Military

Where Are the US Military’s Biggest Spenders: A State-by-State Analysis

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This June, the Senate Armed Services Committee is working on its draft of a defense authorization bill. Every year for the past 60 years, Congress has passed this bill before the start of the new year. The House Armed Services Committee released its version of the fiscal 2025 defense policy bill this May. Military spending is big business in the U.S., with the current House bill requesting $884.9 billion in defense spending for 2025.

Government officials justify such big spending on defense as a method for deterring adversaries, upgrading weapons systems, and supporting military families. Although taxpayer money funds the costs, a large portion of military spending returns to local economies each year at the state level.

24/7 Wall St. analyzed which states are the biggest military spenders by using data from the Defense Spending by State Fiscal Year 2022 report. We’ve ranked states by the total Defense Department spending on grants, contracts, and personnel payroll in fiscal 2022. All supplementary data also came from the report.

Defense spending by state in the 2022 fiscal year ranged from $552 million to about $63 billion. In several states, defense spending accounted for over 5% of annual gross domestic product.

In most of the country, defense contractors make up over half of all Pentagon spending. Many of the states drawing in the most defense dollars are home to operations of some of the largest military contractors in the world, including Huntington Ingalls, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. These companies receive billions of federal defense dollars for building and developing new weapons systems. (These are the 35 weapons the military will spend the most on next year.)

Where does the money go? In over a dozen states, personnel payroll accounts for the largest share of Defense Department spending. Many of these states are home to large military bases where thousands of troops are stationed. (Here is a look at the biggest military bases in the United States.)

Why This Matters

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About 13% of the federal budget goes to national defense spending. 24/7 Wall St. wants its readers to be aware of where and how American tax dollars are spent. By looking at defense spending by state, readers can get insight into how defense budgets including personnel spending, grants, and weapons procurement affect local economies.

50. Vermont

Vermont’s military spending in 2022 was $552.0 million (0.1% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 62.1% contracts, 6.9% grants, and 31.0% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.4% of the state GDP (19th lowest) and was $852 per state resident (15th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is General Dynamics with $185.0 million in 2022 contracts. And finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 3,802 (the lowest).

49. West Virginia

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West Virginia’s military spending in 2022 was $601.0 million (0.1% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 27.8% contracts; 11.5% grants, and 60.7% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 0.6% of state GDP (3rd lowest) and was $338 per state resident (2nd lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Northrop Grumman ($36.0 million in 2022 contracts). And finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 9,627 (6th lowest).

48. Wyoming

Wyoming’s military spending in 2022 was $616.0 million (0.1% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 37.9% contracts; 5.4% grants, and 56.7% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.3% of state GDP (18th lowest) and was $1,059 per state resident (19th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Conti Federal Services, LLC ($125.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 7,171 (3rd lowest).

47. Montana

Montana’s military spending in 2022 was $664.0 million (0.1% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 25.3% contracts; 12.0% grants, and 62.7% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.0% of state GDP (11th lowest) and was $592 per state resident (8th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is S&K Aerospace ($34.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 8,708 (4th lowest).

46. Delaware

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Delaware’s military spending in 2022 was $743.0 million (0.1% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 28.9% contracts; 9.7% grants, and 61.4% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 0.8% of state GDP (7th lowest) and was $729 per state resident (11th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is J.D. Eckman, Inc. ($46.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 9,816 (7th lowest).

45. Idaho

Idaho’s military spending in 2022 was $777.0 million (0.1% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 28.8% contracts; 8.5% grants, and 62.8% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 0.7% of state GDP (6th lowest) and was $401 per state resident (5th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Brad Hall & Associates ($66.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 10,354 (8th lowest).

44. North Dakota

North Dakota’s military spending in 2022 was $921.0 million (0.2% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 20.3% contracts; 4.4% grants, and 75.3% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.3% of state GDP (16th lowest) and was $1,182 per state resident (22nd lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Ideal Aerosmith, Inc. ($17.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 13,490 (13th lowest).

43. South Dakota

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South Dakota’s military spending in 2022 was $1.0 billion (0.2% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 59.8% contracts; 2.5% grants, and 37.7% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.6% of state GDP (24th lowest) and was $1,169 per state resident (20th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Federal Contracting, Inc. ($158.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 9,325 (5th lowest).

