The bailout is big. But, where exactly is it going?*
Thanks to the efforts of ProPublica, we can track bailout funds by state. The map below, based on their data, shows the geographic distribution of bailout spending.
The bailout is massively concentrated in just a few states. Total bailout funding, according to the ProPublica data, is $476.5 billion to date. One state, New York, has captured $175 billion of that, more than a third. Michigan is next with $80.7 billion or 17 percent of the total, followed by North Carolina with $56.3 billion, Virginia with $54.9 billion, and California with $34.4 billion. The top three states accounted for 66 percent of bailout spending; the top five 84 percent; and the top two more than 10 percent.
How does the geography of the bailout look when we control for the size of state economies - say, by population and economic output? With the number-crunching help of Ronnie Sanders and map-making assistance of Scott Pennington, both of the Martin Prosperity Institute, we decided to take a look.
The second map shows the geography of bailout funding per person. The average per state, excluding the District of Columbia and based on the ProPublica data, is $1,570.34 bailout dollars per person. Again, two states dominate the tally - New York, where the bailout adds up to $8,978.83 per person, and Michigan where it's $8,067.28. There are just five additional states where bailout funds top $1,000 per person: Virginia ($7,044.47), North Carolina ($6.104.69), Minnesota ($1,379.21), Connecticut ($1,085.33), and Iowa ($1,065.76).
The third map shows the geography of the bailout as a percent of state economic output or gross state product. The bailout, again based on the ProPublica data, was three percent of total state output, with each state on average receiving 1.8 percent of its GDP. Michigan takes the top spot here, with bailout funds equivalent to a whopping 21.1 percent of its total economic output. New York is next at 15.3 percent; followed by North Carolina, 14.1 percent; and Virginia, 13.8 percent. No other state received bailout funding that was more than three percent of its output.
By any measure, the bailout has been massively concentrated geographically.
* An earlier version of this post was incorrectly titled "The Stimulus Maps." Thanks to ProPublica's Chris Flavelle for pointing this out. It has been revised accordingly.