Here's something you may not have expected: state spending per capita in Louisiana, Wyoming and even Wisconsin grew more than spending in Minnesota over the last decade.

According to the Tax Foundation, Minnesota's state spending grew by 22.5 percent from 2001 to 2011, ranking it thirty-fifth in real dollars spending growth.

"The data we used is the most recent available from the U.S. Census Bureau and is shown in real dollars in order to eliminate the effects of population growth and inflation," the foundation said.


State spending per capita//source: The Tax Foundation

State spending per capita//source: The Tax Foundation


The Tax Foundation's calculations stop at the year 2011, the last year researchers could find available numbers from the Census Bureau, it says.

According to Minnesota numbers (linked and below), the state's general fund spending (a slightly different calculation than the Tax Foundation used) has been growing steadily since 1960 with only one biennial dive. In Gov. Tim Pawlenty's last year in office state general fund spending dipped, comparing two year cycles, by 11.5 percent.

In the last two-year cycle, which included the 2012 and 2013 budget years, state spending grew by 4.4 percent, according to Minnesota Management and Budget. In the budget plans approved for the next two years, which cover the 2014 and 2015 budget years, state spending is expected to grow by 8.2 percent, the department calculated.

Here are Minnesota's actual historical expenditures up to 2011, from the state's budget department:

State Spending by Rachel E. Stassen-Berger