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About Government Finances

Government finances include revenues, expenditures (spending), debt, and assets (cash and security holdings). Although states and local governments differ among one another in how they record their activities in their legislation and accounting systems, the Census Bureau classifies their data into standard categories so that they may be compared more easily.

These statistics are collected quarterly or annually. Every fifth year (years ending in '2' and '7') the Census of Governments is conducted. The same questions are asked as in the annual surveys, but for every government in the United States, not just a sample.

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