Utah ranks in the bottom dozen of the states and U.S. territories in receiving federal funds, according to statistics released this week.

Utah had a per capita payout of $3,779 and a total of $6.51 billion federal funds in 1990. That compares with a U.S. average of $3,974 per person.In the region, Utah was second-lowest in average pay-outs but was fourth-highest in total federal expenditures. Only Nevada ranked lower in per person average payments. New Mexico was highest in the region with a $5,703 per person average.

At the same time, federal spending in the District of Columbia and its two neighboring states last year was lavish in proportion to their population.

The District of Columbia received $28,592 per person, by far the highest rate in the nation. Overall, the federal government distributed $17.4 billion in the capital.

Neighboring Virginia had the highest per capita payout among the 50 states: $5,874. Alaska was next at $5,867, followed by New Mexico, $5,703.

Virginia plays host to several large federal facilities, including the Pentagon, the CIA and a major naval base at Norfolk.

Maryland, which surrounds the capital on three sides and is home to several federal agencies, ranked fourth among the states in federal spending per person, at $5,671.

The federal government is the largest employer in the District of Columbia and it also pays the D.C. government more than $400 million annually as compensation for city services and property tax exemptions.

Altogether, spending in the capital, Virginia and Maryland totaled $81 billion.

The federal government dispensed $116 billion in California. That's more money than any other state.

New York ranked second at $70 billion. Next were Texas, $58 billion; and Florida, $51 billion.

Vermont received the smallest slice of the federal pie: $2 billion.

North Carolina received the least amount per person: $3,043.19.

The money mainly was paid by the government to individuals. The total distribution of $1 trillion broke down like this:

-$498 billion in payments to individuals in Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits.

-$146 billion in salaries for members of the armed forces and federal employees.

-$189 billion in procurement contracts.

-$134 billion in grants to state and local governments.

-$36 billion in research grants and subsidies for agriculture.

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Federal spending

Here is a breakdown of federal spending for states in the interior West. Total federal spending was divided by the 1990 population to reach the per-capita figures.

Government $ per Total $

person (millions)

United States 3,974 1,002,703

Arizona 4,112 15,072

Colorado 4,428 14,586

Idaho 3,862 3,888

Montana 4,186 3,345

Nevada 3,448 4,144

New Mexico 5,703 8,640

Utah 3,779 6,511

Wyoming 4,089 1,855

Source: Associated Press