New Fact Sheet Shows State Appropriated Spending Is at a Thirty-Year Low

Contact: David Blatt, Director
Cell: (918) 859-8747; Office: (918) 794-3944

Oklahoma’s Economy Grows, Spending on Public Services Lags

(Tulsa, March 1, 2011): A new fact sheet released today by Oklahoma Policy Institute reveals that the state appropriated budget in relation to the size of the state’s economy has been in long-term decline and this decline has accelerated sharply in recent years.  2011 marks the lowest percentage of state appropriated spending as a share of personal earnings in thirty years.  {C}

Oklahoma’s state appropriations are projected to drop this year to a low of 4.8 percent of residents’ personal income.  This is down from a high point of 6.4 percent in 1999 and is well below the 30-year average of 5.8 percent. Over the past decade, personal income has increased by 58 percent, more than twice the rate of the state budget, which has grown by just 24 percent.  A combination of tax cuts and the recession have contributed to the sharp decline in state spending as a share of state personal income in recent years.

“We hear a lot about how government shouldn’t be allowed to grow faster than the state’s economy”, said David Blatt, OK Policy’s director. “Yet the data reveals that the exact opposite is occurring. As state spending falls and we cut deeper and deeper into state budgets, we may now be at the point where we are no longer able to make the investments needed to educate our students and workforce, keep the public safe, and support the most vulnerable members of our community -children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.” 

The fact sheet used actual data on state personal income from the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis through September 2010 and included conservative projections of 1 percent quarterly growth for the remainder of SFY 2011 (October 2010 – June 2011).

Oklahoma Policy Institute is a 501(c)(3) think-tank that provides information, analysis and ideas on state policy issues. The 1-page fact sheet “Oklahoma State Spending As Share of Economy Hits 30-Year Low”, can be viewed and downloaded online at:


Oklahoma Policy Insititute (OK Policy) advances equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through non-partisan research, analysis, and advocacy.

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