State Economy by Region

E-newsletter Issue #74 | July 21, 2011

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.

This new series digs deeper into the information found in The Book of the States 2011 and provides an explanation and breakdown of that data based on CSG regions. See how your state compares to your neighbors and the nation across fiscal, economic, public safety and justice indicators, including:

Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds

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.

Trends in State Prison Populations 

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.

Trends in State Tax Rates:

State revenues appear to be rebounding, but generally remain below prerecession levels.

Excise Taxes

Compared to prior downturns, states relied less on rate increases to sustain sales tax revenue during the Great Recession. Some states raised cigarette and gasoline taxes.

Corporate Income Taxes

At the start of 2011, state corporate income tax rates 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.

Trends in State GDP

Nearly every state saw an increase in real gross domestic product 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.

To see more, visit: The Book of the States 2011: Regional Analysis

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