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Major State Aids & Taxes: Description of the Data

The aids and taxes information contain the most recent available data for the programs and historical information. In the published report, the data is for a five-year time period. Some of the data are county level, while other tables and graphs are by region or groupings of regions.

One table uses northern and southern groupings of the 80 nonmetro counties. The groupings were selected for convenience, rather than for any specific analytical purpose. The northern and southern regions are grouped as follows:

Northern Regions

  • 1: Northwest
  • 2: Headwaters
  • 3: Arrowhead
  • 4: West Central
  • 5: Five
  • 7E: East Central

Southern Regions

  • 6E: Six East
  • 6W: Upper Minnesota Valley
  • 7W: Central Minnesota
  • 8: Southwest
  • 9: Nine
  • 10: Southeastern Minnesota

The seven metro counties are not included in either the northern or southern regions.

Each aid and tax contains the following information about the program, maps, and historical data:

  • Program Description: Describes the aid or tax and provides the statewide amount for the most recent available year, any relevant reporting information, and the source of the data. In some cases, summary tables itemizing the data in different ways (e.g., by program totals) are included. Any recent law changes that affect the program and are important in analyzing the data are noted.
  • Maps: Two maps show the per capita distribution for the most recent year available of the aid or tax by county and economic development region. 2014 population is used to calculate per capita amounts throughout these web pages. The 2017 population estimates used here are from the Minnesota State Demographer.

    The counties were grouped by dividing the data for each aid and tax into three ranges. The map legend shows the size of the ranges, the per capita amount received or paid by the average county or economic development region, the range from lowest to highest amount per capita, and the overall statewide per capita amount. In some cases, a small number of counties may have per capita aid or tax amounts much higher or lower than all other counties. For purposes of comparability, the groupings constructed on the county data ranges were also used for maps presenting data by economic development region.

    All maps are on a per capita basis for comparability among counties. For some aids and taxes, however, other measures would probably be more appropriate. For example, a measure incorporating per pupil units could provide insight into the distribution of education aid. Construction of such measures on a county basis is beyond the scope of this report due to time and data limitations. Where appropriate, suggested alternatives are noted.

  • Historical Data: A table provides historical data for the state and the geographic areas of the state. The right-hand column shows a percentage change for the time period presented, calculated using nominal dollars (i.e., not adjusted for inflation). Hennepin and Ramsey counties are shown separately from the rest of the metro counties because of their greater size, and because each contains a city of the first class.

    A statewide graph shows the trend of the data in nominal dollars and in constant (inflation-adjusted) dollars, adjusted for inflation using the implicit price deflator for state and local government expenditures, as published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is the only place where amounts presented are adjusted for inflation.