Feature Article - June 2011
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Regional Information

A Look at Regional Trends

By Emily Tipping

At the same time that respondents in these regions are reporting increasing usage, they also have seen a drop in their average operating expenditures for fiscal 2010. The highest operating expenditures for fiscal 2010 were found among respondents in the West, with an average $1,608,000 budget. The lowest were found in the Midwest, with $1,347,000. (See Figure 31.)

The sharpest declines in operating expenditures for fiscal 2010 were found among respondents in the South Atlantic states, who reported an average drop of 33.2 percent from last year's projected number of $2,041,000 to this year's reported average, at $1,363,000. They were followed by respondents in the Midwest, who saw a 26.7 percent decrease. Those in the West had a decrease of 23 percent, while the South Central region had an 18.1 percent decrease. The most modest decrease was seen in the Northeast, at 3.5 percent from an average projected budget of $1,457,000 last year to a reported fiscal 2010 budget of $1,406,000 this year.

Most respondents are anticipating budgets to rise over the next two years, though levels in 2012 are still not expected to recover to the levels seen in fiscal 2009. The greatest increase for this time period is projected by respondents in the Midwest, who are expecting an increase of 6.6 percent from fiscal 2010. They are followed by those in the South Atlantic, who projected a 6.5 percent increase, the West at 4.1 percent, and the Northeast at 3 percent. The South Central states were projecting the smallest rise in operating expenditures at 2.3 percent, from $1,459,000 in fiscal 2010 to a projected $1,493,000 in fiscal 2012.