These states are the most dependent on the federal government

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As more states get federal funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are starting to wonder just how much federal aid states are getting. The issue became especially apparent after AP News found that New York got less than $24,000 in federal aid for every positive case from the first $150 billion in federal aid. In comparison, Alaska got over $3.3 million per positive case.

The attention this decision got is only one of many examples of Americans putting a magnifying glass up to federal assistance programs. Despite this scrutiny, before the pandemic, the number of Americans who depended on government assistance actually was decreasing. 

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Olivier Le Moal / Getty

Rankings by state

Nonetheless, media has still kept a spotlight on how equitably financial assistance is divvied up between the states. WalletHub recently released a survey to find out how large the gap is between the states with the most and least amount of federal aid dependency.

WalletHubt compared the states based on the states’ government dependency and its citizens’ government dependency for aid. You can find their full methodology here.

Below are the rankings from least to most dependent. Keep reading to find out how your state fared.

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Tiago_Fernandez / iStock

50. Kansas

  • Total Score: 10.62
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 39
  • State Government’s Dependency: 49

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aimintang

49. New Jersey

  • Total Score: 13.68
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 49
  • State Government’s Dependency: 42

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mdgmorris

48. Delaware

  • Total Score: 15.66
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 50
  • State Government’s Dependency: 40

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Robby_SixtyTwo

47. Utah

  • Total Score: 19.42
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 36
  • State Government’s Dependency: 44

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JoeChristensen

46. Iowa

  • Total Score: 20.53
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 31
  • State Government’s Dependency: 45

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Rolf_52

45. Massachusetts

  • Total Score: 20.99
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 47
  • State Government’s Dependency: 38

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4nadia

44. Washington

  • Total Score: 21.97
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 42
  • State Government’s Dependency: 39

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venemama / iStock

43. Illinois

  • Total Score: 24.01
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 48
  • State Government’s Dependency: 37

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DenisTangneyJr

42. Connecticut

  • Total Score: 25.41
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 19
  • State Government’s Dependency: 46

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ABEMOS / iStock

41. Virginia

  • Total Score: 25.59
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 13
  • State Government’s Dependency: 50

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JoeChristensen

40. Minnesota

  • Total Score: 25.66
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 25
  • State Government’s Dependency: 41

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marekuliasz

39. Nebraska

  • Total Score: 27.93
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 43
  • State Government’s Dependency: 32

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mlauffen

38. California

  • Total Score: 27.93
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 44
  • State Government’s Dependency: 31

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Jacob Boomsma / iStock

37. Colorado

  • Total Score: 28.5
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 41
  • State Government’s Dependency: 36

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DenisTangneyJr

36. New Hampshire

  • Total Score: 32.03
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 37
  • State Government’s Dependency: 29

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earleliason

35. Texas

  • Total Score: 32.05
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 40
  • State Government’s Dependency: 28

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Elisa.rolle

34. Florida

  • Total Score: 32.24
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 30
  • State Government’s Dependency: 34

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Art Wager

33. Hawaii

  • Total Score: 32.55
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 9
  • State Government’s Dependency: 48

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dypics

32. Ohio

  • Total Score: 33.96
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 45
  • State Government’s Dependency: 16

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Byelikova_Oksana / iStock

31. Nevada

  • Total Score: 35.23
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 32
  • State Government’s Dependency: 25

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” Darwin Brandis”

30. North Carolina

  • Total Score: 35.36
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 34
  • State Government’s Dependency: 24

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danlogan

29. Rhode Island

  • Total Score: 35.44
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 35
  • State Government’s Dependency: 22

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FierceAbin

28. Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 35.92
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 15
  • State Government’s Dependency: 43

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haveseen

27. Michigan

  • Total Score: 35.95
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 28
  • State Government’s Dependency: 27

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DepositPhotos.com

26. New York

  • Total Score: 36.33
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 46
  • State Government’s Dependency: 14

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SeanPavonePhoto

25. Georgia

  • Total Score: 37.31
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 33
  • State Government’s Dependency: 19

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HaizhanZheng

24. Oregon

  • Total Score: 37.38
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 26
  • State Government’s Dependency: 26

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knowlesgallery

23. Idaho

  • Total Score: 37.74
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 21
  • State Government’s Dependency: 33

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DepositPhotos.com

22. Oklahoma

  • Total Score: 39.91
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 20
  • State Government’s Dependency: 30

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RiverNorthPhotography

21. South Dakota

  • Total Score: 41.07
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 23
  • State Government’s Dependency: 21

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Rdlamkin

20. Arkansas

  • Total Score: 41.56
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 38
  • State Government’s Dependency: 13

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James_Lane

19. Maryland

  • Total Score: 41.88
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 16
  • State Government’s Dependency: 35

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sequential5

18. North Dakota

  • Total Score: 44.17
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 3
  • State Government’s Dependency: 47

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DenisTangneyJr

17. Vermont

  • Total Score: 45.13
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 18
  • State Government’s Dependency: 23

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DepositPhotos.com

16. Missouri

  • Total Score: 47.52
  • State Residents’ Dependency : 29
  • State Government’s Dependency: 10

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AppalachianViews

15. Pennsylvania

  • Total Score: 47.8
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 17
  • State Government’s Dependency: 20

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NathanMerrill

14. Tennessee

  • Total Score: 52.81
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 22
  • State Government’s Dependency: 9

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DepositPhotos.com

13. Maine

  • Total Score: 53.8
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 12
  • State Government’s Dependency: 18

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AnujSahaiPhotography

12. Wyoming

  • Total Score: 58.14
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 24
  • State Government’s Dependency: 5

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Sean Pavone

11. Alabama

  • Total Score: 59.36
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 11
  • State Government’s Dependency: 15

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DenisTangneyJr

10. Louisiana

  • Total Score: 62.45
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 27
  • State Government’s Dependency: 1

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DepositPhotos.com

9. South Carolina

  • Total Score: 67.36
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 6
  • State Government’s Dependency: 17

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f11photo

8. Indiana

  • Total Score: 69.96
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 8
  • State Government’s Dependency: 11

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wanderluster

7. Arizona

  • Total Score: 70.33
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 10
  • State Government’s Dependency: 7

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YinYang

6. Montana

  • Total Score: 73.87
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 14
  • State Government’s Dependency: 2

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iStock

5. West Virginia

  • Total Score: 75.36
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 2
  • State Government’s Dependency: 12

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Thomas Kelley

4. Kentucky

  • Total Score: 80.78
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 5
  • State Government’s Dependency: 8

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DepositPhotos.com

3. Mississippi

  • Total Score: 83.94
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 7
  • State Government’s Dependency: 3

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julof90

2. Alaska

  • Total Score: 84.23
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 4
  • State Government’s Dependency: 4

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DepositPhotos.com

1. New Mexico

  • Total Score: 86.57
  • State Residents’ Dependency: 1
  • State Government’s Dependency: 6

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These states are the most dependent on the federal government

Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn Farley is MediaFeed’s writer/editor. She is a masters of science in journalism candidate at Northwestern University, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.

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