20 States Making Ends Meet Without Federal Handouts

US states have varied levels of federal dependence based on their economic situations. While some states require financial aid, other states are self-sufficient. Here, let’s look at 20 states that are the least dependent on federal funding.

The list ranks the states from least to most dependent based on WalletHub’s rankings.

New Jersey

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New Jersey showcases its economic resilience by keeping federal reliance minimal. Its diverse economic activities exceed what it receives in central aid. This imbalance highlights the state’s strong fiscal position and independence. The Garden State takes pride in contributing more than it takes.

  • Total dependency score: 5.08


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California’s economy is a powerhouse, overshadowing its government aid receipts. Its leading sectors include technology, entertainment, and agriculture, driving self-sufficiency. The state’s financial contributions to the central budget exceed its federal funding. This economic behemoth exemplifies success in self-reliance.

  • Total dependency score: 5.31


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Kansas maintains a low federal dependency thanks to agriculture and manufacturing. The state’s economy benefits from hardworking communities and diverse industries. Kansas consistently demonstrates fiscal responsibility and independence. It’s a model for balancing government support with state-generated revenue.

  • Total dependency score: 7.13


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Utah’s robust job market and entrepreneurial spirit reduce its central dependence. The state’s vibrant economy gets support from its technology, tourism, and mining. The people of Utah value self-reliance, reflected in their minimal government aid. This approach fosters a strong sense of state pride and economic health.

  • Total dependency score: 7.88


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Illinois, with its blend of urban and rural economies, stands financially independent. Chicago’s dynamic economy significantly contributes to this fiscal strength. Despite challenges, Illinois’ diverse industries keep it less reliant on central aid. The state’s commitment to economic diversity and resilience is clear.

  • Total dependency score: 12.81


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Washington’s innovative technology sector drives its low reliance on government support. The state’s economy benefits from giants like Microsoft and Amazon. It contributes more to the central budget than it receives in return. Washington’s success underscores the value of innovation in achieving self-sufficiency.

  • Total dependency score: 14.73


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Iowa’s strong agriculture and manufacturing sectors limit its need for government aid. This heartland state thrives on self-reliance and community effort. Iowa’s economic strategies ensure stability without heavy dependence on the central government. It exemplifies how traditional industries can foster independence.

  • Total dependency score: 16.18


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Massachusetts excels in education and healthcare, fueling its economy. The state invests in its future, reducing the need for central assistance. Its robust economy is a testament to effective policy and innovation. Massachusetts’ approach to self-sufficiency lies in its education and healthcare excellence.

  • Total dependency score: 18.02


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Nevada’s economy, driven by tourism and entertainment, operates with limited government help. The state’s resilience is evident in its diversified economy beyond Las Vegas. Despite challenges, Nevada’s innovative strategies minimize federal dependency. This independence showcases Nevada’s ability to adapt and thrive.

  • Total dependency score: 18.08


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Colorado’s picturesque landscapes have economic stability and innovation. The state’s commitment to technology, aerospace, and recreation underpins its fiscal health. Coloradoans’ spirit of independence translates into economic policies. Their approach ensures a balanced reliance on central government support.

  • Total dependency score: 20.77


Wisconsin State Capitol and Madison skyline panorama. The Wisconsin State Capitol, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature, Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor.
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Wisconsin’s dairy and manufacturing industries symbolize its economic resilience. The state’s work ethic and community values support its fiscal independence. Wisconsin’s balanced economy reduces its need for central funding. This Midwestern state prides itself on a strong sense of self-reliance.

  • Total dependency score: 21.93


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Oregon’s commitment to technology, forestry, and sustainability drives its economy. The state’s innovative policies ensure a reduced dependency on federal aid. Oregonians value their independence, which is reflected in their economic practices. This Pacific Northwest state thrives through creativity and self-reliance.

  • Total dependency score: 22.35


Aerial view of Delaware Memorial Bridge at dusk. The Delaware Memorial Bridge is a set of twin suspension bridges crossing the Delaware River between the states of Delaware and New Jersey
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Despite its size, Delaware’s corporate-friendly laws attract businesses, bolstering its economy. The state’s financial health benefits from a strong corporate presence. Delaware’s strategies for economic growth emphasize minimal reliance. Its approach to fiscal independence is a model for small states.

  • Total dependency score: 22.68


St Anthony Main; Minneapolis, Minnesota: Third Avenue Bridge
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Minnesota’s diverse economy, including medical devices and agriculture, supports its independence. The state’s investment in innovation and education pays off in economic health. Minnesota’s balanced approach reduces the need for federal support. Its commitment to economic diversity and education fosters self-reliance.

  • Total dependency score: 23.63


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Nebraska’s agriculture and insurance sectors anchor its economy, minimizing central dependence. The state’s work ethic and fiscal policies promote economic stability. Nebraskans take pride in their ability to maintain fiscal independence. Their approach to self-reliance is due to their traditional industries and innovation.

  • Total dependency score: 24.50

North Carolina

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North Carolina combines traditional industries with tech and banking, enhancing its economy. The state’s balanced economic growth reduces its federal dependency. North Carolinians value their historical roots while embracing future opportunities. Their economic strategies reflect a commitment to independence and progress.

  • Total dependency score: 25.57


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Connecticut’s economy thrives on finance, insurance, and manufacturing. The state’s fiscal policies foster independence from federal funding. Connecticut’s commitment to economic stability is evident in its diverse industries. Its approach to minimizing government dependency showcases fiscal responsibility.

  • Total dependency score: 25.98


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The people of Florida enjoy a sunny climate, along with a vibrant economy. Tourism, agriculture, and aerospace drive the state’s economic success. Floridians enjoy the benefits of a diverse and robust economy. Their strategies ensure Florida remains a model of fiscal independence.

  • Total dependency score: 26.31


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Michigan’s revival extends beyond the auto industry to technology and healthcare. The state’s resilience and innovation have reduced its need for financial support. Michiganders are proud of their comeback and economic diversity. Their efforts have ensured Michigan’s place among the least federally dependent states.

  • Total dependency score: 26.65


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Ohio’s economy, grounded in manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare, values independence. The state’s strategic investments in technology and education reduce federal reliance. Ohioans’ hard work and innovation keep their economy strong. Their balanced approach to economic growth fosters self-sufficiency and pride.

  • Total dependency score: 26.74
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