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Government

June 11, 2013
 

California public debt still above national median measures

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Lockyer weekly briefing, state debt measures, Moody's, June 10, 2013

The following information was released by California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer as part of his weekly briefing on June 10, 2013.

California in 2012 remained well above the national median for 3 metrics used to assess debt burden, according to a May 29 report from Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s).

The metrics measure state governments’ net tax-supported debt in the following ways: per capita; as a percentage of the state’s total personal income; and as a percentage of the state’s GDP. For calendar year 2012, California’s net tax-supported debt totaled $97.6 billion, according to the report. That represented 18.9 percent of the national total of $516.0 billion.

With respect to the 3 metrics, here’s what Moody’s showed in its “2013 State Debt Medians Report”:

  • Per capita – California’s net tax-supported debt per capita in 2012 was $2,565. That was 138.8 percent higher than the $1,074 median for all states. California’s figure increased by 0.2 percent from 2011, while the U.S. median fell by 3.8 percent.
  • Percentage of personal income – California’s net tax-supported debt as a share of total personal income was 5.8 percent 2012. That was 107.1 percent above the national median of 2.8 percent. On the positive side, California’s ratio declined a bit from 2011, to 5.8 percent from 6.0 percent, while the U.S. median stayed the same.
  • Percentage of GDP – California’s net tax-supported debt as a percentage of its GDP was 5.07 percent in 2012. That was 111.2 percent higher than the national median of 2.40 percent. Both the California and U.S. medians remained unchanged from 2011.

Featured photo

Graphic showing California public debt courtesy of California State Treasurer, based on a report by Moody’s.

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