What We Do

The Heartland Institute is a national nonprofit research and education organization founded in 1984 that addresses a wide range of public policy issues. We have deep expertise on budget and tax issues, education policy, environmental protection, energy, health care policy, and the rise of socialism. We produce books, policy studies, and shorter publications and send many of them to every national and state elected official in the United States. We have comprehensive communications and government relations programs, as well. More information about these programs appears below.


In addition to a staff of 27, approximately 500 academics and professional economists participate in Heartland’s peer-review process as policy advisors and more than 300 elected officials serve on its Legislative Forum. More than a dozen senior fellows are available to write, speak, or comment in-depth on a wide range of policy issues.


Heartland has published more than two dozen books ranging in length from fewer than 100 pages to more than 1,000 pages, some with circulation of more than 100,000 copies. Heartland has published more than 140 peer-reviewed policy studies and scores of policy briefs, Research & Commentary collections, and booklets. Surveys show 82 percent of state legislators read at least one of Heartland’s publications sometimes or always.

Government Relations

Our government relations staff made 310,805 contacts with elected officials in 2023, including 516 direct personal contacts and 15 face-to-face meetings. These are virtually all educational contacts – we do not lobby. Our government relations staff calls legislators to ask if they need information, are aware of new developments in other states, and if we can send the “best available research” on issues they are coping with.

Media Relations

In 2023, Heartland spokespersons appeared in print, online, or on broadcast media 9,398 times.


We are leaders in online communication, generating almost 2.4 million page views on our websites in 2023. Our Facebook page registered more than 475,000 fans and more than 2.5 million impressions in 2023.  Heartland’s podcasts recorded several hundred thousand downloads, and our videos were viewed 3 million times on YouTube, Facebook, and Rumble on more than 33 million impressions.

Credibility and Influence

Our decades in public policy, solid research and publications, and repeated communications with state legislators have made Heartland a credible, independent, “go-to” source for thousands of elected officials. A telephone survey of 500 randomly selected state and local elected officials recently conducted by Victory Enterprises found 78% of the state elected officials surveyed read one or more Heartland newspapers “sometimes” or “always”; and 45% reported a Heartland publication “influenced my opinion or led to a change in public policy.””


The Heartland Institute’s influence is not limited to a single political party. The 2018 Victory Enterprises survey showed strong appeal on both sides of the political aisle. Sixty-nine percent of Democratic state legislators recognize The Heartland Institute, 81 percent read one or more Heartland newspapers “sometimes” or “always,” and 36% reported a Heartland publication “influenced or led to a change in public policy.”

What's New

Heartland Newsletters

The Heartland Institute offers free email subscriptions to all of its newsletters and monthly public policy newspapers.