States Benefitting the Most (and Least) From Biden’s Infrastructure Policies

In today’s polarized political climate, few issues in Washington receive bipartisan support. Investment in the nation’s infrastructure, however, is a notable exception – and with good reason. A 2021 report from the American Society of Civil Engineers assigned U.S. public infrastructure  an average letter grade of C- based on performance in 17 major categories, including roads, drinking water, transit, dams, and bridges. According to the report, the U.S. needs to invest an additional $2.6 trillion in infrastructure over the next 10 years. 

To help address this shortfall, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law in November 2021. The bill authorizes $1.2 trillion in federal spending over a five-year period, including $550 billion in new spending to rebuild public works and transportation infrastructure. (Here is a look at Biden’s approval rating in every state.)

Much of this money will be distributed to state governments and has already been earmarked for certain projects, including bridge and highway repair, electric vehicles charging stations construction, broadband internet expansion, airport improvements, cybersecurity, and wildfire protection. While the largest states by population are the ones receiving the most federal dollars, they are not necessarily the states where federal infrastructure spending will have the largest impact. 

Using federal data compiled by U.S. News & World Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states benefiting the most and least from Biden’s infrastructure bill. States are ranked by the amount of non-grant federal funding they are slated to receive per capita. Data on the top three investment categories in each state by total planned investment is also from the U.S. News & World Report article The States Benefiting the Most From the Infrastructure Deal.

Depending on the state, federal infrastructure investment under the bill ranges from $2.0 billion in New Hampshire to $44.6 billion in California. Adjusting for population, however, spending ranges from $887 to $6,721 per person. 

While there are some notable exceptions, many of the states receiving the most federal funding per capita have large rural populations. Urban areas are more densely populated than rural areas, and as a result, every federal dollar spent in rural places directly impacts fewer people. Nationwide, about 20% of the U.S. population lived in rural areas in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In seven of the 10 states receiving the most federal infrastructure funding per capita, over 35% of the population lives in rural areas. 

In every state, federal highway aid accounts for the largest share of infrastructure investment – accounting for anywhere from 43% to 76% of all non-grant funding. Other major investment areas vary by state but often include public transit, water infrastructure, and bridge repair. (Here is a look at the states with the most bridges in poor condition.)

Click here to see the states benefitting the most (and least) from Biden’s infrastructure policies.

Click here to see our detailed methodology.

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