States' Fiscal Health

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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  • Federal Funds Provide 30 Cents of Each Dollar of State Revenue

    As the nation emerged from the Great Recession, federal dollars made up a bigger proportion of states’ revenue from fiscal year 2009 to 2012 than at any other time in the past 50 years. After peaking at 35.5 percent in fiscal 2010, however, the share fell back within its historical range in fiscal 2013, dropping to 30.0 percent. 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

  • Revenue Volatility Varies Widely by State and Tax Type

    States experienced vastly different tax revenue fluctuations over the past two decades, with the greatest year-to-year volatility in Alaska and the least in South Dakota. These swings can confound efforts to balance state budgets. This first-of-its-kind assessment controls for the effect of known state tax law changes to reveal the underlying volatility of each state’s total tax revenue and... Read More

Fiscal 50: Interactive

Explore State Trends and Analysis

Sort and analyze data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic trends in the 50 states and understand their impact on states’ fiscal health.

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Media Contact

Sarah Leiseca

Officer, Communications

202.540.6369