The Correlates of State Policy Project aims to compile, disseminate, and encourage the use of data relevant to U.S. state policy research, tracking policy differences across the 50 states and changes over time. We have gathered more than 3000 variables from various sources and assembled them into one large, useful dataset. We hope this project will become a “one-stop shop” for academics, policy analysts, students, and researchers looking for variables germane to the study of state policies and politics.
In keeping with the mission of IPPSR, this project documents, updates, and distributes various datasets germane to research on pressing public policy issues. IPPSR is committed to research transparency, replication, and data reliability. These cross-state and cross-time datasets are free and publicly available for academics, policy analysts, students, policymakers, and the research community. We welcome notification of any errors, comments, and contributions of additional datasets.
- Link to Associated R Package
- Interactive Web Application for Online Subsetting, Visualization, and Analysis
About the Dataset:
The Correlates of State Policy Project includes more than 3000 variables, with observations across the 50 U.S. states and across time (1900–2019, approximately). These variables represent policy outputs or political, social, or economic factors that may influence policy differences. The codebook includes the variable name, a short description of the variable, the variable time frame, a longer description of the variable, and the variable source(s) and notes.
Our web application and R package can quickly generate citations for the specific variables that you use, create a number of visualizations (including animated maps in the app), subset the data in multiple ways, and more.
Download the CSPP Data (version 2.6):
- CSV File with Complete Dataset (~3000 variables) (.csv)
- CSV file with Core Policy Dataset (~100 variables) (.csv)
- CSV file with Core Academic Dataset (~70 variables) (.csv)
- Version 2.6 Codebook (.pdf)
- Version 2.6 Codebook (.csv)
- Version 2.6 Updates (.pdf)
This aggregated dataset is only possible because many scholars and students have spent countless hours creating, collecting, cleaning, and making data publicly available. Thus, if you use the dataset, please cite the original data sources. To quickly generate these citations, see our web application or R package - both can export citations for any variable in the dataset. For example, if you use the dataset to examine the relationship between the Policy Innovativeness Score created by Boehmke & Skinner (2012) and the Policy Liberalism Score created by Caughey & Warshaw (2015), you should include the following three citations:
- Boehmke, Frederick J., and Paul Skinner. 2012. “State Policy Innovativeness Revisited.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly 12(3):303-29.
- Caughey, Devin, and Christopher Warshaw. 2015. “The Dynamics of State Policy Liberalism, 1936–2014.” American Journal of Political Science 60 (4): 899–913.
- Grossmann, M., Jordan, M. P. and McCrain, J. (2021) “The Correlates of State Policy and the Structure of State Panel Data,” State Politics & Policy Quarterly. Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–21. doi: 10.1017/spq.2021.17.
We are particularly grateful to the following sources which each account for more than 50 variables in the dataset:
- Sorens, Jason, Fait Muedini, and William P. Ruger. 'State and Local Public Policies in 2006: A New Database.' State Politics & Policy Quarterly 8.3 (2008): 309-26.
- Frederick J. Boehmke; Mark Brockway; Bruce Desmarais; Jeffrey J. Harden; Scott LaCombe; Fridolin Linder; Hanna Wallach, 2018, 'State Policy Innovation and Diffusion (SPID) Database v1.0', https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/CVYSR7"
- Caughey, Devin, and Christopher Warshaw. 2015. 'The Dynamics of State Policy Liberalism, 1936-2014.' American Journal of Political Science, September. doi: 10.1111/ajps.12219. https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN...
- Boehmke, Frederick J., and Paul Skinner. 'State policy innovativeness revisited.' State Politics & Policy Quarterly 12.3 (2012): 303-329.
