

To provide annual statistics on the financial activity of the fifty state governments. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and responses are voluntary.

COVERAGE

Annual census of all fifity state governments, including all dependent agencies, institutions, commissions, and public authorities that operate separately or somewhat autonomously from the central state government but where the state government maintains aministraitve or fiscal control over their activities.

CONTENT

Statistics on state government finances include measurement of revenues by type (e.g., sales taxes, income taxes, federal aid, fees, and so on), expenditures by character (e.g., current operations, capital outlay, intergovernmental expenditures, and so on) and function (e.g., education, health, welfare, natural resources, and so on), indebtedness (including both public debt for unspecified purposes and publci debt for private purposes), and cash and security holdings (including both public and priviate securities). Reference period covers state government fiscal years.

FREQUENCY

Data collection begins in October, and continues for about 9 months. Data are developed from administrative accounting records provided to the Census Bureau by the state governments central accounting or finance offices. State government finances is the second oldest Census Bureau statistical series on government activities. It started in 1915 and has continued regularly except for 1920, 1921 (partial data), and 1933 to 1936. Data between 1942 and 1950 were conducted during the even years only (i.e., 1942, 1944, 1946, 1948, and 1950). Although conducted annually since 1950 reports prior to 1951 are not comparable due to major classification revisions that took effect with the 1951 report.

METHODS

An enumeration of all 50 states. Data are compiled from accounting records provided by each state government from their central accounting system for all or most of their agencies. Data for other state-level entities, such as state institutions, commissions, component units, public authorities, and other state-level dependent government organizations are obtained form financial records of those indiviudal entities.

PRODUCTS

State Government Tax Collections (STC) report provides a summary of taxes collected by state for up to 25 tax categories. These tables and data files present the details on tax collections by type of tax imposed and collected by state governments.

USES

The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data as a primary source for updating its measures of the government sector of the National Income and Product Accounts. The Federal Reserve Board uses the data as a primary source for its Flow of Funds Accounts. State and local governmentts use the data to assess their financial condition, make peer-government comparisions, plan new programs, and develop financial policies. and the Federal Reserve Board use the data for econometric models of the economy. State and local governments use the data for trend analysis in various types of taxes and regional comparisons. Business and financial market analysts follow tax trends through these data.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Provides the most comprehensive comparative, uniformly classified data on the economic activity of state governments.

RELATED PROGRAMS

o Economic Census

o Quarterly Tax Survey

o State Government Tax Collections Survey

o Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances


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