Mapping Essential State and County Data on Federal Spending and Social Well-being

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Becky Sweger, 413.584.9556 or bsweger@nationalpriorities.org 

Mapping Essential State and County Data on Federal Spending and Social Well-being

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. - National Priorities Project announces the launch of its Federal Priorities Database, a unique tool which compares the way our nation spends money with the social impact of these expenditures. The database tracks both federal spending and social indicators (e.g., poverty rates, renewable energy usage and enrollment in the State Children's Health Insurance Program) and houses information at the state, county and school district levels.

"There is an abundance of timely and vital stories in each of NPP's nine database categories," notes Becky Sweger, the staff member responsible for today's launch. "At a time when all eyes are on the federal budget -- and census data in particular, we hope this interactive tool offers people across our nation a way to understand and respond to budget decisions happening in Washington, DC."

The following are three data stories available for review:

1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps in 2010, with the number of program participants increasing 42% from 2008 to 2010. In Texas 3.5 million people received Food Stamps in 2010, up more than 18% from 2009.

With national unemployment remaining above 9%, only one-third of unemployed individuals qualified for unemployment insurance. Nevada had a 15% unemployment rate in 2009 and received $50,604,191 in federal Unemployment Insurance funding.

32 million students currently access subsidized or free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program. In the Springfield, Massachusetts school system, 81% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

And this is just the beginning. Defense contracts, housing units, student-teacher ratios -- these are just a few examples of what people can search, map and download from a single, easy-to-use website.

National Priorities Project is a non-partisan federal budget research organization dedicated to helping people understand the local impact of tax dollars and budget decisions. NPP brings the federal budget home and turns data into action.

The Federal Priorities Database is made possible by generous support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation.

More information: www.nationalpriorities.org.
 

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The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent.  Located in Northampton, MA, since 1983, NPP focuses on the impact of federal spending and other policies at the national, state, congressional district and local levels.  For more information, go to http://nationalpriorities.org.

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