Government check writers in Washington, D.C., are sending fewer of those checks to Utah than they did in the past, according to research conducted by the Utah Foundation.

Last year, per capita federal expenditures in the state were about 5 percent below the U.S. average. In 1970, expenditures were 23 percent greater than the national average.Federal expenditures include grants to state and local governments, salaries and wages and procurement contracts. Last year's federal spending in Utah was equal to $3,779 for each person living in the state, the foundation reported.

Analysts point out that a major reason for the shift in federal spending away from Utah has been the government's increased emphasis on social programs. For the most part, Utah does not participate in these social programs to a much greater degree than most states, the report said.

With the shift toward social programs, there has been a move away from defense spending in the federal budget. Defense expenditures accounted for 42 percent of all federal spending in 1970 and only 24 percent in 1990. Utah's economy is more impacted by changes in defense spending than most states, analysts said.

Major federal expenditures in Utah include:

- Procurement contracts (both defense and non-defense), $1.5 billion.

- Salaries and wages paid to federal employees, $1.4 billion.

- Grants to state and local governments, $838 million.

- Other grants and subsidies, $212 million.