Special Analysis 17-02
June 15, 2017

The Census Bureau released state population estimates for July 1, 2016, at the end of December 2016. Using those estimates and the FFIS grants database, states were ranked on their fiscal year (FY) 2016 per capita receipt of federal funds in a host of areas. Among the major findings:

  • Due to its unique relationship with the federal government, the District of Columbia ranked first in federal grants per capita, followed by Alaska, New Mexico, and Vermont

  • Virginia received the lowest federal grants per capita, about 29% of the amount received by the highest-ranking state. Other states ranking low included Utah, Florida, Nebraska, and Kansas.

  • Medicaid drives most results. Medicaid grew 44% per capita between FY 2011 and FY 2016; non-Medicaid grants grew 2.3%.

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased Medicaid’s impact, as states that expand Medicaid see an influx of federal funds.

  • Puerto Rico ranks near the top of many grants allocated by income and poverty, but ranks last in Medicaid because of a federal cap.

  • Income security and social services, education, and transportation are the other categories where federal grants average more than $100 per capita.

  • General government is a small category, but one program drives results for a few states: mineral leasing payments. While the average state received less than $10 per capita, Wyoming received more than $1,100, and New Mexico received $177.

This analysis is accompanied by detailed spreadsheets available to full database subscribers.