Which States Rely the Most on Federal Aid?

January 8, 2015

Though taxes are the most common and recognizable source of state government revenues, it's important to remember that they're not the only source. In fact, state governments received 31.5 percent of their total general revenues from transfers from the federal government in the 2012 fiscal year

That number varies pretty widely for specific states, however. For example, Mississippi obtains 45.3 percent of its total state general revenues from the federal government (the largest share in the country). Also on the high end are Louisiana (44.0 percent), Tennessee (41.0 percent), South Dakota (40.8 percent), and Missouri (39.4 percent).

On the other end of the spectrum are those states who receive a much smaller share of general revenues from the federal government. The lowest federal share occurs in Alaska at 20.0 percent, followed by North Dakota (20.5 percent), Virginia (23.5 percent), Hawaii (23.5 percent), and Connecticut (23.6 percent).

For all fifty states, see the map below. Note that this measure of general revenue includes tax collections but excludes utility revenue, liquor store revenue, and insurance trust revenue.

Click on map to enlarge. (See our reposting policy here.)

Here are some useful background resources on this topic:

Interested in more comparisons of state taxation? Check out Facts & Figures 2014: How does your state compare?

Follow Liz and Rich on Twitter @elizabeth_malm and @RichardBorean, respectively.​


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