A Decade of Culture and Recreation Spending on Cape Cod

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Culture and Recreation are among the most important services needed for the wellbeing of a community. Parks are grounds for socializing, playtime and community events and give residents the opportunity to build community spirit. The same goes for Cape Cod; but towns vary in the extent to which they provide these services. How does Barnstable County stack up?


Source: Pioneer Institute’s MassAnalysis website


As shown in the chart above, the towns with the highest per capita Culture and Recreation expenses were Truro, Wellfleet, Orleans, Chatham, and Harwich at $405, $387, $379, $284, and $254, respectively. Barnstable and Falmouth spent the most in the aggregate, despite having some of the lowest expenditures on a per capita basis.

Spending on culture and recreation hasn’t risen across all towns on the Cape in the past 10 years. Mashpee and Bourne recorded the lowest per capita expenses at $62 and $42, respectively. Additionally, Bourne spent the lowest portion of its overall budget on culture and recreation, a mere 1.3 percent. Interestingly, the town also reported no growth in per capita spending compared to 2010. 

Chatham, which ranks fourth in  culture and recreation expenses per capita, spent the highest percentage of total expenditures on the services, nearly 7 percent.  

Only four towns saw contractions in spending compared to 2010: Brewster, Truro, Dennis, and Yarmouth; with Brewster ranking the highest at 68 percent and Dennis as the lowest at 2.5 percent. 

Overall, the majority of towns saw growth, with Falmouth and Mashpee taking the lead at 63 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Culture and recreation expense amounted to over 5 percent of total spending in only 6 out of the 15 towns.


About the Author:

Etelson Alcius is a roger perry transparency intern with the Pioneer Institute. He is a recent graduate of  Cathedral High School and incoming freshmen at the College of the Holy Cross, where he intends to double major in economics and computer science on a prelaw track. Feel free to reach out via email, linkedin, or write a letter to Pioneer’s Office in Boston.