The Tax Foundation’s analysis is based on a simple calculation of Census state revenue data published last month. The Census data offer a detailed breakdown of revenue sources for each state, so the Tax Foundation simply divided the “intergovernmental revenue” each state received from the federal government by the state’s “general revenue” total.
Of course, looking at revenue reveals only one aspect of the federal-state relationship. As a Pew Charitable Trusts project recently found, when all federal spending on states is combined, it accounts for nearly a fifth of state economic activity. As the Pew map below shows, a third of economic activity in Mississippi is attributable to the federal government, a larger share than in any other state. Wyoming’s economy was least reliant on federal spending, with just 12 percent of activity stemming from federal sources.