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Release Number CB16-TPS.110
Component ID: #ti83546519

June 7, 2016 — The recent expansion of state Medicaid programs pushed the nation’s public welfare expenditures up 4.9 percent, from $519.2 billion in 2013 to $544.6 billion in 2014, according to statistics released today from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of State Government Finances.

Hawaii (23.2 percent), Oregon (22.1 percent), Kentucky (17.9 percent) and Washington (16.7 percent) led all states. Each of these states, along with several others, expanded their Medicaid programs in 2014, contributing greatly to the overall national increase.

Overall, general state government revenues rose 1.8 percent, from $1.71 trillion in 2013 to $1.74 trillion in 2014, while general expenditures rose 2.6 percent, from $1.68 trillion to $1.73 trillion.

The findings show revenues, expenditures, debt, and cash and security holdings for each state, as well as a national summary of state government finances. The major source of these public finance statistics are the states’ own accounting systems or through intermediate reporting systems.

The largest increase in general revenues came from general sales taxes and other taxes (such as severance, inheritance and stock transfer taxes), both of which were up 6.5 percent. Overall, tax revenue totaled $865.8 billion, up 2.2 percent from the 2013 total of $847.1 billion and 8.4 percent from 2012, when it totaled $798.6 billion. Additionally, federal grants accounted for nearly one-third (30.8 percent) of all state government general revenue in 2014, up from 30.0 percent in 2013.

Other highlights:

  • Total state expenditures increased 1.5 percent in 2014. In 2014, states spent a total of $2.04 trillion, up from the $2.01 trillion they spent in 2013.
  • Capital outlay expenditures were down 9.4 percent, from $115.0 billion in 2013 to $104.2 billion in 2014.
  •  Interest payments on general long-term debt decreased 1.4 percent, from $46.1 billion in 2013 to $45.5 billion in 2014.
  • Unemployment benefits were down 32.5 percent, from $71.2 billion in fiscal year 2013 to $48.0 billion in fiscal year 2014. Some of this drop can be attributed to the expiration of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits halfway through fiscal year 2013, and some can be attributed to an improving job market.
  • Total public hospital spending increased 4.8 percent, from $67.4 billion in 2013 to $70.7 billion in 2014.

Government financial data are presented within four broad activity sectors: general government, utilities, liquor stores and insurance trust sectors. The general government sector includes all government revenue and expenditure activities that are consistent with government functions, such as public protection, education, health and welfare, and the like. These activities are distinct from the business-like activities presented in the remaining three sectors (utility, liquor stores and insurance trusts).

No news release associated with this report. Tip Sheet only.


The data on state government finances for fiscal year 2014 and past years are available on the Internet in viewable and downloadable files at <>. The data in these tables are from a census of governments, therefore, they are not subject to sampling variability but are subject to response and processing errors as well as errors of item nonresponse. For more information on the data limitations, definitions and methodology, see <>.


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