Differences between American and British English: state
In the U.S., the adjective state usually refers to the individual states of the United States or to their government, laws, taxes, etc.: the state fair ♦ state income tax. In the U.K., state usually means paid for by the government: a state pension. In the U.S. and the U.K., state can also be a noun meaning a country or a national government: member states of the United Nations. British speakers sometimes use it in specific combinations of words to refer to the U.K. government: affairs of state ♦ state intervention. When American speakers are referring to the U.S. government, they usually say federal: federal employees.