- Klarner, Carl, 2013, 'Governors Dataset', https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/PQ0Y1N, Harvard Dataverse, V1
Instructions for Submitting Data
Create Visualizations using Google Charts:
Version 1.0 - > 1.14
Variable Categories and Examples
I. Demographics and Population
State population totals · population density · population of selected age groups (under 5 years old, 5–17 years old, 18–24 years old, etc.) · female population · male population · religion · race and ethnicity · foreign-born population · immigration policy
II. Economic and Fiscal Policy
Personal income · state minimum wage · per capita income · state consumer price index · gross state product · total state debt · total state revenue · total state expenditures · budget surplus estimates · total debt outstanding as percent of GDP · total revenue outstanding as percent of GDP · state tax capacity · state assets · state liabilities · fiscal condition index · tax credits · income and sales tax rates · women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s earnings · unemployment rate · median household income · lottery ticket sales · poverty rate · AFDC/TANF recipients · foodstamps/SNAP recipients · welfare spending
State term limits · legislative session length · procedures for administrative regulations · previous governors and their experience · party of governor · female elected officials · number of local governments · state chamber ideological measures (medians, distance between party medians in each chamber, party heterogeneity, etc.) · legislative seats held by each party · state legislative professionalism · state high court professionalism · corruption convictions · year of statehood · various “freedom” indices: economic freedom, personal freedom, gun control freedom, alcohol freedom, civil liberties freedom, labor market freedom, etc. · membership in interstate compacts
Voter ID and registration requirements · voting-eligible population turnout rate · election years · proportion of democratic state representatives and senators · proportion of two-party vote for Democratic gubernatorial candidate · measures of state electoral competitiveness · campaign finance regulations · interest groups by sector
V. Policy Scores and Public Opinion
Mean liberalism scores (economic and social) · state policy liberalism scores · policy innovativeness scores · ideology and party identification scores · policy mood · political knowledge · social capital
VI. Criminal Justice and the Legal System
Domestic violence laws · treatment of inmates · prohibition of harassment/stalking · procedures for and resolution of private disputes and civil cases · DNA testing · identity theft · death penalty reform · motor vehicle theft rate · property crime rate · violent crime rate · gun background checks · marriage license requirements · child custody and child support laws · no-fault divorce
College placement exams · home-schooling policies · teacher certification · regulation of private schools · state education spending · percent of state population with a high school diploma · average school attendance rate · percent dropout rate · instruction expenses per student · pupil to teacher ratio · average tuition rates · fourth grade math and reading scores
VIII. Healthcare and Health Insurance
Rights for the terminally ill · health insurance benefit mandates · health insurance mandated coverage for dependents · newborn screening · coverage for seniors’ prescription drugs · total state population with government insurance · health spending per capita · infant mortality rate · Medicaid enrollment
IX. Welfare Policy
State adoption of Medicaid program · CHIP eligibility levels · AFDC benefits for average family · TANF eligibility and benefits
X. Rights and Anti-Discrimination Protections
Law prohibiting hiring discrimination on the basis of gender · Equal Rights Amendment ratified · abortion and contraception policies (access, insurance coverage, parental consent, TRAP laws, fetal personhood, etc.) · laws banning hate crimes · same-sex marriage · laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations · fair housing · affirmative action ban
Environmental building standards · tax credits for renewable energy · bottle bill · e-waste recycling program · cap on greenhouse gas emissions · endangered species regulations · commercial sector energy consumption · residential sector energy price · total CO2 emissions
XII. Drug and Alcohol Policy
Punishment for DUIs · restrictions on alcohol sales · smoking bans · medical marijuana permitted · cigarette taxes · registration of beer kegs · zero-tolerance laws for underage drinking · Internet gambling · casinos allowed · state lottery
XIII. Gun Control
Concealed carry laws · assault weapons ban · background checks · waiting period for gun purchases · child-access prevention laws · mandatory reporting of firearm thefts
State minimum wage rate · fair employment laws · workers’ compensation · unemployment compensation · right-to-work law · short-term disability insurance program
Seatbelt laws · motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws · blood-alcohol-content laws for drivers · uninsured/underinsured coverage required · ban on handheld cellphones for all drivers · driver’s license renewal cycle
XVI. Regulatory Policy
Licensing requirements for various occupations · estate planning and administration, wills, trusts · abandonment of property · regulation of mortgages and leases · eminent domain · sale of fireworks permitted · lemon laws · consumer protections · regulation of sales and transactions/transfers
Grossmann, M., Jordan, M. P. and McCrain, J. (2021) “The Correlates of State Policy and the Structure of State Panel Data,” State Politics & Policy Quarterly. Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–21. doi: 10.1017/spq.2021.17.
Send errors or new datasets to: email@example.com