New York spends three times as much money per student as Utah.

American public elementary and secondary schools spent $10,560 per student during the 2011 fiscal year, down from $10,615 the year prior, according to a report [PDF] released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the first time that number has declined since the Census started collecting this data in 1977.

The report revealed striking differences between states in the amount of money spent per student. Check out this interactive map, built by us using the report's data.

Schools in the darkest green states spent the most per kid. New York is the highest spender, at $19,076 per student, followed by D.C. at $18,475 (not visible on the map), Alaska at $16,674, New Jersey at $15,968, and Vermont at $15,925. (These were the same top five spenders last year [PDF] as well, but in a different order.) New York spent over three times the amount spent per student in Utah, the lowest-spender at $6,212. (Complete rankings are in the report.) The report authors note that these numbers can mean different things in different school districts and states, depending on how they categorize current spending.

These spending discrepancies aren't just a trend in the lower grade levels. As Jordan Weissmann explained a few months back at The Atlantic, only two states didn't cut their per-student spending in higher education from fiscal year 2008 to 2013.

Map created on Google Drive.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An archived Geocities family homepage showing a green cottage against a background of fall leaves.
    Life

    How Geocities Suburbanized the Internet

    In the 1990s, AOL and Netscape got Americans onto the web, but it was Geocities—with its suburban-style “neighborhoods”—that made them feel at home.

  2. Life

    The ‘Marie Kondo Effect’ Comes at a Weird Time for Thrift Stores

    Netflix’s hit show has everyone tidying up, but that's not the only reason second-hand stores are being flooded with donations.

  3. Equity

    The Life and Death of an American Tent City

    Over a period of seven months, a vast temporary facility built to hold migrant children emerged in the Texas border town of Tornillo. And now, it’s almost gone.

  4. A man carrying a young boy on his shoulders amid the fall foliage of New York's Central Park.
    Life

    Which U.S. Cities Have the Most Families With Kids?

    Spoiler alert: It’s simply not the case that families with kids have disappeared from urban America.

  5. A photo of a DART light rail train in Dallas, Texas.
    Transportation

    What Cities Are Getting Wrong About Public Transportation

    Cities could get more people walking, biking, and riding transit, according to a new report, if they just know where to look for improvement.