US state and local government debt continues to build

5 Jan 2014 by Jim Fickett.

The Census Bureau collects comprehensive accounts of state and local government finances. In particular, Census is the only source for an overall total figure for state and local government debt. Because there are many municipalities, these data are issued with a long delay, and the latest data current available are for 2011. Through 2011, total debt, both as an absolute dollar amount, and as a multiple of total revenue, continued to build:

Strained local government finances, with occasional bankruptcies, struggles to readjust pension funds, and cutbacks in services, will be a standard feature of life in the US for a long time.

[See the Reference page State and local government debt for sources, background, and commentary on a number of related issues.]