A couple weeks back we put up a visualization of Federal Spending per State. It was good fun, but we did leave out one ‘little’ aspect of that whole spending thing – Defense Spending.
Cameron sort of explained the rationale in the comments – Defense spending is a collective good that would tend to have positive externalities (more-so than most transfer payments). Additionally, defense spending should be concentrated along the coast – foreign enemies tend to reach our borders before the core of the nation (ICBMs and tunneling through the Earth aside).
Spending aside, there is another input our last analysis ignored – some states send more military recruits than other states. I’ve added that information to this infographic and calculated ‘spending per new recruit’.
Defense Spending By State in 2009-2010
Once again, state by state spending is from 2009 data at the Census Bureau. Unfortunately, population data is from the 2012 Statistical Abstract, so state numbers date to 2010. The recruitment numbers are calculated from the 2010 18-24 per capita numbers provided by the National Priorities Project. So – these recruitment numbers are lagged by one year versus the reported spending. I apologize.
As always, please build on my data, which you can find here. Mail me if you make something and I’ll link to it!
The ‘Winning State’?
Again, just like in our last spending feature, DC throws off most of our numbers here. For every recruit in 2010, it had $87,023,015.48 in Defense Spending. It was also the only ‘state’ to send less than one recruit per 10,000 citizens – .943 / 10,000 in 2010. (And before you say “that’s because it’s a city”, cities only sent 18.5% less recruits than non-cities in 2010, 2.2 vs 2.7 per thousand residents in the 18-24 Age Range).
However, DC spending does “make sense”. As a symbolic target, it’s every bit as important to our National image as New York – note that Washington, D.C. and New York were the two cities attacked on 9/11. It also happens to be the seat of power for the nation, and hosts our political machine. We should expect Washington, D.C. to receive more spending.
So, who takes the cake? I would argue Kentucky, which is the first non-coastal state to show up on our spending/recruit list:
|State||Recruits Per 10,000 Residents||Recruits (2010)||Defense Spending (2009)||Defense Spending/Recruit|
|District of Columbia||0.943201697||57||$4,922,000,000.00||$87,023,015.48|
Still, Kentucky has two major military installments – Fort Campbell and For Knox. So, I suppose this information is mostly here as ‘interesting’. With that in mind, tell me what you think!