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Here's How City Governments Spend Their IT Budgets

Counties and cities look fairly distinct from one another.

When people talk about “local government,” they tend to lump cities, counties and special districts into one indistinguishable mass.

But they operate pretty differently from one another. Take this data, gathered from the 2018 Digital Cities project — the results of which will be published Thursday — which show how cities spend their technology budgets.

Compared with counties, cities spend less of their IT budgets on telecommunications (9 percent for cities, 16 percent for counties), more on software (15 percent versus 9 percent) and a little more on IT services (18 percent versus 15 percent).

Counties also spend 3 percent more of their budget on internal IT staff than cities.

The data comes from survey responses from counties and cities, which submit information for annual projects conducted by the Center for Digital Government*. The areas are broad, which helps gather information across a multitude of jurisdictions that all do things differently.

More data from Digital Cities — as well as the winners in each population category — will be released on Friday.

*The Center for Digital Government is part of e.Republic, Government Technology's parent company.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to clarify that the number of participants in the surveys is unreleased information.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.