Minnesota: Still a cheap date.

At least when it comes to our ranking for per-capita federal expenditures.

We're second to last, just ahead of Nevada, as you can see in this graph.

Ranked first is Alaska, the state receiving the most federal spending per capita.

All this from our friends at the U.S. Census. Here's what they found. Last year, 2010, they counted $5.1 trillion in federal dollars sent to states in various ways:

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• Retirement and disability ($915 billion)

• Other direct payments ($819 billion)

• Grants ($683 billion)

• Procurement contracts ($517 billion)

• Salaries and wages ($343 billion)

• Direct loans ($88 billion)

• Guaranteed or insured loans ($427 billion)

• Insurance ($1.3 trillion)

Everything from Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid to defense spending, to federal pensions, to student loans to farm subsidies. You name it, they counted it. (But not including, they say, federal travel expenses, interest on the debt or apparently $16 muffins. I digress.)

And now for the explanation as to why Minnesota is second to last as a federal expenditure recipient:

- We are a bit below average in age (fewer social security payments and Medicare spending),

- We receive the lowest federal match for Medicaid (we receive 50%, other states receive more, the amount has to do with personal income levels among other measures),

- We do not have any military bases, and have fewer federal defense contractors compared to other states and fewer federal offices.

These are not my opinions. They are those of great minds, including thinkers at the University of Minnesota and state agencies.

So, fellow Minnesotans, stand tall, be proud. Relatively speaking we are not the biggest boat anchor dragging the government deeper into debt.

Or, on the other, if you're upset we're not getting a bigger (fairer?) share of the federal largesse, we may need to look into turning some of those state parks into military bases.