government shutdown
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The States Most and Least Affected by the Government Shutdown

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government shutdown
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WAITING AND WONDERING

The partial shutdown roiling the federal government has ripple effects far beyond Washington, D.C., from furloughed workers to ruined national park vacations,  but that doesn’t mean it’s affecting states equally. A WalletHub study of which states could be squeezed the most or be least affected by the shutdown considers data including which states have the highest share of federal jobs and the most federal contract dollars per capita, among other criteria. Will your state be among the hardest hit?

Washington, D.C.
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MOST AFFECTED: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Rank: 1 

It’s not technically a state, but you can’t leave D.C. out of this conversation for obvious reasons. As our seat of government, it’s tied with Hawaii and Maryland for having the highest share of federal jobs in WalletHub’s study. It also has the highest federal contract dollars per capita, the highest percentage of families getting SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps), and is suffering majorly restricted access to national parks.
Shutdown snapshot: Couples in the nation’s capital can’t get married because the federal government funds the Marriage Bureau at D.C. Superior Court.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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MOST AFFECTED: NEW MEXICO

Rank: 2 

In the Land of Enchantment, there are several big problems: It’s in the top five states for federal contract dollars per capita, as well as the percentage of families getting SNAP benefits. New Mexico also lands just outside the top five states for highest share of federal jobs and access to national parks. 
Shutdown snapshot: Tourists are scaling fences to get to the towering dunes of the shuttered White Sands National Monument.

Maryland
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MOST AFFECTED: MARYLAND

Rank: 3

Maryland ties with D.C. for having the highest share of federal jobs and highest federal contract dollars per capita. It’s also second for real estate as a percentage of gross state product, a metric included in WalletHub’s study because so many federal agencies have a hand in mortgage processing.
Shutdown snapshot: A lockout from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt means missing the chance to observe unprecedented astronomical phenomena, an astrophysicist says.

Hawaii Volcanoes (Hawaii)
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MOST AFFECTED: HAWAII

Rank: 4
Hawaii ties Maryland and D.C. for having the highest share of federal jobs. It’s also first in the nation for real estate (and mortgage processing) as a percentage of gross state product, and in the top 10 states for national park access.

Shutdown snapshot: Tourists are crowding the “barely open” Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, leading to parking shortages and — since there’s no one to collect fees — less revenue for the attraction and the government that funds it.

Seward, Alaska
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MOST AFFECTED: ALASKA

Rank: 5 

Unsurprisingly, Alaska is No. 1 among states for access to national parks. More surprising is the high concentration of federal jobs here: It’s next on the list after D.C., Hawaii, and Maryland. It also lands just outside the top five states for federal contract dollars per capita.
Shutdown snapshot: Bering Sea fishing season will start, but without federal oversight and inspections that regulates the industry, while some vessels lack certifications they need to head out and start their catches.

Virginia
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MOST AFFECTED: VIRGINIA

Rank: 6

Virginia, neighbor to our nation’s capital, is fifth on the list for highest share of federal jobs, and it ties for first among states with the highest federal contract dollars per capita.
Shutdown snapshot: Based in Alexandria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services division is seeing its funding cut by a whopping 95 percent as it tries to administer food stamps for the nation’s poor.

New River Gorge, West Virginia
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MOST AFFECTED: WEST VIRGINIA

Rank: 7

West Virginia also lands in the top 10 states with the highest share of federal jobs. Also at issue: A high percentage of families getting SNAP benefits.
Shutdown snapshot: Tourists to the New River Gorge National River are finding the visitor center closed and services such as its trash collection and restroom maintenance  suspended.

Mississippi River bridge at Vicksburg, Mississippi
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MOST AFFECTED: MISSISSIPPI

Rank: 8

Mississippi is second only to Washington, D.C., for the percentage of families getting SNAP benefits. It also lands in the top 10 states for federal contract dollars per capita.
Shutdown snapshot: Vicksburg National Military Park remains open only thanks to the efforts of volunteers and donors, who pledge to keep the site available for visitors as long as they can.

Huntsville, Alabama
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MOST AFFECTED: ALABAMA

Rank: 9

Alabama is in the top 10 states for federal contract dollars per capita, and barely outside the top 10 for high shares of federal jobs and percentage of families getting SNAP benefits.
Shutdown snapshot: A veteran-owned Huntsville business awaits the disbursement of a loan from the Small Business Administration — approved two months ago  — that’s closed until further notice.

Arizona
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MOST AFFECTED: ARIZONA

Rank: 10

Arizona finishes in the top 10 states for federal contract dollars per capita and real estate as a percentage of gross state product. It’s just outside the top 10 states for access to national parks.
Shutdown snapshot: Thousands of miles of roads managed by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs remain unplowed after heavy snowfall

Indiana
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LEAST AFFECTED: INDIANA

Rank: 47

Indiana is dead last when it comes to access to national parks, and it’s in the bottom five states for real estate as a percentage of gross state product. Two other bottom 10 finishes: share of federal jobs and federal contract dollars per capita.
Shutdown snapshot: Indianapolis air-traffic controllers are working without pay when staffing was already at a three-decade low.

Iowa
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LEAST AFFECTED: IOWA

Rank: 48

Iowa has one of the lowest state shares of federal jobs, and it’s in the bottom 10 states for real estate as a percentage of gross state product.
Shutdown snapshot: Farmers worry that it will be more difficult to figure out what to plant in 2019 without a major report from the Department of Agriculture.

Nebraska
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LEAST AFFECTED: NEBRASKA

Rank: 49

Nebraska is second-to-last among states for real estate as a percentage of gross state product, and in the bottom 10 for federal contract dollars per capita and percentage of families getting SNAP benefits.
Shutdown snapshot: Nebraska’s three representatives and two senators have asked for their paychecks to be halted until the shutdown is over.

New Hampshire
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LEAST AFFECTED: NEW HAMPSHIRE

Rank: 50

New Hampshire is among the five states with the lowest share of federal jobs, and only North Dakota and Wyoming have a lower percentage of families getting SNAP benefits.
Shutdown snapshot: A furloughed IRS employee describes being one of those waiting by the phone in case he’s called back in to work, but without the promise of a paycheck until much later on.

Minnesota
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LEAST AFFECTED: MINNESOTA

Rank: 51

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is especially insulated from the government shutdown because of its low share of federal workers (only Connecticut and Wisconsin have a lower percentage). It’s also in the bottom 10 states for federal contract dollars per capita, percentage of families getting SNAP benefits, and real estate as a percentage of gross state product.
Shutdown snapshot: The state does have farmers and ranchers awaiting loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and left in limbo