State revenues rose 11.3 pct, spending up 3.7 pct in 2011-Census

WASHINGTON Thu Dec 6, 2012 2:59pm EST

WASHINGTON Dec 6 (Reuters) - Revenues for U.S. states rose 11.3 percent to $2.3 trillion in 2011 from $2 trillion the year before, the U.S. Census reported on Thursday, with federal grants accounting for 34.7 percent of revenues.

In 2011, the last of the money from the 2009 federal economic stimulus plan made its way through state's budgets. The plan included the largest transfer of federal funds to states in U.S. history.

Revenues from the U.S. government increased 3.4 percent in 2011, with those for welfare programs - the majority of federal grant money to states - rising 5.3 percent to $332.6 billion.

Most state spending, which increased 3.7 percent from 2010, went to education and welfare, according to the report.

In total, states spent $592.33 billion on education in 2011, also up 3.7 percent from the year before. Education represented 35.8 percent of state spending, and totaled more than 40 percent of general expenditures in 13 states. Georgia spent the most on education, dedicating 46. 6 percent of its budget for schools, followed by Indiana at 45.5 percent.

State government spending on welfare in total rose 7.1 percent in 2011 to $496.76 billion, the Census found. In 35 states, welfare accounted for a quarter or more of the state's general expenditures, with Tennessee allotting the largest share of its spending - 39 percent - to welfare.

The Census said spending on unemployment compensation dropped 10 percent to $121.4 billion in 2011.