Spending on huge weapons programs like the F-35, which has an estimated lifetime cost of more than $1 trillion, is carefully spread around the country to maximize its economic impact – and to make it much harder to resist politically, according to many critics.
The Pew Charitable Trusts recently issued a report examining Pentagon spending in each of the 50 states, including not just outlays for military equipment but also for wages, health care, pensions and local grants.
In 2015, total defense spending of $485 billion translated to $1,510 per person in the U.S.
The District of Columbia had the higher per capita defense spending at $10,413, followed by Virginia at $7,132. At the other end of the spectrum, Michigan accounted for the least defense spending, with $386 per capita.