- In olden times, the State is viewed as a 'law and order authorities'. Such state is called a 'police state'. Its duty is limited to administration of justice and collecting taxes.
- Socioeconomic and political conditions has changed the view of a state to become a welfare state.
- Responsibilities of state has increased in a welfare state.
- 'Welfare of the people' is the primary responsibility of the State.
- State takes responsibility of the welfare of its people.
- Education, health care, social insurance, housing, old age pensions and medical care are some of the common responsibilities a welfare states takes responsibility of.
- It enforces principles of equality and equal opportunity.
- Ownership and operation of industrial enterprises, business and other commercial activities are also done by welfare governments.
- Sociologist T.H. Marshall identified the welfare state as a distinctive combination of democracy, welfare, and capitalism.