States' Fiscal Health

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States are managing through a slow and uneven economic recovery and many have not yet returned to pre-recession revenue levels. Rising health care, education, and infrastructure costs are placing pressures on annual budgets. The ways in which policymakers confront these challenges will affect states and the nation for years to come. Pew's work on states' fiscal health provides data, analysis, and guidance to help states navigate their fiscal challenges and identify and understand potential policy approaches. We examine key trends in state economies and budgets, and research and advance promising approaches to managing volatile state finances in an era of heightened uncertainty.

Our Work

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  • Rainy Day Funds and State Credit Ratings

    Research by Pew has found that even in states with the agencies’ highest rating (triple-A), policymakers often are unsure about how best to manage their rainy day funds to earn or keep high credit ratings. As a result, some state officials are reluctant to tap reserves even during recessions for fear of a ratings downgrade. Read More

  • Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis

    Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, an interactive resource from The Pew Charitable Trusts, allows you to sort and analyze data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic trends in the 50 states and understand their impact on states’ fiscal health. Read More

  • Tax Revenue Has Recovered in 31 States, Despite Flat Q3

    Growth in total state tax revenue stalled in the third quarter of 2016, extending a rare drop in tax collections outside of a recession. Even so, more than seven years after the end of the Great Recession, receipts nationally and in 31 states have risen enough to recover from losses in the downturn, after accounting for inflation. Read More

Explore Fiscal 50 Interactive

Sort and chart data about key fiscal and economic trends in the 50 states, and read Pew's insights.

Chart Data, Read Analysis

How States Raise Their Tax Dollars

Mix of Tax Sources by State, FY 2015

Taxes are the largest source of state government funding, making up almost half of combined state revenue.

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Media Contact

Sarah Leiseca

Officer, Communications

202.540.6369