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What the US Military Spends in Minnesota

imageForEntry27 ooLThe U.S. military budget is the largest in the world, and by a wide margin. The Biden administration recently submitted a defense budget of $773 billion for fiscal 2023 – which is more than the combined budgets of the next 10 highest-spending countries combined.

While the size of the defense budget, and exactly how and where all that money should be spent, will be an enduring source of political controversy, the defense spending is a boon for local economies across the United States.

According to a recent report, the Department of Defense spent $593.9 billion on contracting and personnel in the 50 states and D.C. in fiscal 2020. This money went to defense contractors that manufacture aircraft, ships, and weapons, in addition to service providers, research and development, as well as wages for active-duty service members, civilians, and reservists.

This spending, of course, is not spread evenly, and states that are home to large military bases and contractor operations receive more funds than states where the military and defense industry have a smaller footprint.

The DoD spent a reported $2.9 billion in Minnesota in fiscal 2020, or about 0.5% of its total domestic spending, the 14th lowest share among the 50 states. Of that money, payroll accounted for about 24% while about 76% went to contractors.

The overall economic impact of defense spending in the state is lower than average, as annual military spending is equal to about 0.7% of Minnesota’s overall GDP, compared to the 2.8% national average. On a per capita basis, defense spending in Minnesota is equal to about $511 per person, the fourth least among states.

All data in this story is from the Department of Defense report Defense Spending By State Fiscal Year 2020.

Rank State Total defense spending, FY 2020 ($B) Defense spending as a share of GDP (%) Defense spending per capita ($)
1 Texas 83 4.6 2,828
2 Virginia 64.3 11.3 7,481
3 California 61 1.9 1,550
4 Maryland 30.4 7 5,023
5 Florida 29.1 2.6 1,338
6 Connecticut 23.6 8.2 6,646
7 Arizona 20.2 5.3 2,723
8 Massachusetts 18.6 3.1 2,700
9 Pennsylvania 17.8 2.2 1,391
10 Georgia 15.8 2.5 1,472
11 Missouri 15 4.5 2,437
12 Alabama 14.8 6.4 3,011
13 Washington 14.6 2.3 1,900
14 North Carolina 14.4 2.4 1,354
15 New York 12.8 0.7 662
16 Kentucky 12.6 5.8 2,804
17 Colorado 11.6 2.9 1,992
17 Ohio 11.6 1.7 992
19 Illinois 9.3 1.1 742
20 New Jersey 8.4 1.3 948
21 Hawaii 7.7 8.5 5,506
21 Mississippi 7.7 6.5 2,607
23 District of Columbia 7.6 5.2 10,690
24 Michigan 6.8 1.3 685
25 Oklahoma 6.6 3.5 1,664
26 South Carolina 6.1 2.5 1,177
27 Wisconsin 5.5 1.6 942
28 Indiana 5.4 1.4 802
28 Utah 5.4 2.6 1,653
30 Louisiana 4.3 1.7 927
31 New Mexico 3.6 3.5 1,707
32 Maine 3.5 5.2 2,626
33 Kansas 3.4 1.9 1,175
33 Tennessee 3.4 0.9 497
35 Alaska 3.3 6.4 4,577
36 Nevada 3.1 1.7 976
37 New Hampshire 3 3.4 2,197
38 Iowa 2.9 1.4 913
38 Minnesota 2.9 0.7 511
40 Nebraska 1.8 1.4 949
41 Arkansas 1.6 1.2 531
41 Oregon 1.6 0.6 384
41 Rhode Island 1.6 2.6 1,519
44 West Virginia 1 1.4 588
45 North Dakota 0.9 1.7 1,240
46 Delaware 0.7 0.8 659
46 Idaho 0.7 0.8 379
46 Montana 0.7 1.3 655
46 South Dakota 0.7 1.2 750
46 Vermont 0.7 2.1 1,133
51 Wyoming 0.5 1.2 784
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