Skip all navigation and go to page content

Chapter 8. State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Elementary and secondary public school current expenditures as share of gross domestic product



Findings

  • The 2009 national average for spending on elementary and secondary education was 3.70% of the gross domestic product (GDP), an increase from 3.32% in 2000. Among individual states, the value for this indicator ranged from 2.50% to 5.74% of the state's GDP in 2009, indicating that some states were directing a much higher percentage of their resources toward elementary and secondary education.
  • Spending for elementary and secondary public education as a percentage of the state's GDP decreased in 9 states during the 2000-2009 period.
  • Several states spending the highest percentage of their GDP on elementary and secondary education tended to have relatively small student populations (100,000-300,000 students), indicating that some level of state spending may be required regardless of the size of the student population or the GDP.


Description

This indicator represents the relative amount of resources that state governments expend to support public education in prekindergarten through grade 12. It is calculated by dividing a state's current expenditures for elementary and secondary public schools by the state's gross domestic product (GDP). Current expenditures include instruction and instruction-related costs, student support services, administration, and operations and exclude funds for school construction and other capital outlays, debt service, and programs outside of public elementary and secondary education. State and local support represent the largest sources of funding for elementary and secondary education.

Expenditure data on public elementary and secondary education are reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, Department of Education. They are part of the National Public Education Financial Survey and are included in the 2009 Common Core of Data, a comprehensive annual national statistical database that covers approximately 104,000 public elementary and secondary schools and 13,800 regular school districts in the United States.

Current expenditures are expressed in actual dollars and their data year is the end date of the academic year. For example, current expenditure data for 2009 represent expenditures for the 2008–09 academic year. GDP data refer to the 2009 calendar year in current dollars.

Data Table

Table 8-10
Elementary and secondary public school current expenditures as a percentage of gross domestic product, by state: 2000, 2005, and 2009
 
  Public school expenditures ($thousands)   State GDP ($millions)   School expenditures/GDP (%)
State 2000 2005 2009   2000 2005 2009   2000 2005 2009
 
