New Survey: Georgia in top 20 when it comes to dependence on federal government

In a new survey released today, SmartAsset ranked Georgia among the top 20 states when it comes to dependency on the federal government.

Georgia is tied with Ohio for 17th place. The rankings are based on four factors including state revenue coming from the federal government, the percent of a state’s workforce employed by the federal government, how much federal workers earn compared to private workers and the ratio of federal government funding to income taxes state residents pay.

While the Southern states tend to shun the federal government politically, the survey shows that southern states actually rely on the government more. Across the top 10 states, there are five Southern states. West Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi scored second third and fourth respectively. Kentucky came in 6th and Arkansas was 10th.

By comparison, the Northeast had only one state in the top 10 and four states in the bottom 10. Vermont came in at number five and Connecticut was ranked least dependent on the federal government.

See the complete rankings below:

In order to find the states most dependent on the federal government, SmartAsset looked at data for all 50 states.

  • Federal share of state government revenue. This is the percent of the state government’s revenue that comes from the federal government. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of State and Local Finances.
  • Ratio of federal funding to income taxes paid. This is the revenue the federal government gives to the state government divided by the amount of income tax paid by the state. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 1-year American Community Survey and the IRS Individual Income and Tax Data for 2016.
  • Percent of workers employed by the federal government. This is the percent of the overall workforce the federal government employs. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 1-year American Community Survey.
  • Ratio of federal wage to private sector wage. This is a federal government employee’s median earnings divided by a private sector worker’s median earnings. Data comes from the U.S. Bureau’s 2017 1-year American Community Survey.

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