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National Trends in State Funding for Children and Youth

An interactive database and national analysis that shows how much states spend on programs and services for children and youth.
Explore the database below


National Trends in State Funding for Children and Youth

How much do states spend on programs and services for children and youth? Our latest national analysis examines this question by looking at how states use state, federal, and federal relief funding to support children and youth from cradle-to-career. It includes data from the 14 members of our pilot state child and youth fiscal mapping cohort: Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and New York (fiscal map link forthcoming). Explore the tool below, read our frequently asked questions, or contact us to provide feedback about the analysis.

Frequently asked questions

A fiscal map documents and analyzes the various sources of funding that support programs and services for children and youth in a state, city, county, or Native nation. The map can include public dollars from federal, state, and local sources and sometimes private dollars from foundations and other philanthropies if appropriate. It answers a fundamental question: WHO invests HOW MUCH money and in WHAT? We support fiscal maps to better understand public spending on children and youth programs nationwide. Fiscal maps help state and local leaders and advocates understand the existing funding streams that support child- and youth-focused programs and services. 

Beginning in 2022, we set out to standardize the process of tracking and documenting public funding for services and programs for kids through our state child and youth fiscal mapping cohort. In the first round of data collection, we worked with partners in 14 states to create fiscal maps of state, federal, and federal relief funding invested in children and youth ages 0-24 for fiscal years 2019-2021. 

In addition to making fiscal data comparable across states, this analysis also makes funding data publicly available to state leaders, policymakers, advocates, and public employees to support their decision-making and advance strategic public financing efforts for children and youth. Each of the 14 participating states has an individual fiscal map that analyzes how the state invested state, federal, and federal relief funds across various service categories, eligibility criteria, and age ranges. The fiscal maps also highlight what percentage of total state revenue each state invests in children and youth. 

The first page of the report breaks down the share of state, federal, and federal relief funding that comprises each state’s funding landscape for children and youth. The second page highlights the percentage of state-generated revenue invested and the per capita of state funding invested in ages 0-24, apart from K-12 public education. At Children’s Funding Project, we focus on funding for the services and supports that help children and youth learn and develop outside of the classroom. Consequently, we removed mandatory state funding for K-12 public education from this analysis. Also, states differ in how local education districts support school funding. Lastly, the third and fourth pages highlight state investments across various outcome categories and levels of intervention.

Yes! This national analysis is our first attempt at visualizing trends in state funding for children and youth nationwide, and this first round of the state child and youth fiscal mapping cohort has been a pilot year. We hope to continue our research to understand these trends and are currently recruiting new states to participate in our state child and youth fiscal mapping cohort.

Watch the webinar recording where we introduce and explain how to navigate the database. We also highlight some of the states that were part of the national analysis and how they’ve used their data. You can learn more in the webinar slides.

Send us your feedback

If you are interested in adding your state’s data to the cohort, or seeing data behind any of the state fiscal maps, please contact us.