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States Where Households Received the Most Stimulus Money

The U.S. government started distributing Economic Impact Payments, the federal stimulus checks aimed at helping Americans stay afloat through the coronavirus pandemic, in April. As of May 8, the IRS has sent out over 130 million stimulus checks worth more than $200 billion.

The payment amounts vary depending on income and IRS filing status; individuals could receive up to $1,200, while married couples filing jointly could receive up to $2,400. Parents could also receive up to $500 per qualifying child.

To determine the states where households received the most Economic Impact Payment money, the LendingTree research team leveraged IRS data with household data from the Census Bureau. We then ranked the states in descending order to see where households gained the most from the stimulus.

Key findings
Overall stimulus benefits vary from state to state

About the Economic Impact Payments
Methodology

Key findings

  • Utah is getting the most stimulus money per household at $2,094. In total, state residents have received just short of $2.1 billion in Economic Impact Payments.
  • Hawaii received the second-highest per household amount at $2,029, while Idaho residents took in the third-highest amount per household at $1,961.
  • At the bottom of the list is the District of Columbia — households here took in just $1,215 each. One likely reason is the higher-than-average median household income in Washington, D.C., making many workers ineligible.
  • Massachusetts households gained the second-least from the Economic Impact Payment program. They received checks worth $1,527 on average.
  • As expected, states with higher earning residents tended to receive less in stimulus check payments per household than states with lower earning residents.

Overall stimulus benefits vary from state to state

Utah residents stand to gain the most from stimulus payments

Households in Utah have gained the most from the Economic Impact Payments as of May 8. Residents of this state took home an average of nearly $2,100 per household.

Utah families are on the larger side, which contributes to the final amount a household will receive from the stimulus check. On average, Utah households are composed of 3.13 persons, compared to the national average of 2.63 persons. The same rings true with runner-up Hawaii, which has an average household of 3.02 persons.

Households in the District of Columbia took home the smallest checks

Washington, D.C. households received $1,215 in stimulus money on average. That’s more than $300 less than the second-last state, Massachusetts, at $1,527.

The median household income in the nation’s capital is $82,604 according to 2018 Census Bureau data, over $22,000 more than the national average of $60,293 in that same year. Certain high-earning households will not qualify for the full amount of the Economic Impact Payment, if they qualify at all.

The amount of people in each D.C. household is also on the lower side (2.29 vs. 2.63), a contributing factor that determines how much a household will get from the stimulus checks.

Alaskans, ranked 7th, are no stranger to stimulus payments

Residents in Alaska are already used to receiving an annual payment from the government through the Alaska Permanent Fund, an annual dividend paid out to state residents based on investments from royalties on minerals, such as oil. In 2019, every Alaskan received $1,606 from the fund. For the Economic Impact Payments, Alaska households took home $1,909 on average.

About the Economic Impact Payments

The Economic Impact Payments distributed as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act began to roll out to eligible U.S. citizens and U.S. resident aliens with Social Security numbers in April. By May 8, millions of checks were distributed to households across the country, though not every household received payments. Some households made too much money to qualify for the entire EIP, while others may have received a reduced amount based on income.

The following eligible American taxpayers qualified for the entire stimulus check:

  • Individuals (or married couples filing separately) making less than $75,000
  • Heads of household making less than $112,500
  • Married couples filing jointly making less than $150,000

Certain American taxpayers qualified for a portion of the Economic Impact Payment:

  • Individuals (or married couples filing separately) making between $75,000 and $99,000
  • Heads of household making between $112,500 and $136,500
  • Married couples making between $150,000 and $198,000

People whose incomes are higher than the above thresholds are ineligible for the stimulus check. Households with fewer family members also qualified for less money, since the payments are structured to give $1,200 to each eligible adult and $500 for each child.

Methodology

To find the states with the highest average Economic Impact Payments (EIP) per household, researchers divided the total amount paid out per state by the number of households in that state in 2018. Data on EIP payments comes from the IRS and is current as of May 8. Data on households comes from the Census Bureau.

 

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