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What States Spend The Most On Public Welfare Programs?

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What States Spend The Most On Public Welfare Programs?

In fiscal year 2017, welfare costs were estimated to be around $1.145 trillion.

But the costs were not distributed equally among all 50 states.

A new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau Data, conducted by GO Banking Rates and HowMuch.net, looked at state-by-state welfare expenditures and found that the top 10 states spend more, collectively, than the bottom 40 states and the District of Columbia, combined.


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California, which leads the pack by a landslide, spends about $103 billion on welfare programs, which include Medicaid, food stamps and public housing.

New York spends $61.4 billion, clocking in at second place on the list, followed by Texas at $35.4 billion.

On the other end of the spectrum, less populous states spend significantly less on government assistance programs. South Dakota spends $1 billion, North Dakota spends $1.4 billion and Montana spends $1.6 billion.

Here are the states that round out the top 10:

  1. California ($103B)
  2. New York ($61.4B)
  3. Texas ($35.4B)
  4. Florida ($27.2B)
  5. Pennsylvania ($26.7B)
  6. Illinois ($21B)
  7. Ohio ($20B)
  8. Massachusetts ($18.6B)
  9. New Jersey ($17.3B)
  10. Michigan ($16.3B)

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