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About Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances


U.S. Census Bureau as authorized by Title 13, United States Code, Section 161 for Census years and 182 for non-Census years.


This program is the only known comprehensive source of state and local government finance data collected on a nationwide scale using uniform definitions, concepts, and procedures.


This survey provides local government data on debt and assets as well as  revenues and expenditures by governmental function (i.e., police protection, fire protection, financial administration, central staff services, judicial and legal, highways, public welfare, solid waste management, sewerage, parks and recreation, health, hospitals, water supply, electric power, gas supply, transit, natural resources, correction, libraries, air transportation, water transport and terminals, and housing and community development) of counties, cities, township governments, special districts and dependent agencies.


Data have been collected annually since 1957. A census is conducted every five years (years ending in ‘2’ and ‘7’). A sample of state and local governments is used to collect data in the intervening years. A new sample is selected every five years (years ending in ‘4’ and ‘9’).


Viewable summary tables for each state for each level of government and downloadable data files including summary tables and files of individual government data. Data are presented in total and by state and by type.

How the Data Are Used

The U.S. Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, educational and research organizations, and the general public employ these results. Some major uses include the following:

  • Development of the government component of the gross domestic product estimates
  • Development of the national income accounts
  • Development of personal income figures for state and county areas
  • Allocation of certain federal grant funds
  • Legislative research
  • Comparative studies of state and local government finances
  • Public and fiscal policy analysis/research

Contact Us

Please email us at: ewd.local.finance@census.gov or call 1-800-832-2839 weekdays 8AM-5PM ET.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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