On-Line Help

Help for Select Levels

Overview

DQS allows you to view aggregate data by state for one of eight different levels of government. State, all local, and all state and local government aggregate data are available for every state. Additionally, aggregate data are available for five types of local governments - county, municipal, township, special district, and school district. Not all types of local government exist in every state.


Notes for Use

Example: When "School District" is selected on this page, Property Tax revenues (or whichever variable is selected on the "Select Series" page) for all independent school districts are totaled and presented for the selected state(s).

Important: For inter-state comparisons, we highly recommend using the "State and Local" analysis level. The distribution of activity between state and local governments varies greatly from state to state: only the "State and Local" analysis level will fully capture government activity within a state. The "State and Local" series treats state and all local governments in a state as one observation; accordingly, transfers between state and local governments are not available at this level.

Additionally, we recommend combining the municipality and township level numbers for inter-state comparisons. Townships are only found in about half of all states. In addition, in some states school districts are dependent on a different level of government so school district revenues will be zero. See Hoo, Murray and Rueben (2006).


Data Availability

Finance data for some levels are not available for every year. These tables show which analysis levels are available for which years.

Availability of US Totals, by year and level
Years State and Local State Local Local Government Detail
2013 X X X  
2012 X X X X
2008-2011 X X X  
2007 X X X X
2004-2006 X X X  
2003 X X X X
2002 X X X X
2001 X X X X
2000-1998 X X X  
1997 X X X X
1996-1993 X X X  
1992-1977 X X X X

Availability of State Totals, by year and level
Years State and Local State Local Local Government Detail
2013 X X X  
2012 X X X X
2008-2011 X X X  
2007 X X X X
2004-2006 X X X  
2003   X    
2002 X X X X
2001   X    
2000-1998 X X X  
1997 X X X X
1996-1993 X X X  
1992-1977 X X X X

Note: Except for Census of Governments years (i.e., all those ending in "2" and "7"), the local government statistics in this data are based in part on a sample of local governments. They are therefore subject to sampling variability. Estimates of statistical errors for 1992 and later years are available from the Census Bureau. For earlier years, refer to the text in the "Government Finances" report series, available by contacting Census staff directly.

WARNING: FY 2003 and 2001 data for US Total of municipalities also includes townships.


Technical Notes

The Census Bureau provides definitions for the different local governments in its Individual State Descriptions: 2012 from the 2012 Census of Governments.

In addition to the Federal Government and the 50 state governments, the Census Bureau recognizes five basic types of local governments: county governments, municipal governments, township governments, special district governments, and school district governments.

Additional information on the definition of a government entity and types of governments is available in the introduction and appendix of Individual State Descriptions: 2012.


Sources

  1. Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual, http://www2.census.gov/govs/pubs/classification/2006_classification_manual.pdf.
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances and Census of Governments (1977-2013).
  3. Hoo, S., Murray, S., Rueben, K. "Education Spending and Changing Revenue Sources." Tax Notes. April 10, 2006. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/url.cfm?ID=1000942
  4. .
  5. Individual State Descriptions: 2012, http://www2.census.gov/govs/cog/2012isd.pdf.