42. Arkansas

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Arkansas’ military spending in 2022 was $1.0 billion (0.2% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 28.7% contracts; 6.3% grants, and 65.0% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 0.7% of state GDP (5th lowest) and was $383 per state resident (4th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is General Dynamics ($90.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 17,997 (17th lowest).

41. Oregon

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Oregon’s military spending in 2022 was $1.0 billion (0.2% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 44.9% contracts; 7.6% grants, and 47.5% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 0.4% of state GDP (the lowest) and was $277 per state resident (the lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is StandardAero Aviation Holdings, Inc. ($105.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 12,126 (9th lowest).

40. New Hampshire

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New Hampshire’s military spending in 2022 was $2.0 billion (0.3% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 79.8% contracts; 2.4% grants, and 17.8% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.6% of state GDP (22nd lowest) and was $1,173 per state resident (21st lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is BAE Systems ($699.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 6,010 (2nd lowest).

39. Rhode Island

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Rhode Island’s military spending in 2022 was $2.0 billion (0.3% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 40.3% contracts; 3.8% grants, and 55.9% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.3% of state GDP (16th highest) and was $1,497 per state resident (18th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Raytheon Technologies ($88.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 12,992 (12th lowest).

38. Nebraska

Nebraska’s military spending in 2022 was $2.0 billion (0.3% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 37.1% contracts; 4.5% grants, and 58.4% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.1% of state GDP (12th lowest) and was $870 per state resident (16th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Veritas Capital Fund Management, LLC ($105.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 16,558 (15th lowest).

37. Minnesota

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Minnesota’s military spending in 2022 was $2.0 billion (0.4% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 60.1% contracts; 6.5% grants, and 33.5% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 0.4% of state GDP (2nd lowest) and was $345 per state resident (3rd lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Northrop Grumman ($352.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 20,499 (18th lowest).

36. Iowa

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Iowa’s military spending in 2022 was $2.0 billion (0.4% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 80.0% contracts; 3.0% grants, and 17.0% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.0% of state GDP (9th lowest) and was $698 per state resident (9th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Raytheon Technologies ($1.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 12,814 (11th lowest).

35. Nevada

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Nevada’s military spending in 2022 was $3.0 billion (0.5% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 52.6% contracts; 1.5% grants, and 45.9% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.4% of state GDP (21st lowest) and was $932 per state resident (17th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is AECOM ($325.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 23,086 (20th lowest).

34. Tennessee

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Tennessee’s military spending in 2022 was $3.0 billion (0.6% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 59.2% contracts; 3.7% grants, and 37.1% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 0.6% of state GDP (4th lowest) and was $437 per state resident (6th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Bechtel Group ($300.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 26,134 (23rd lowest).

33. Louisiana

Louisiana’s military spending in 2022 was $3.0 billion (0.6% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 43.9% contracts; 1.8% grants, and 54.2% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.2% of state GDP (14th lowest) and was $719 per state resident (10th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Placid Refining Co. ($247.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 36,419 (22nd highest).

32. Wisconsin

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Wisconsin’s military spending in 2022 was $3.0 billion (0.6% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 79.6% contracts; 3.3% grants, and 17.1% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 0.9% of state GDP (8th lowest) and was $581 per state resident (7th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Oshkosh Corp. ($935.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 16,599 (16th lowest).

31. Maine

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Maine’s military spending in 2022 was $4.0 billion (0.7% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 74.8% contracts; 1.6% grants, and 23.5% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 4.3% of state GDP (8th highest) and was $2,625 per state resident (8th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is General Dynamics ($1.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 12,480 (10th lowest).

30. Kansas

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Kansas’ military spending in 2022 was $4.0 billion (0.7% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 40.1% contracts; 2.0% grants, and 57.8% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.7% of state GDP (25th lowest) and was $1,248 per state resident (25th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is General Electric ($273.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 37,263 (21st highest).

29. Alaska

Alaska’s military spending in 2022 was $4.0 billion (0.7% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 49.9% contracts; 1.8% grants, and 48.2% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 6.3% of state GDP (4th highest) and was $5,460 per state resident (4th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Arctic Slope Regional Corp. ($253.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 28,452 (24th lowest).

