view looking up to rotunda of California capital building in Sacramento
Project

State Fiscal Health

In an era of heightened economic uncertainty, state governments are facing unpredictable revenue as well as rising health care, education, and infrastructure costs. How policymakers choose to confront these challenges will affect states and the nation for years to come. Through both research and advocacy, Pew provides data, analysis, and guidance to help states navigate these fiscal challenges and identify potential policy approaches.

Our research—including 50-state assessments—examines key trends in state finances and evaluates states on their performance, underscoring effective approaches and creating an environment for potential reform. 

We collaborate with policy leaders in states in a variety of ways:

  • Research: We conduct comprehensive and policy-relevant research. Our findings give states evidence-based options to address their unique fiscal challenges.
  • Information sharing: We serve as a resource to policymakers making research-driven decisions to improve fiscal outcomes in their states. We lead webinars, events, and meetings and provide communications assistance to encourage state, regional, and national conversations on budget policies and practices.
  • Technical assistance and policy advocacy: We provide strategic technical assistance to states seeking to improve their budget practices. Our capabilities encompass policy design, including state comparative analysis; drafting or advising on legislation; offering testimony; and supplying other assistance, as requested.

Through these strategies, our goal is to help policymakers manage economic and revenue volatility, enhance transparency, and improve their states’ fiscal health over the long term.

Getty
Getty
Article

How COVID-19 is Driving Big Job Losses

Quick View
Article

Although the federal jobs report released June 5 provided some unexpectedly good news about the start of a recovery from steep private sector losses in recent months, cuts continued to mount for state and local governments, including public education.

Getty
Getty
Article

What the Data Is Telling Us About Jobs and Their Recovery

Quick View
Article

The recent economic turmoil resulting from COVID-19 has given increased attention to what national and state data are telling us about the pandemic’s impact on workers, businesses, and government budgets. Michael Horrigan, president of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, recently answered questions about how to understand the data in these turbulent times.

Getty
Getty
Article

Why Business Incentives May Not Speed State Economic Recoveries

Quick View
Article

Why Business Incentives May Not Speed State Economic Recoveries

During economic downturns, state policymakers face pressure to strengthen their economies and create jobs. In an effort to spur an economic recovery during and after the Great Recession, some states created business tax incentives designed to influence companies’ location and expansion decisions.

Getty
Getty
Article

State Officials Collaborate to Counter the Pandemic’s Impact

Quick View
Article

In response to the unprecedented shutdown of the nation’s economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, top state economic development officials have pivoted from competing with one another for businesses to a more collaborative approach.

Our Work

19x9 placeholder
Data Visualization

Fiscal 50

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

Quick View
Data Visualization

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.

Data Visualization

Where States Get Their Money, FY 2018

Quick View
Data Visualization

Where States Get Their Money, FY 2018

Taxes and federal funds together account for 81% of revenue for the 50 states. Taxes are the largest revenue source in 44 states, while federal funds are greatest in six: Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming. This infographic displays a breakdown of each state’s revenue by major categories.

Data Visualization

How States Raise Their Tax Dollars, FY 2019

Quick View
Data Visualization

Taxes make up about half of state government revenue, with two-thirds of states’ total tax dollars coming from levies on personal income and general sales of goods and services. This infographic illustrates the sources of each state’s tax revenue.