State of State Governments: How they compare in size, which are growing, and which are shrinking

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Posted by Drew Carlson on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021, 1:50 PM PERMALINK

Today Americans for Tax Reform released an updated list of the 50 states ranked by the size of their state government, using state spending as a percentage of state GDP as the metric for comparison. The state spending data comes from the National Association of State Budget Officers’ annual state spending surveys and the state GDP figures come from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  

In addition to looking at the size of all 50 state governments today, ATR examined how the sizes of all 50 state governments have changed over the past decade. 

 

Size of State Governments Today (2019) 

  1. West Virginia (24.81%) 
  2. Arkansas (21.83%) 
  3. Alaska (20.93%) 
  4. New Mexico (19.89%) 
  5. Vermont (19.58%) 
  6. Hawaii (18.94%) 
  7. Oregon (18.93%) 
  8. Mississippi (18.67%) 
  9. Kentucky (18.26%) 
  10. Rhode Island (18.14%) 
  11. Delaware (17.61%) 
  12. Wisconsin (16.31%) 
  13. Maine (14.99%) 
  14. Montana (14.97%) 
  15. Alabama (14.36%) 
  16. Connecticut (13.7%) 
  17. Iowa (13.51%) 
  18. Louisiana (13.44%) 
  19. Michigan (12.64%) 
  20. Pennsylvania (12.25%) 
  21. South Carolina (12.13%) 
  22. Maryland (12.06%) 
  23. Oklahoma (12.04%) 
  24. Colorado (12.01%) 
  25. Wyoming (12.01%) 
  26. Minnesota (11.98%) 
  27. Arizona (11.96%) 
  28. North Dakota (11.85%) 
  29. Ohio (11.54%) 
  30. New Jersey (11.53%) 
  31. Massachusetts (11.5%) 
  32. New York (11.46%) 
  33. Virginia (11.3%) 
  34. Idaho (11.24%) 
  35. California (10.73%) 
  36. Kansas (10.58%) 
  37. Nevada (10.46%) 
  38. Nebraska (10.31%) 
  39. Tennessee (10.3%) 
  40. Indiana (10.1%) 
  41. Georgia (9.85%) 
  42. Utah (9.84%) 
  43. North Carolina (9.61%) 
  44. South Dakota (9.44%) 
  45. Illinois (9.29%) 
  46. Washington (9.21%) 
  47. Missouri (9.18%) 
  48. Florida (8.57%) 
  49. New Hampshire (8.1%) 
  50. Texas (6.86%) 

 

Fastest Growing State Governments of the Last 5 years: 

  1. Nevada (43.7%) 
  2. Pennsylvania (19.81%) 
  3. Kentucky (18%) 
  4. Delaware (17.51%) 
  5. Indiana (16.23%) 
  6. Connecticut (15.68%) 
  7. California (15.37%) 
  8. Louisiana (14.73%) 
  9. Iowa (14.57%) 
  10. New Jersey (13.71%) 

 

Fastest Shrinking State Governments of the Last 5 years: 

  1. Wyoming (-38.41%) 
  2. Arizona (-8.73%) 
  3. Massachusetts (-7.3%) 
  4. Texas (-7.19%) 
  5. Tennessee (-2.15%) 
  6. Alaska (-1.8%) 
  7. Maine (-0.95%) 
  8. Mississippi (0.57%) 
  9. Oklahoma (0.61%) 
  10. Idaho (0.95%) 

 

Fastest Growing State Governments of the Last 10 Years: 

  1. Connecticut (76.44%) 
  2. Nevada (40.01%) 
  3. Virginia (30.26%) 
  4. Alabama (30.13%) 
  5. Oregon (28.54%) 
  6. Kentucky (25.43%) 
  7. New Jersey (24.51%) 
  8. Rhode Island (23.88%) 
  9. Arkansas (23%) 
  10. Delaware (22.57%) 

 

Fastest Shrinking State Governments of the Last 10 years: 

  1. Wyoming (-25.09%) 
  2. West Virginia (-17.93%) 
  3. North Carolina (-13.17%) 
  4. Oklahoma (-11.29%) 
  5. Alaska (-6.98%) 
  6. Tennessee (-6.88%) 
  7. Texas (-5.53%) 
  8. Massachusetts (-3.49%) 
  9. South Carolina (-2.48%) 
  10. Maine (-1.68%) 

Photo Credit: Martin Falbisoner

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