28. New Mexico

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New Mexico’s military spending in 2022 was $5.0 billion (0.8% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 64.5% contracts; 2.0% grants, and 33.5% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 3.8% of state GDP (10th highest) and was $2,173 per state resident (11th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Honeywell ($888.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 24,575 (21st lowest).

27. Mississippi

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Mississippi’s military spending in 2022 was $6.0 billion (1.0% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 68.1% contracts; 1.7% grants, and 30.1% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 4.1% of state GDP (9th highest) and was $1,928 per state resident (14th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Huntington Ingalls ($2.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was  34,747 (23rd highest).

26. Utah

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Utah’s military spending in 2022 was $6.0 billion (1.1% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 67.1% contracts; 1.4% grants, and 31.5% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.5% of state GDP (15th highest) and was $1,801 per state resident (16th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Northrop Grumman ($2.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 31,843 (25th highest).

25. South Carolina

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South Carolina’s military spending in 2022 was $6.0 billion (1.1% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 50.5% contracts; 1.5% grants, and 48.0% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.1% of state GDP (20th highest) and was $1,186 per state resident (23rd lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Scientific Research Corp. ($139.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 65,493 (10th highest).

24. Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s military spending in 2022 was $7.0 billion (1.2% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 50.6% contracts; 1.0% grants, and 48.5% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.9% of state GDP (12th highest) and was $1,730 per state resident (17th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Boeing ($2.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 59,376 (13th highest).

23. Michigan

Michigan’s military spending in 2022 was $8.0 billion (1.4% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 71.9% contracts; 9.5% grants, and 18.5% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.2% of state GDP (15th lowest) and was $756 per state resident (12th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is General Dynamics ($4.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 25,032 (22nd lowest).

22. Indiana

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Indiana’s military spending in 2022 was $9.0 billion (1.5% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 80.5% contracts; 2.1% grants, and 17.4% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.9% of state GDP (23rd highest) and was $1,264 per state resident (24th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Eli Lilly and Co. ($3.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 29,952 (25th lowest).

21. Hawaii

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Hawaii’s military spending in 2022 was $9.0 billion (1.6% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 37.0% contracts; 2.1% grants, and 60.9% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 8.9% of state GDP (2nd highest) and was $6,081 per state resident (3rd highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Holdco Sands, LLC ($225.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 68,754 (9th highest).

20. Missouri

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Missouri’s military spending in 2022 was $9.0 billion (1.6% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 80.9% contracts; 0.7% grants, and 18.4% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.3% of state GDP (17th highest) and was $1,437 per state resident (20th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Boeing ($4.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 39,952 (20th highest).

19. Ohio

Ohio’s military spending in 2022 was $9.0 billion (1.6% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 57.6% contracts; 2.3% grants, and 40.1% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.1% of state GDP (13th lowest) and was $759 per state resident (13th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is General Electric ($752.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 59,470 (12th highest).

18. New Jersey

New Jersey’s military spending in 2022 was $9.0 billion (1.7% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 74.2% contracts; 4.3% grants, and 21.4% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.3% of state GDP (17th lowest) and was $1,013 per state resident (18th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Lockheed Martin ($2.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 33,430 (24th highest).

17. Illinois

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Illinois’ military spending in 2022 was $10.0 billion (1.8% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 73.9% contracts; 2.2% grants, and 23.9% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.0% of state GDP (10th lowest) and was $811 per state resident (14th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is BP ($2.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 58,423 (14th highest).

16. Colorado

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Colorado’s military spending in 2022 was $13.0 billion (2.3% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 68.2% contracts; 1.6% grants, and 30.2% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.7% of state GDP (13th highest) and was $2,215 per state resident (9th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Lockheed Martin ($3.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 59,917 (11th highest).

15. Georgia

Georgia’s military spending in 2022 was $13.0 billion (2.4% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 45.0% contracts; 1.2% grants, and 53.8% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.8% of state GDP (25th highest) and was $1,226 per state resident (24th lowest). The largest defense contract in the state is Lockheed Martin ($1.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 124,079 (6th highest).

