Geographic Dispersion of Federal Funds in Georgia

Map_1_total_federal_funds_fy2010(3)The three maps presented here show total and per capita federal funds received by each Georgia county.1 Maps 1 and 2 are for fiscal year 2010 and Map 3 is for fiscal year 2000, all adjusted to 2010 dollars. Major highways are included to help orient the viewer.

Map_2_PC_federal_funds_fy2010(3)Note, counties associated with urban areas generally received the most total federal funds as can be seen in Map 1, but not always the most funds per capita as can be seen in Map 2. Counties located in the southern portion of the state (from Macon/Bibb county and south) generally received more per capita federal funds than those counties located in the northern portion of the state, including metro Atlanta counties (for a complete county list of total and per capita federal funds received, download the accompanying table). The geographic pattern of per capita federal spending per county had similar a north/south distribution in fiscal year 2000, as can be seen in Map 3.

Map_3_PC_federal_funds_fy2000(3)Several reasons for this difference exist in fiscal year 2010. First, some southern counties are home to military bases and receive substantial procurement contracts, despite being sparsely populated. Second, southern counties also generally received greater per capita payments for two of the largest federal programs that are associated with older Americans, Social Security and Medicare. Third, southern counties also appear to receive more per capita federal funds from programs intended to help low income Americans, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP (formerly food stamps). We will explore the distribution of these federal programs in greater detail in later maps and briefs as well as how the distribution of federal funds has changed over time.

For a more thorough examination of the amount of various federal funds by program received by Georgia and the relative dependence of various counties and urban regions in the state on federal funds see Geographic Dispersion of Federal Funds in Georgia and its Major Urban Regions by Peter Bluestone (FRC Brief 264).

1 Federal spending data are from the Consolidated Federal Funds Report for 2010 and 2000. County population data are from the US Census. The amounts presented here do not include federal guaranteed and direct loans. Military salaries and wages are also excluded due to inconsistencies in the data over time.