The 1980s were a time of shrinking government, right? Wrong! At least not at the state level. Between 1980 and 1989, the population of the United States grew by 9 percent. But the number of persons on state payrolls skyrocketed by 19 percent. Leading the way was Florida, with an increase of 43 percent. (Florida's population grew by only 29 percent.) But the most dramatic gap between population change and the growth in the number of public employees was in Iowa. While the state's population fell by 5 percent, its state payroll jumped 29 percent.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Workers' States".