State Policy Network
Where Does Your State Rank? These 50-State Resources Make It Easy to Compare
From education to personal freedom to poverty alleviation, these resources make it easy to see how states are performing.

When exploring solutions that will empower citizens rather than government to make the best decisions for themselves and their communities, it can be helpful to be able to compare your state’s performance to that of neighboring states or even the whole country. Fortunately, those comparisons already exist in several key issue areas. The Network resources below offer a 50-state view of how states rank on specific policy areas.

Alleviating Poverty

Benefits Cliff
Georgia Center for Opportunity’s tool and website shows how the perverse incentives within a state’s welfare programs can trap participants in a cycle of poverty. The tool enables users to see the welfare cliffs a persona is likely to encounter based on the state and county they are enrolled in. 

Election Integrity

Election Integrity Scorecard 
Heritage Foundation’s Election Integrity Scorecard is an interactive tool that allows users to quickly and easily assess the status of state election fairness and security—and even compare states by their rankings.

Government Accountability

Scoring Emergency Executive Power in All 50 States
Maine Policy’s report examines the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches in every state during states of emergency.


Rating the States on Telehealth Best Practices: A Toolkit for a Pro-Patient and Provider Landscape
A recent report from Reason Foundation, Cicero Institute and Pioneer Institute rates every state’s telehealth policy for patient access and ease of providing virtual care.

Higher Education

ACTA State Rankings for four-year colleges and universities
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni’s state rankings allows users to see how their public four-year colleges and universities perform against other states in terms of the cost-effectiveness and academic quality. Key performance indicators include tuition as a percentage of median household income, administrator-to-professor ratio, administrative spending per student, speech codes, core curriculum, four-year graduation rates, and more. How Colleges Spend Money to view over 1,500 individual college and university metrics on these same measures.

Learning for Self-GovernmentA K–12 Civics Report Card.
study published jointly by Pioneer Institute and the National Association of Scholars offers in-depth evaluations of 15 leading civics programs, grades them on their effectiveness, and offers recommendations for how Americans should build upon these programs.


Annual Highway Report
Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report examines every state’s pavement and bridge conditions, traffic fatalities, congestion delays, spending per mile, administrative costs, and more.

Jobs and Workplace Freedom

Barred from Working
Institute for Justice’s report provides an up-to-date account of occupational licensing barriers for ex-offenders. Using 10 distinct criteria, this report grades all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their legal protections for licensing applicants with criminal records. 

 Too Many Licenses?
Institute for Justice’s study presents the first comprehensive analysis of state sunrise laws and reviews, which are generally intended to evaluate whether proposed occupational licenses are necessary to protect the public.

K-12 Education

Let Them Teach: A National Review of Teacher Licensure
Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty’s report takes a critical look at the way teacher licensing regulations may be contributing to a shortage of licensed teachers around the country and provides an in-depth review of the teacher shortage, teacher licensing, and paths to reform.

Return to Learn Tracker
American Enterprise Institute’s tracker monitors 8,500 public school districts’ instructional statuses on a weekly basis. The tracker examines which schools are offering fully in-person, hybrid, and fully remote instruction and analyzes instructional status across various district and county demographics.

State Budgets and Economies

Economic Freedom of North America 2021
This report by The Buckeye Institute and Fraser Institute ranks every state and province in North America based on economic freedom, as measured by government spending, taxation, and labor market restrictions.  

Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom
Cato Institute’s Freedom in the 50 States ranks each state based on how their policies promote fiscal, regulatory, and personal freedom.

State Business Tax Climate Index
The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems and provides a road map for improvement and enable business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare.

State Unemployment Trust Fund Data
The Tax Foundation has released unemployment benefits data showing state and federal spending as well as the American Rescue Plan funds still available to states to replenish their unemployment compensation trust funds.

 Does your organization have a 50-state report or tool to share with the Network? Send a brief summary and link to your resource to

Categories: News
Organization: State Policy Network