14. North Carolina

North Carolina’s military spending in 2022 was $13.0 billion (2.4% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 41.8% contracts; 1.9% grants, and 56.3% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.8% of state GDP (24th highest) and was $1,255 per state resident (25th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is GlaxoSmithKline ($2.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 137,146 (4th highest).

13. Kentucky

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Kentucky’s military spending in 2022 was $14.0 billion (2.5% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 75.9% contracts; 0.6% grants, and 23.5% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 5.3% of state GDP (6th highest) and was $3,084 per state resident (6th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Humana ($8.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 56,290 (16th highest).

12. Alabama

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Alabama’s military spending in 2022 was $14.0 billion (2.5% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 73.6% contracts; 1.7% grants, and 24.8% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 5.0% of state GDP (7th highest) and was $2,750 per state resident (7th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Austal ($748.0 million in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 49,895 (18th highest).

11. Washington

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Washington’s military spending in 2022 was $15.0 billion (2.6% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 47.0% contracts; 2.2% grants, and 50.8% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.0% of state GDP (21st highest) and was $1,874 per state resident (15th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Boeing ($4.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 108,542 (7th highest).

10. Arizona

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Arizona’s military spending in 2022 was $15.0 billion (2.7% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 84.1% contracts; 0.9% grants, and 15.0% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 3.3% of state GDP (11th highest) and was $2,033 per state resident (12th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Raytheon Technologies ($8.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 41,502 (19th highest).

9. Massachusetts

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Massachusetts’ military spending in 2022 was $15.0 billion (2.7% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 89.1% contracts; 3.0% grants, and 7.9% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.2% of state GDP (18th highest) and was $2,184 per state resident (10th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Raytheon Technologies ($4.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 22,076 (19th lowest).

8. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s military spending in 2022 was $18.0 billion (3.2% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 79.8% contracts; 2.8% grants, and 17.4% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.9% of state GDP (22nd highest) and was $1,382 per state resident (22nd highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Bechtel Group ($2.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 54,181 (17th highest).

7. Connecticut

Connecticut’s military spending in 2022 was $22.0 billion (4.0% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 95.8% contracts; 0.5% grants, and 3.7% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 6.9% of state GDP (3rd highest) and was $6,150 per state resident (2nd highest). The largest defense contract in the state is General Dynamics ($10.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 14,785 (14th lowest).

6. Maryland

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Maryland’s military spending in 2022 was $26.0 billion (4.7% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 66.0% contracts; 2.4% grants, and 31.6% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 5.6% of state GDP (5th highest) and was $4,289 per state resident (5th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Northrop Grumman ($1.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 93,930 (8th highest).

5. New York

New York’s military spending in 2022 was $28.0 billion (5.0% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 87.2% contracts; 2.5% grants, and 10.3% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.4% of state GDP (20th lowest) and was $1,430 per state resident (21st highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Pfizer, Inc. ($17.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 57,965 (15th highest).

4. Florida

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Florida’s military spending in 2022 was $30.0 billion (5.4% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 71.0% contracts; 0.8% grants, 28.1% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.2% of state GDP (19th highest) and was $1,359 per state resident (23rd highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Lockheed Martin ($4.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 132,265 (5th highest).

3. California

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California’s military spending in 2022 was $56.0 billion (10.1% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 67.8% contracts; 1.5% grants, and 30.7% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 1.6% of state GDP (23rd lowest) and was $1,440 per state resident (19th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Centene Corp. ($4.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 272,971 (the highest).

2. Texas

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Texas’ military spending in 2022 was $58.0 billion (10.4% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 78.6% contracts; 0.6% grants, and 20.9% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 2.5% of state GDP (14th highest) and was $1,932 per state resident (13th highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Lockheed Martin ($23.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 214,865 (3rd highest).

1. Virginia

Virginia’s military spending in 2022 was $63.0 billion (11.2% of U.S. defense spending). Categories included 66.9% contracts; 0.6% grants, 32.4% personnel payroll. Spending accounted for 9.7% of state GDP (the highest) and was $7,223 per state resident (the highest). The largest defense contract in the state is Huntington Ingalls ($3.0 billion in 2022 contracts). Finally, the state’s military and civilian Defense Department personnel was 247,314 (2nd highest).

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