Book of the States

The Council of State Governments continues a long tradition of “sharing capitol ideas” with the publication of the 2013 edition of The Book of the States. Since 1933, CSG has served as a resource for state leaders and a catalyst for innovation and excellence in state governance. The Book of the States has been the reference tool of choice since 1935, providing relevant, accurate and timely information, answers and comparisons for all 56 states, commonwealths and territories of the United States.  

The 2013 volume includes 150 in-depth tables, charts and figures illustrating how state government operates. It also includes 32 articles from state leaders, innovative thinkers, noted scholars and CSG’s in-house policy experts that analyze and report on the transformations taking place in state government. Staff members mined more than 500 sources to obtain the information shared in The Book of the States

 Archive: 1935-2012

The labor force participation rate has been on the decline for more than a decade and the rate of decline has increased since the Great Recession began in December 2007. The likelihood of someone not participating in the labor force, as well as the reason for not participating, often depends on a person’s age. Participation rates vary significantly across states and regions, with a range of nearly 20 percentage points between the lowest and highest states.

Chapter 4 of the 2013 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

Chapter 10 of the 2013 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

CSG is pleased to announce that the entire archive of The Book of the States dating back to 1935 is now available online in its entirety.  As the introduction to the 1937 volume explains, "The Council of State Governments hopes that you will enjoy it; the Council knows that it can be useful to you."

The 75th anniversary of The Book of the States inspires a look back at the first 1935 edition to determine what we can learn about state legislatures in the 1930s compared to the 2000s, and to recount the history of change in these institutions. Most of the story of change relates to the strengthening of legislatures—the process by which they have increased their ability to make decisions independently of the executive branch and lobbyists.