Bringing the Economy Home

Tallying The Value Of Government Benefits In Idaho

The New York Times

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In three Idaho counties, government benefits accounted for more than 30 percent of county income in 2009.  That’s according to a data application from The New York Times that tracks government benefit payments to individuals over the last 40 years.

The Idaho counties that receive the most are Lewis, Clearwater and Shoshone, but the data show more than half of Idaho’s 44 counties receive at least 20 percent of their income through government benefit payments.  Levels of benefit recipiency appear to roughly track with counties’ unemployment rates.  On average, government benefits including Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, and other categories of support accounted for 17.6 percent of U.S. personal income in 2009.

Think about the categories of government benefits you or family members receive.  What percentage of your income does it total?


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