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

National Priorities Project announces the launch of its Federal Priorities Database, a 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's an abundance of timely and vital stories in each of NPP's nine database categories. 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 sample data stories available for review:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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, affordable 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.

We're working every day to make the Federal Priorities Database more useful. Track our progress on Twitter or our database blog. More importantly, help set our priorities by telling us how this resource can be more useful to your work.