Here Are the Most Federally Dependent States in 2020


As federal assistance for states struggling during the coronavirus pandemic has been recently scrutinized, researchers compared the amount of money each state receives from the federal government to create a list of states that are federally dependent.

The list was compiled by WalletHub in order to determine the difference in federal dependence from state to state.

“While the government has shelled out around $750 billion total to states during this crisis, it faces questions about whether the distribution has been truly equitable and efficient,” managing editor John Kiernan wrote.

The researchers used data from the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to compare the 50 states in twoareas: “State Residents’ Dependency” and “State Government’s Dependency.”

Each state was then weighted against three different metrics to calculate its overall score to rank it in order of dependence on federal funds.

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The metrics were Return on Taxes Paid to the Federal Government, Share of Federal Jobs and Federal Funding as a Share of State Revenue.

After each state was ranked, it was categorized into either a positive category, like the lowest amount of grants received, or a negative category, like the highest amount of other financial assistance received.

The five most dependent states are New Mexico, Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia and Montana.

The five least dependent states are Utah, Iowa, Delaware, New Jersey and Kansas.

To view the full list, follow this link to WalletHub.

Source: WalletHub

Nebraska, New Jersey, Minnesota, Delaware and Illinois received the lowest amount of grants while Montana, Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia and Alaska received the highest amount of grants.

The states that received the lowest amount of other financial assistance were Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois and Maryland.

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The states that received the highest amount of other financial assistance were West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina and North Dakota.

Were you surprised by where your state was ranked?

The coronavirus stimulus package initially allocated $150 billion in federal money to be divided among the 50 states based on population, WalletHub reported.

However, the allocation of funds appeared to be backward as states with fewer virus cases received more money than those with a large number of cases.

For example, Alaska received nearly $3.4 million per positive test while New York received $24,000 per positive test, according to The Associated Press.

“If there’s a fire, you don’t spray the whole neighborhood. You spray the house that’s on fire,” Bill Hammond, director of public health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy, told the AP.

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, the number of individuals relying on government assistance had decreased under the Trump administration, according to WalletHub.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith


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