Graph depicting Contribution to the Federal Deficit Per Person by State
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Sources: IRS   USA

Data: Excel

Last updated: March 31, 2015


Federal Taxes Paid Minus Federal Spending Received by State Per Person

Description: This graph shows the net impact that each state has on the federal budget per person residing in that state. The amount of spending allocated to each state is the amount of federal expenditures that occur in that state plus a per-capita share of the portion of the federal budget not attributed to any particular state (such as service on the debt or paying military personnel who are stationed abroad). Red columns represent states that supported Mitt Romney for president 2012 and blue columns represent states which supported President Obama in 2012.

Discussion: Eight of the ten biggest net contributor states are Democratic and eight of the ten biggest net withdrawers are Republican. The average resident of a blue state consumes $1,351 more in federal spending than they pay in while the average resident of a red state consumes $3,466 more than they pay in federal taxes.

It is important to note that this chart includes all federal spending, not just safety net spending. One reason that red states fare so much worse on this chart is that certain types of federal expenditures tend to be situated in rural areas, such as military bases, and certain costs tend to be higher in rural areas, such as highways and schools. However, that spending primarily flows into the local economies of the states in which it occurs and therefore the federal spending in red states acts as a continual economic stimulus.

Note that while spending and revenue figures for 2013 were used generally, for North Dakota, 2010 figures were used. This is because, due to North Dakota's small population and the sudden explosion of oil production, federal expenditures in 2013 were radically higher per person than would ordinarily be the case.

You can see how the average taxes paid differ by state here.

See more graphs about: Taxes   Debt   Spending  

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