October 6, 2010

New Jersey State Spending, 1987-2009

Key materials

This chart by Mercatus Research Fellow Matthew Mitchell illustrates the degree to which New Jersey’s budget has grown over the past quarter-century. State spending growth has outpaced both inflation and population growth so that, when the recession hit, the state was spending more per person than ever before. The solid blue line shows the actual path of total state spending. The dashed green line is an estimate of what the state would have spent had it allowed spending to grow no faster than the sum of inflation and population growth starting in 1987. Similarly, the dashed red line shows what the state would have spent had spending grown no faster than the sum of inflation and population growth starting in 1995.