Washington second least federally dependent state in the nation

Washington is the second least federally dependent state in the nation – behind only New Jersey – according to a study released Wednesday by WalletHub.

The personal finance website determined its rankings by comparing all 50 states across three key metrics: return on taxes paid to the federal government, federal funding as a share of revenue, and share of federal jobs.

“States receive federal aid for many reasons, from providing relief from natural disasters and health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic to funding improvements in education, transportation, infrastructure, healthcare and more,” the WalletHub study says. “Some states receive massively larger aid packages than others, but it’s not just the dollar amount that matters. It’s important to contextualize the money flowing in by comparing it to things like what percentage of the state’s revenue it makes up and how much the federal government gets back through its taxes on the state’s residents.”

The Center Square reached out to WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez about Washington’s No. 49 ranking.

“Washington is the second least federally dependent state,” she said in an email response. “Its residents get only $0.66 returned on the taxes they pay to the federal government, the fifth lowest amount in the country. Plus, federal funding makes up less than 29% of the state's revenue, which is what makes the state so independent.”

The Evergreen State easily bested its Pacific Northwest neighbors in terms of not being dependent on Uncle Sam, with Idaho ranked No. 20 and Oregon ranked No. 27.

The 10 most federally dependent states:

1. Alaska

2. West Virginia

3. Mississippi

4. Kentucky

5. New Mexico

6. Wyoming

7. South Carolina

8. Arizona

9. Montana

10. Louisiana

The 10 least federally dependent states:

50. New Jersey

49. Washington

48. Utah

47. Kansas

46. Illinois

45. California

44. Massachusetts

43. Iowa

42. Delaware

41. Nevada

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