The debtor state

by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York is at the top of the debt list in the latest U.S. Census data on state and local government finances.

As of 2009, New York’s state and local long-term indebtedness came to $15,202 per-capita, more than any state and 74 percent above the national average. In 2008, New York’s per-capita state and local debt load was $13,804 and ranked third, trailing only Alaska and Massachusetts.

Comparatively speaking, state and local debt in New York wasn’t much lighter when measured as a share of income, coming to $326 per $1,000 — 45 percent above average and narrowly trailing only Alaska. In the debt per $1,000 category, the Empire State’s #3 ranking was unchanged.

Tables based on the newly released 2009 Census data on state and local government finances have been updated at the Empire Center’s Data Bank.

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- E.J. McMahon is the Research Director at the Empire Center for Public Policy.