Real State GDP Per Capita in 2023

In 2023 the average state GDP per capita ranged from $214,285 in Washington. D.C., to a low of $30,105 in Mississippi, with a 50-state average of $64,760. The chart below leaves out D.C. because it is such an outlier.  New York has the second highest per capita GDP while West Virginia has the second lowest. Since 2014, per capita GDP in the states has increased an average of 13 percent.  Check out your state on  

According to the Bureau of Economic Affairs: 

"Real GDP is in millions of chained 2017 dollars. Industry detail is based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Calculations are performed on unrounded data. Chained (2017) dollar series are calculated as the product of the chain-type quantity index and the 2017 current-dollar value of the corresponding series, divided by 100. Because the formula for the chain-type quantity indexes uses weights of more than one period, the corresponding chained-dollar estimates are usually not additive. The difference between the United States and sum-of-states reflects federal military and civilian activity located overseas, as well as the differences in source data used to estimate GDP by industry and the expenditures measure of real GDP."


State Government Spending as Percentage of GDP

"State Government Spending as Percent of GDP" shows the percentage of a state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that comprises a state government's total spending. This figure is useful for comparison of state spending levels, although each state faces unique economic circumstances.  For 2022 the states with the lowest percentage were Georgia, Texas, Florida, Nebraska and Colorado.  Three of these states, Florida, Nebraska and Colorado also have Taxpayer Surpluses in TIA's Financial State of the StatesREAD MORE

State Transparency Scores

To encourage the publication of transparent and accurate government financial information, Truth in Accounting created a Transparency Score for financial reporting. We score each government’s annual comprehensive financial report (ACFR) on eight criteria.  For 2022, two states were tied with the best score: New York and Wyoming with a score of 86.  The two worst states were Illinois and Georgia, with scores of 42 and 46 respectively.  The average score for all the states was 72.

To read more about how the scores are calculated see  The entire report can be found here:  Financial Transparency Score 2024.


Student Debt Per Capita in the States

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for the last quarter of 2023 average student debt per capita in the United States was $5635.  The District of Columbia far surpassed all the other states with an average student debt per capita of $12,900!  The next highest student debt per capita averages were found in Maryland and Georgia at over $7,000. The states with the lowest student debt per capita were Wyoming, Hawaii, and New Mexico.  Should taxpayers in those states subsidize people in states with higher student debt per capita?  READ MORE

2024 Five Bottom Sinkhole Cities

TIA's newest Financial State of the Cities came out on February 15, 2024.  This comprehensive analysis of the most populous U.S. cities includes the most up-to-date city finance and pension data, trends across the cities, and key findings. The report is based on each city's audited Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and retirement plans’ reports.   READ MORE

# of governments

Local Government Units in States

For 2022 the U.S. Census Bureau reported the number of local governments in all the states.  As to be expected the smallest states had the fewest local governments.  However, the states with the most local government units were not necessarily the largest.  Illinois led the pack with  6930 units which was almost 1400 more than Texas (5533) which has nearly three times Illinois's population, and was over three times the average number of local government units (1781) for the entire country.  READ MORE

Bachelor's Degree Median Income in Cities

For students graduating soon, it might be worth looking at the median income for people with a bachelor's degree only in different cities.  In 2022, the highest median income of the population aged 25 or older in the city whose highest degree attained is a bachelor’s degree was in San Francisco at  $106,552.  That is much higher than in other major cities, such as Chicago ($72,970), New York ($73,669) and Dallas ($76,127), and the national average of $64,572.   For information about median earnings for men and women by education in the 75 largest cities check out our interactive database at


New Jersey Rankings

New Jersey has ranked 50th (dead last) in TIA's Financial State of the States Ranking for the last nine years. That means it had the worst Taxpayer Burden of all the states.  It garnered that same ranking on the Tax Foundation's Business Tax Climate Ranking.  Nevertheless, New Jersey ranked 43rd in net migration per 1000 citizens, which means only six other states lost more citizens per 1000. New Jersey did rank number one in some statistics, namely:  the highest revenue from property taxes and the highest percent of outbound moving shipments as reported by United Van Lines.  Are these things connected?  You decide!  READ MORE

Utah ranks high not only in its Taxpayer Surplus

TIA ranks Utah among the top five states for its government finances.  For the last 14 years, it has maintained a taxpayer surplus according to our analysis.  You can read the report here

But Utah ranks high in many other metrics as well.  For example, it has the highest percentage of married couple households, the highest percentage of population between the ages of 1-19, and the third highest in real median household income. It also has the lowest median age of all 50 states and the second-lowest percentage of children in poverty.  To find out how Utah fares on many other demographic, economic and state financial metrics go to  You can also learn about all the other states and how they compare.  READ MORE

Are state governments the new Zombies?

For 2022 the five scariest Zombies were Delaware (46), Massachusetts (47), Connecticut (48) Illinois (49), and New Jersey (50). 

Professor Edward Kane coined the term "Zombie Bank" for banks unable to pay their debts but using untruthful accounting to stay alive.  Zombie banks "gamble for resurrection" and take large risks.  Are state and local governments the new Zombies? Truth in Accounting's Zombie Index identifies states possibly gambling for resurrection. States with higher Zombie Index rankings deserve scrutiny of the risks in their investments for public pension plans. The Zombie Index Ranking is from 1-50, with one indicating the smallest Zombie, and 50 indicating the largest Zombie


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