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State and Local Government Expenditures on Police Protection in the U.S., 2000-2017

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2020
9 pages
Emily Buehler; Kevin scott
Publication Type
Statistics, Report (Technical Assistance), Report (Annual/Periodic), Grants and Funding
This report presents statistics on state and local expenditures for police protection from 2000 to 2017, based on data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS') Justice Expenditure and Employment Extract series.
BJS has extracted justice expenditure and employment data from the Census Bureau's Annual Government Finance Survey and Annual Survey of Public Employment every year since 1980. The tables show nominal (not inflation-adjusted) spending, inflation-adjusted spending, spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), spending in the 25 largest cities, and how that spending has changed over time. In nominal dollars, state and local police -protection spending per capita was $351.54 in 2017. The portion of state and local direct general expenditures that were devoted to police protection decreased 1.3 percent from 2000 to 2017 (from 3.78 percent to 3.73 percent). In real (inflation-adjusted) dollars, state and local police-protection expenditures per capital increased 26 percent from 2000 to 2017. State and local police-protection expenditures represented 0.587 percent of the U.S. GDP in 2017. In nominal (no inflation-adjusted) dollars, local police -protection spending per capita was $304.18 in 2017. The portion of local direct general expenditures devoted to police protection increased 8.6 percent from 2000 to 2017 (from 5.57 percent to 6.05 percent), hitting its highest mark in 2017. In real (inflation adjusted) dollars, local police protection expenditures per capita increased 29 percent from 2000 to 2017, increasing 50 percent from 2000 to 2009 before decreasing 0.7 percent from 2009 to 2017. Local police-protection expenditures composed 0.508 percent of the U.S. GDP in 2017. Of the 25 largest U.S. cities, 18 increased their real (inflation-adjusted) per capital expenditures on police protection between 2000 and 2017, with Austin, Texas showing the largest increase (77 percent). 6 tables
Date Created: July 13, 2020