By Victor Skinner | The Center Square contributor – Mar 15, 2023
(The Center Square) – Louisiana is one of the most federally dependent states in the country, ranking 10th in a recent analysis.
The personal finance website WalletHub released a report Wednesday that ranked states’ dependency on the federal government based on three metrics: return on taxes paid to the federal government, share of federal jobs, and federal funding as a share of state revenue.
The study ranked Louisiana in 10th overall with a score of 57.46, though the state government’s dependency ranked third. Residents’ dependency was ranked 22nd.
Vance Ginn, chief economist at the Pelican Institute, told The Center Square much of Louisiana’s dependency derives from the state’s high poverty rate — 19.6% in 2022 — and the federal funds from various programs that flow into the state as a result.
Forty-four percent of all state funding in Louisiana comes from Congress, and the Pelican Institute is working on “finding ways for Louisiana to have a comeback” that boosts businesses and employment, which in turn reduces poverty.
“Louisiana is overly dependent on the federal government and the way to reduce that depends on getting more Louisianans back to work,” he said. “The way to get people back to work is removing barriers in the private sector, restraining government spending, providing tax relief, and reducing regulations.”
The WalletHub analysis shows only state governments in Alaska and Wyoming receive more funding as a share of state revenues than Louisiana.
Neighboring Mississippi ranked third overall in the study, while Arkansas was ranked 28th and Texas 29th.
Other states in the top 10 most dependent on federal funding include Alaska in first, followed by West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky, New Mexico, Wyoming, South Carolina, Arizona, and Montana.
New Jersey was ranked as the least dependent state, followed by Washington, Utah, Kansas, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Iowa, Delaware, Nevada, and Colorado.
The analysis also derived an average ranking for red and blue states, based on how residents voted in the 2020 presidential election.
Democratic states produced an average ranking of 30.68, compared to the average ranking of 20.32 in Republican states, suggesting Republican states are generally more dependent than Democratic states.
The study also examined how tax rates factor into the equation.
Louisiana fell into the “high dependency, low tax” category, with a tax rate that’s ranked 25th in the country.
Other analysis compared gross domestic product per capita compared to dependency on the federal government, and WalletHub placed Louisiana in the “high dependency, low GDP” category with a GDP per capita ranking of 40th.