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Key Data Inform Decision-Making

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From education and health care to police and highways, state and local governments provide a wide range of services to Americans. That’s why their financial health is so important. The U.S. Census Bureau offers a wealth of government data designed to help people understand the big picture.

The Census of Governments and related surveys provide comprehensive information about the organization and financial activity of states and local governments in the United States. The survey defines the number of state and local governments, and compiles information about their organization (hierarchy) and functions (taxing authorities, services provided, etc.). This is achieved by combining information on the revenues collected by state and local governments, the categories of what state and local governments spend their money on, the details of state and local government employment and payroll, and the health of the public pension systems maintained by these governments.

Jane Callen is a senior writer/editor in the Census Bureau's Communications Directorate.


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