Spending on Social Welfare Programs in Rich and Poor States. Final Report.. Louisiana

07/01/2004

Population (July 2003): 4.5 Million

Total State Expenditures - SFY 2002: $17,608 Million (US Total: $1,073,816 Million)

TANF Expenditures - SFY 2002 (% of total): 0.8 % (US: 1.3%)

Medicaid Expenditures - SFY 2002 (% of total): 26.8% (US: 20.8%)

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau and NASBO 2002 State Expenditure Report)

Louisiana has low fiscal capacity as measured by per capita personal income and representative tax system (43rd on both). It ranks 26th if fiscal capacity is measured by total taxable resources, which are largely based on goods and services produced in the state, and reflect the value of oil production. Louisiana holds almost 10 percent of U.S. oil reserves, making it the country's third largest producer of petroleum. It also has large reserves of natural gas, producing over one-quarter of all U.S. supplies.

Although Louisiana's poverty rate declined in the 1990s, its level has remained high. 2001's 16.7 percent poverty rate is among the highest in the nation, exceeded only by Arkansas and New Mexico. In 2000, 51.5 percent of Louisiana's children lived in households at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty rate and 13.4 percent of those children had no health insurance, placing Louisiana second highest nationwide after New Mexico. Unemployment is above average, as well, increasing 5.1 percent in 1999 to 6.6 percent in 2003.

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