Puerto Rico Paid More Federal Taxes than Six States

Each State and territory contributes to the U.S. Treasury through taxes paid by their residents. Each State and territory also receives Federal funds. Some get more back than they give, and some pay in more than they receive.

Individual income taxes work that way, too. Some pay more to the government and some get more from the government.

In 2011, The Economist magazine illustrated on a map which jurisdictions were net givers and which were net recipients. On the map, green States gave more that they received, while red States got more from the government than they put in.

The map showed that Minnesota and New Jersey were more than pulling their own weight and that Arkansas and California gave as good as they got, while Mississippi and New Mexico received more than they put into the kitty.

Puerto Rico and West Virginia joined Mississippi and New Mexico as places that benefited more from the Federal government than they contributed. However, looking at the specific numbers, we see that the territory of Puerto Rico, which has a much lower income per capita than any State and is funded less than the States in some major Federal programs, paid more in taxes than six of the States.

Residents of the territory paid $73.7 billion to the Federal government in taxes during the years 1990-2009. The following illustrates how the territory stacked up against some States:




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