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Unequal Playing Field?: State Differences in Spending on Children in 2013.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Isaacs, Julia B.
Edelstein, Sara.
Corporate Author: 
Urban Institute.
Technical Report
Page Count: 

This report shares findings from a study that examined how much States spend on children, including education, health, income security, and social services spending, compared the spending in different States, and considered the implications of these differences. For the study, State spending data for 2013 was collected and analyzed, as well as population data from the US Census Bureau and population projections from the Urban Institute’s Mapping America’s Futures project. Population projections to 2030 used average birth, death, and migration rates based on historical trends to project State populations of people under age 19. Findings indicate: State spending on children varies widely, with Vermont spending nearly three times more ($13,430) per child than Utah ($4,594) in 2013 (after adjusting for cost of living); education spending drives most State-to-State differences and there is a strong geographic pattern to these variations with most States spending $10,000 or more per child in the Northeast, and many States spending $7,000 or less in the South and West; half of all American Indian or Alaska Native children live in States that spend less than $7,000 per child, especially Arizona, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, and 47% of Latino children live in low-spending States, including California and Florida; and child populations are projected to grow in southern and western States such as Florida and Texas that spend less per child and to decline in States such as New York and Ohio that spend more. Policy implications are discussed. 27 references.

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