Missouri State and Local Spending: A Fifty-State Comparison for 2002

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State comparisonsSteven B. Winter, Seth A. Kessler, and Judith I. Stallmann
Division of Applied Social Sciences, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and Truman School of Public Affairs

Missouri ranks low among the 50 states in overall spending by state and local governments. It also ranks low in environmental and housing expenditures as well as government administration and miscellaneous expenditures. Missouri's highest rankings are for spending on transportation and social services and income maintenance. For Missouri state and local governments, the single largest expenditure is for education.

Among the 50 states, Missouri state and local governments rank

  • 44th in total state and local expenditures per $100 of personal income ($20.79) and 45th in total state and local expenditures per capita ($5,827).
  • 24th in transportation expenditures, $1.89 per $100 of personal income.
  • 27th in social services and income maintenance expenditures, $5.02 per $100 of personal income.
  • 34th in public safety expenditures, $1.52 per $100 of personal income.
  • 36th in educational expenditures per $100 of personal income ($6.75) and 37th in education expenditures per capita ($1,891).
  • 47th in environment and housing expenditures, $1.12 per $100 of personal income.
  • 50th in government administration and general expenditures, $1.33 per $100 of personal income.

In sum, Missouri ranks low on many expenditures because it is also a relatively low-tax state. Missouri ranks 42nd in state and local taxes as a percentage of personal income.


  • Elementary and secondary education
  • Higher education
  • Other education expenditures
  • Public libraries
  • Public welfare
  • Hospitals
  • Health
  • Highways
  • Airports
  • Water transport
  • Parking facilities
  • Police protection
  • Corrections
  • Fire protection
  • Protective inspections and regulatory functions
  • Housing and community development
  • Sewerage
  • Parks and recreation
  • Natural resources
  • Solid waste management
  • General expenditures
  • Financial administration
  • Judicial and legal expenditures
  • Other administrative costs
  • Public buildings
  • Employee retirement
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Workers' compensation


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