Alaska took in the highest revenue per capita – and bore the greatest per capita expenses as well – in 2004, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual ranking of state revenues and expenditures.
The Census Bureau reports that the states with the greatest per capita revenue were:
- North Dakota
- New York
And the top five states with the greatest per capita expenditures in 2004 were:
- New York
In a separate, but related recent release, the U.S. Census Bureau provides a detailed breakdown of State and Local Government Finances for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Data covers government entities whose fiscal year ended between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004. Finances are divided into four areas: revenues, expenditures, debt and assets.
This data – which can be viewed online (in html or pdf format) or downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet – is broken down in detail to show, for example, what portion of a state’s annual revenue came from local government, from sales tax on tobacco products, or from motor vehicle licensing.
Alaska, for example, whose per capita revenues and expenditures were the highest in the country, generated the bulk of its income from taxes (especially property taxes), miscellaneous general revenue, and insurance trust revenue. On the expenditures side, Alaska’s paid out the most for current government operations, salaries and wages, education, and public welfare.
Depending on how the data is manipulated after it is downloaded into spreadsheet form, these figures allow for comparison over time and with other states.
The Census Bureau conducted its most recent census of governments reflecting fiscal years ending in 2001-2002. The next will take place for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. For interim years, the Bureau relies on annual survey data.