The Washington region continued to claim a large portion of the federal dollar last year, as the District of Columbia led all jurisdictions in federal spending per person and Virginia and Maryland ranked second and fifth respectively among the states, according to two new reports by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Federal spending in Virginia, Maryland and the District rose from a total of $44.6 billion in fiscal 1981 to $47.6 billion in fiscal 1982, according to the reports, and represented nearly 8 percent of the $603 billion in federal expenditures to the states and territories.
Federal per capita expenditures in fiscal 1982 averaged $4,027 in Virginia, compared to $3,435 a year earlier, when the state ranked fourth. Per capita spending was $3,534 in Maryland, compared to $3,273 a year ago, when Maryland ranked fifth.
The figure for the District was $17,127, down from $19,301 in 1971. Washington leads in the country in per capita expenditures but is not ranked by the studies because it is not a state.
The national average for per capita federal spending in fiscal 1982 was $2,591.
Federal spending here, which was up or about the same in most categories compared to last year, reflected the high concentration of federal and military workers and the number of government-related operations located in the District and neighboring Maryland and Virginia.
Federally paid wages and salaries, coupled with procurement funds for government-contracted goods and services such as consulting and rental fees, particularly contributed to the overall total of monies spent, the reports showed.
Increased spending in Virginia and Maryland between fiscal 1981 and 1982 offset a loss of federal dollars in the District. Spending in Virginia increased from $18.6 billion to $21.8 billion during this period. Maryland's federal dollars increased from $13.9 billion to $15 billion, while federal spending in the District fell from $12.1 billion to $10.8 billion.
"The District, Maryland and Virginia do quite well and take in a lot in federal wages," said John Coleman, chief of the Census Bureau's government division. "But when you look at the overall distribution of federal funds and the per capitas, there are 42 states that are all bunched near the national average."
Federal expenditures were divided into five categories: grants to state and local governments, including Medicare and grants made by agencies and for selected programs; salaries and wages; payments to individuals, including food stamps, veterans benefits and Social Security and federal retiree payments; procurement; and other major federal programs.
Coleman said the state-by-state federal spending comparison had been ordered by Congress, whose members wanted to see where the money is going. Next year, he said, the Census Bureau will provide spending breakdowns by cities and counties as well as by states.
Following are some areas of federal spending:
Defense: $6 billion in the District, $3.6 billion in Maryland, $6.4 billion in Virginia.
Social Security: $365 million in D.C., $2.3 billion in Maryland, $2.9 billion in Virginia.
Human development and social and child welfare services: $12.5 million in D.C., $51.6 million in Maryland, $67.1 million in Virginia.
Community development: $20.6 million in D.C., $64.8 million in Maryland, $66.7 million in Virginia.
Urban mass transportation: $295.6 million in D.C., $143.5 million in Maryland, $50.9 million in Virginia.
Medicare: $204 million in D.C., $856 million in Maryland, $854 million in Virginia.
Arkansas led the states in per capita federal expenditures ($4,533). New Mexico ranked third ($3,872), Connecticut fourth ($3,819), and Hawaii sixth ($3,499).