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Data Set

Annual State and Local Government Finance Data

In Fiscal Realities: Budget Tradeoffs in California Government, Tracy M. Gordon, Jaime Calleja Alderete, Patrick J. Murphy, Jon Sonstelie, and Ping Zhang analyze California’s fiscal choices over time using data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau (as well as other sources). The authors are very pleased to make the Census data available to other users in a flexible and accessible format known as pivot tables. Pivot tables are Excel spreadsheets that enable storing large quantities of data and creating user-specified tables or charts.

The files below contain data for all U.S. states and the District of Columbia as well as the United States as a whole and the United States excluding California. Data are available for the years 1972 and 1977 through 2004. For each state, users may select revenue or expenditure information by level of government. Levels include state government, local government, or state and local combined. In addition, totals for cities, counties, school districts, or special districts are available. Users may also choose to present data in real or nominal terms and on an aggregate, per capita, or per $1,000 of personal income basis.

Please note that the data files are large and may take some time to download. In addition, users will need to unzip these files using an extraction program such as WinZip or other tools available with most computer operating systems. Please also be aware that pivot tables may require some getting used to for those who are unfamiliar with this format.

Refer to Pivot Table Instructions which explains how to use these pivot tables. For further information and a brief video on manipulating pivot tables, see also Feel free to practice with the Pivot Table Tutorial, which provides examples of how to create specific tables or views of the data.

Please cite these data files as follows: Annual State and Local Government Finance Data. Pivot tables produced by the Public Policy Institute of California. Available at Data from U.S. Bureau of the Census, Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances, multiple years. (Last accessed October 2006.)

For more information on the Census Bureau format for categorizing government finances, please see their classification manual. For information on the relationship between the Census format and California state and local budget categories, please see the PPIC Web-Only Data Appendix: Comparisons between Census of Governments and California Finance Data Sources. State and local government finance data are also available through a web-based data query system hosted by the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Tracy Gordon.

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