The Institute of Social & Economic Research

The Alaska Citizen's Guide to the Budget

Financial Assistance
provided by:

Fiscal Policy Council of Alaska

Comparisons
Comparisons
Outlays—Per Capita
Outlays—Big Items
Outlays—History
Outlays—Rankings
Jobs and Payroll—Per Capita
Jobs and Payroll—Big Items
Jobs and Payroll—History
Jobs and Payroll—Rank
Assets and Debt
Financing Govt.
Compare Wyoming
Why Alaska Spends More
Tax Burden
State Share

 

 

4. Comparisons to Other States

4.4 How Do We Rank Among the States in Outlays?

Total Outlays

In 1996 Alaska state and local government outlays per capita, adjusted for the cost of living, were 87 percent above the U.S. average. That put Alaska at the top of the ranking.

State and Local Outlays Per Capita:
Ratio to the U.S. Average for 1996

1

Alaska

1.87
2

Washington, D.C.

1.72
3

New York

1.47
4

Wyoming

1.25
5

Hawaii

1.23
6

Connecticut

1.19
7

Minnesota

1.18
8

New Jersey

1.17
9

Delaware

1.16
10

Massachusetts

1.13
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Governmental Finances.

At the other end—

State and Local Outlays Per Capita:
Ratio to the U.S. Average for 1996

42
Mississippi
.86
43
Arizona
.85
44
Idaho
.85
45
Texas
.84
46
Indiana
.84
47
Kentucky
.84
48
Tennessee
.84
49
Missouri
.8
50
Oklahoma
.79
51
Arizona
.77
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Governmental Finances.

Outlays by Program. Alaska does not rank at the top in all categories of spending. In general, Alaska exceeds the U.S. average by the biggest margin in categories we would expect such as commercial activities, unique programs (the Permanent Fund dividend and other unique Alaska programs), natural resources, air transportation, government administration, and highways. By contrast, in a few functional categories we are close to or below the national average such as welfare, higher education, and parks and recreation. (See graphs comparing 1999 states' government outlays by program.)

Alaska State and Local Spending Per Capita:
1996 Rank among States by Function

Type of Expenditure

Number One State

Alaska Rank

Ratio, Alaska/US

Direct General Expenditure

-

1

1.87

Misc Commercial Activities

North Dakota

2

50.1

Veterans' Services

-

1

40.7

Unique Programs (other and unallocable)

-

1

6.2

Natural Resources

-

1

6.0

Air Transportation

-

1

4.7

Other Governmental Administration

-

1

3.1

Highways

-

1

3.1

Sea and Inland Port Facilities

Washington

5

3.0

Interest on General Debt

-

1

2.8

Social Insurance Administration

-

1

2.8

Judicial and Legal

-

1

2.7

Financial Administration

-

1

2.6

General Public Building

-

1

2.4

Housing and Community Development

Hawaii

4

2.0

Elementary and Secondary Education

-

1

1.5

Protective Inspection

Nevada

5

1.5

Health

Hawaii

6

1.4

Correction

New York

2

1.4

Libraries

Washington

6

1.4

Solid Waste Management

New Jersey

12

1.2

Police Protection

New York

6

1.2

Welfare

New York

11

1.1

Higher Education

Delaware

22

1.1

Fire Protection

Rhode Island

15

1.1

Other Education

Delaware

23

1.0

Parks and Recreation

Hawaii

22

0.9

Sewerage

Massachusetts

19

0.9

Hospitals

Wyoming

> 30

0.4

Parking Facilities

Pennsylvania

> 30

0.2

Transit Subsidies

Rhode Island

> 30

0.0

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, State and Local Government Finances, 1996. Alaska adjusted for higher cost of living.

 

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Page Updated April 16, 2003

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