Much of the conservative ethos focuses on independence from government and celebrates the “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” mentality, but according to new data from the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank that focuses on tax policy, some of the most conservative states require the most federal aid.
Using tax information from 2013, the foundation determined that in Mississippi and Louisiana, federal aid accounts for 42.9 percent and 41.9 percent of their respective tax revenues, making them the two neediest states in the U.S. According to a poll from Gallup, Mississippi is the most conservative state and Louisiana ranks third.
The second most conservative state, Alabama, uses 36.1 percent federal aid in their state revenue - making it the ninth neediest.
Here is a map, showing which states rely the most on federal aid, courtesy of the Tax Foundation:
Though there isn’t a determined correlation between the need for federal aid and conservatism, the Washington Post notes that there is substantial overlap. Five states that are considered the most conservative states are also ranked in the top ten states most reliant on federal money. Conversely, four states that are considered the most liberal are considered the least dependent on federal aid.
This trend is nothing new. A 2015 study from WalletHub had similar results and, in general, more liberal states were found to be less dependent on federal aid.