JLF Research | Spotlights

Trends in North Carolina State Spending: Total state spending has grown after both inflation and per capita adjustments

Sarah Curry
Nov. 6th, 2013
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•  Regardless of whether it is measured in nominal, per capita, or inflation-adjusted terms, state spending is increasing.
•  North Carolina’s total state budget peaked in 2012, reaching more than $51 billion or $5,348 per capita.
•  General Fund spending has decreased since 2009, but total state spending has increased.  The shift of spending outside of the General Fund has created a lack of transparency in the state budget process.
•  Federal spending continues to be a major part of North Carolina’s total budget spending, totaling 45 percent of total expenditures in 2012.
•  Health and Human Services is the largest state agency expenditure in North Carolina’s budget and has grown over 260 percent since 1980.
•  During the Easley administration, Health and Human Services became the largest expenditure in total state government.  Since 2005, the HHS budget has been consistently higher than education appropriations.

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