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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 900 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.

Read more in our new paper announcing the dataset.

About the Dataset:

The Correlates of State Policy Project includes more than 900 variables, with observations across the 50 U.S. states and across time (1900–2016, 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.

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. 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. 
     - Jordan, Marty P. and Matt Grossmann. 2020. The Correlates of State Policy Project v.2.1. East Lansing, MI: Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR).

Version 2.2 Data Downloads (Large Files):

Documentation:

Data via Google Charts:

Related Projects

Previous Updates

Version 2.1

Variables added (.pdf)

Version 2.0

Variables added (.pdf)

Version 1.0 - > 1.14

All updates for versions 1.0 through 1.14 compiled as a list (.pdf)

Variables Included

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 

III.       Government             

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 

IV.      Elections 

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 

VII.     Education 

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 

XI.      Environment 

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

XIV.    Labor

State minimum wage rate · fair employment laws · workers’ compensation · unemployment compensation · right-to-work law · short-term disability insurance program

XV.     Transportation 

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

Suggested Citation:

Jordan, Marty P. and Matt Grossmann. 2020. The Correlates of State Policy Project v.2.2. East Lansing, MI: Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR). 

Send errors or new datasets to: correlatesofstatepolicyproject@gmail.com