Wide Variation in Federal Defense Spending From State to State

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By Anne Stauffer, Justin Theal, and Laura Pontari

April 09, 2018

The U.S. government spends defense dollars in every state through purchases of military equipment, wages for service members and civilians, pension payments, health care services, and grants to states. But the size and mix of those investments varies substantially across the states, so changes in defense spending will affect them differently, and the impacts will depend on which programs and operations are increased or cut. This analysis of defense spending in the states takes a comprehensive look beyond contracts and salaries to include retirement payments, nonretirement benefits, and grants.

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