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

07/01/2004

Population (July 2003): 4.1 Million

Total State Expenditures - SFY 2002: $14,894 Million (US Total: $1,073,816 Million)

TANF Expenditures - SFY 2002 (% of total): 0.2 % (US: 1.3%)

Medicaid Expenditures - SFY 2002 (% of total): 22.6% (US: 20.8%)

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

South Carolina has low fiscal capacity as measured by per capita personal income, representative tax system, and total taxable resources. Its poverty rates have been above average-12.7 percent in 2001, compared to 11.1 percent in the U.S. as a whole-though they have not been as high as most of the other poor states in the site visit sample (e.g., New Mexico, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Louisiana all have poverty rates in 2001 well over 15 percent). The proportion of children without health insurance was close to the national average in 2000.

But the state has suffered more than other low fiscal capacity states from recent increases in social needs. Between 2000 and 2003, the state's average monthly unemployment rate increased by 80 percent, from 3.8 percent to 6.8 percent, the largest increase among these six states. Welfare caseloads increased 17 percent between 2000 and 2002. Population growth has been moderately high, with a 9.6 percent increase between 1995 and 2002. The state's population is also aging more rapidly than other states (a change that puts great demands on Medicaid spending). Fiscal years 2001 and 2002 showed a 3.1 percent drop in revenues, a large decline for poor states.

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