United States 323,808,910 425,047,568 518,997,426   9,884,171 12,554,535 14,014,842   3.28 3.39 3.70
Alabama 4,176,082 5,164,406 6,683,843   116,014 151,096 166,819   3.60 3.42 4.01
Alaska 1,183,499 1,442,269 2,006,114   25,913 37,824 45,861   4.57 3.81 4.37
Arizona 4,262,182 6,579,957 8,625,276   161,901 222,968 249,711   2.63 2.95 3.45
Arkansas 2,380,331 3,546,999 4,240,839   68,146 88,227 98,795   3.49 4.02 4.29
California 38,129,479 50,918,654 60,080,929   1,317,343 1,691,991 1,847,048   2.89 3.01 3.25
Colorado 4,400,888 5,994,440 7,187,267   171,930 217,412 250,664   2.56 2.76 2.87
Connecticut 5,402,868 7,080,396 8,708,294   163,943 197,055 227,550   3.30 3.59 3.83
Delaware 937,630 1,299,349 1,518,786   40,957 54,749 60,660   2.29 2.37 2.50
District of Columbia 780,192 1,067,500 1,352,905   58,269 82,837 98,892   1.34 1.29 1.37
Florida 13,885,988 19,042,877 23,328,028   481,115 680,277 732,782   2.89 2.80 3.18
Georgia 9,158,624 12,528,856 15,976,945   294,479 363,154 394,117   3.11 3.45 4.05
Hawaii 1,213,695 1,648,086 2,225,437   41,372 56,869 65,428   2.93 2.90 3.40
Idaho 1,302,817 1,618,215 1,957,740   36,091 48,675 53,661   3.61 3.32 3.65
Illinois 14,462,773 18,658,428 23,495,271   474,444 569,544 631,970   3.05 3.28 3.72
Indiana 7,110,930 9,108,931 9,680,895   198,020 239,575 259,894   3.59 3.80 3.72
Iowa 3,264,336 3,808,200 4,731,463   93,287 120,258 136,062   3.50 3.17 3.48
Kansas 2,971,814 3,718,153 4,805,310   85,742 105,164 122,544   3.47 3.54 3.92
Kentucky 3,837,794 4,812,591 5,886,890   113,108 139,336 155,789   3.39 3.45 3.78
Louisiana 4,391,214 5,554,766 7,276,651   131,430 197,163 205,117   3.34 2.82 3.55
Maine 1,604,438 2,056,266 2,350,447   36,395 45,587 50,039   4.41 4.51 4.70
Maryland 6,545,135 8,682,586 11,591,965   182,953 248,139 285,116   3.58 3.50 4.07
Massachusetts 8,511,065 11,357,857 13,942,586   272,680 323,301 360,538   3.12 3.51 3.87
Michigan 13,994,294 16,353,921 17,217,584   336,786 375,260 369,671   4.16 4.36 4.66
Minnesota 6,140,442 7,310,284 9,270,281   188,449 238,367 258,499   3.26 3.07 3.59
Mississippi 2,510,376 3,243,888 3,967,232   65,615 81,500 94,406   3.83 3.98 4.20
Missouri 5,655,531 7,115,207 8,827,224   180,982 216,633 237,955   3.12 3.28 3.71
Montana 994,770 1,193,182 1,436,062   21,629 30,088 34,999   4.60 3.97 4.10
Nebraska 1,926,500 2,512,914 3,053,575   57,233 72,504 86,411   3.37 3.47 3.53
Nevada 1,875,467 2,722,264 3,606,035   75,907 114,771 125,037   2.47 2.37 2.88
New Hampshire 1,418,503 2,021,144 2,490,623   44,067 53,653 59,086   3.22 3.77 4.22
New Jersey 13,327,645 19,669,576 23,589,224   349,334 429,985 471,946   3.82 4.57 5.00
New Mexico 1,890,274 2,554,638 3,186,252   50,262 67,776 76,871   3.76 3.77 4.14
New York 28,433,240 38,866,853 48,635,363   770,621 961,941 1,094,104   3.69 4.04 4.45
North Carolina 7,713,293 9,835,550 12,470,470   281,418 354,973 407,032   2.74 2.77 3.06
North Dakota 638,946 832,157 928,528   18,250 24,672 31,626   3.50 3.37 2.94
Ohio 12,974,575 17,167,866 19,397,511   381,175 444,715 462,015   3.40 3.86 4.20
Oklahoma 3,382,581 4,161,024 5,082,062   91,292 120,662 142,388   3.71 3.45 3.57
Oregon 3,896,287 4,458,028 5,529,831   112,974 143,349 167,481   3.45 3.11 3.30
Pennsylvania 14,120,112 18,711,100 21,831,816   395,811 482,324 546,538   3.57 3.88 3.99
Rhode Island 1,393,143 1,825,900 2,139,317   33,522 44,169 47,470   4.16 4.13 4.51
South Carolina 4,087,355 5,312,739 6,626,763   115,392 141,929 158,786   3.54 3.74 4.17
South Dakota 737,998 916,563 1,080,054   24,009 31,641 38,255   3.07 2.90 2.82
Tennessee 4,931,734 6,446,691 7,768,052   177,582 224,522 243,849   2.78 2.87 3.19
Texas 25,098,703 31,919,107 40,688,181   732,987 970,997 1,146,647   3.42 3.29 3.55
Utah 2,102,655 2,627,022 3,638,775   69,483 90,748 111,301   3.03 2.89 3.27
Vermont 870,198 1,177,478 1,413,329   18,033 22,773 24,625   4.83 5.17 5.74
Virginia 7,757,598 10,705,162 13,505,290   261,894 356,852 409,732   2.96 3.00 3.30
Washington 6,399,883 7,870,979 9,940,056   227,828 279,405 331,639   2.81 2.82 3.00
West Virginia 2,086,937 2,527,767 3,059,420   41,419 51,964 61,043   5.04 4.86 5.01
Wisconsin 6,852,178 8,435,359 9,696,228   177,638 218,923 239,613   3.86 3.85 4.05
Wyoming 683,918 863,423 1,268,407   17,047 26,238 36,760   4.01 3.29 3.45
                       
Puerto Rico 2,086,414 2,865,945 3,502,757   69,208 86,157 NA   3.01 3.33 NA
 

GDP = gross domestic product; NA = not available

NOTE: GDP reported in current dollars.

SOURCES: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), NCES Common Core of Data, National Public Education Financial Survey (various years); Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product data (various years); Government of Puerto Rico, Office of the Governor (various years); United Nations Statistics Division.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012

Source Data

State Data Tool

The state data tool allows interactive exploration of the 58 indicators in this chapter. Users have the ability to choose and explore a single indicator in-depth, compare multiple indicators for preselected groups, customize their own graphics, or download data tables. Click the button below to get started.