Which States Are the Most Dependent on the Federal Government?

Each state receives federal funds for economic support, but which states are the most dependent on this aid from the federal government?

Each state receives federal funds for economic support, but which states are the most dependent on this aid from the federal government?

WalletHub, a personal finance resource website, sought to answer this question with this interactive map (included below) that ranks each state’s dependency on financial aid from the federal government. Lighter colors indicate a greater dependency on federal funds.

WalletHub’s rankings of each state are based on four metrics, one of which was the number of federal employees in the state:

  1. Return on Taxes Paid to the Federal Government (Federal Funding in $ Divided by Federal Income Taxes in $): Weight = 1
  2. Federal Funding as a Percentage of State Revenue (Federal Funding in $ Divided by State Revenue in $ then Multiplied by 100): Weight = 1
  3. Number of Federal Employees per 1,000 Residents (Number of Federal Workers Divided by Number of State Residents): Weight = 0.5
  4. Number of Civilian Non-Defense Federal Employees per 1,000 Residents (Total Federal Civilian Employment Minus Total Civilian Employment of Army, Air Force, Navy & Defense Department): Weight = 0.25

Which states were found to be the most dependent? These are the 10 most dependent (the rankings go from least dependent (#1) to most dependent (#50):

State Return on Taxpayer Investment (Category Rank) Federal Funding as % of State Revenue (Category Rank) Federal Employees per 1,000 Residents (Category Rank) Number of Civilian Non-Defense Federal Employees per 1,000 Residents (Category Rank)
South Carolina $5.38
(50)
32.50%
(23)
12.74
(34)
2.42
(9)
Maine $1.58
(40)
35.42%
(38)
8.73
(23)
3.04
(17)
South Dakota $0.80
(20)
39.78%
(47)
14.42
(36)
8.69
(46)
Louisiana $1.37
(36)
42.21%
(48)
8.40
(21)
3.15
(19)
Arizona $1.47
(39)
36.26%
(39)
9.34
(28)
4.95
(37)
West Virginia $1.91
(43)
34.91%
(35)
8.91
(25)
7.66
(44)
Montana $1.24
(33)
37.49%
(41)
13.51
(35)
8.74
(47)
Alabama $2.46
(48)
36.64%
(40)
10.36
(31)
3.19
(20)
Kentucky $2.18
(45)
35.26%
(37)
15.38
(40)
3.61
(28)
Mississippi $2.34
(47)
43.68%
(50)
10.61
(32)
3.41
(24)
New Mexico $2.19
(46)
37.89%
(42)
18.50
(45)
9.03
(48)

Source: WalletHub

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

Leave a Comment