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Per capita personal income often is used to evaluate the economic well-being of a state’s residents. Nationally in 2010, inflation-adjusted per capita personal income grew by $780 after dropping more than $1,000 in 2009 and falling $541 in 2008. 

Since 1935, The Book of the States has been the resource for state information for state leaders. Today—perhaps more than ever—access to up-to-date and reliable data and information is a key ingredient to developing successful state strategies and evidence-based solutions to the tough challenges policy leaders face.

Now, policymakers have a new tool: The Book of the States Regional Analysis Series.

Unemployment rates remain high and many people have been without work for extremely long periods of time, exhausting state unemployment trust funds quickly. More than half the states are borrowing from the federal government to cover costs, which could have an impact on future fiscal stability.

State prison populations experienced a slight decline between 2008 and 2009, while the federal population increased 3.4 percent.  However, state prison populations have risen significantly - up by 13 percent - since 2000.  

Nearly every state saw an increase in real gross domestic product1 in 2010—a welcome sign of economic recovery after two straight years of drops in the national average. Each region performed differently, with a few states posting impressive 4-plus percent gains and a majority of states falling between 1.5 and 3.5 percent.

State revenues appear to be rebounding, but generally remain below pre-recession levels. At the start of 2011, state corporate income tax rates1 largely mirrored those assessed in 2007 - three states had raised rates, while five had lowered them. More change may be on the way in the 2012 fiscal year, as debate continues on issues like nexus thresholds and taxation of out-of-state entities.