California tops the list for Defense Department spending


Military spending rose across the board in 2019 and no state received more defense funding from the Trump administration than blue-state California, according to a just released Pentagon report.

Department of Defense contract obligations and payroll spending in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2019 totaled $550.9 billion — 2.5% of the country’s gross domestic product. 

California topped the list with $66.2 billion in defense funding in fiscal year 2019. Virginia followed with $60.3 billion, with Texas coming in third at $54.8 billion, according to the Pentagon’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation. Each of the three states are home to several military bases. These three states also were the top three recipients of Defense Department funding for fiscal years 2018 and 2017, according to Pentagon records.

The report, officials said, is meant to help state and local leaders assess a region’s dependence on defense spending.

“The report compiled by the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation can be a great tool to state and local officials,” said Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. “All of our work is aimed at supporting the National Defense Strategy and this report is key as we look to continue defense reform and modernization efforts.”

The rest of the Top 10 defense recipients for 2019 were: Florida at $29.8 billion, Maryland at $26.1 billion, Connecticut at $19.7 billion, Pennsylvania at $18.1 billion, Washington state at $17.8 billion, Alabama at $16 billion, and Massachusetts at $15.8 billion.

West Virginia, Maine and Wisconsin had the largest increases in Department of Defense spending from fiscal year 2018 to 2019. Pentagon officials said the increase was driven by large contracts to defense contractors Northrop Grumman in West Virginia; General Dynamics in Maine and Oskosh Corp. and Fincantieri Marine Systems in Wisconsin. The contracts were related to rocket engine production, shipbuilding and military vehicle projects, officials said.

The companies that received the most lucrative Defense contracts in fiscal year 2019 were Lockheed Martin, $45.6 billion; Boeing, $25.7 billion; Northrop Grumman, $19.5 billion; General Dynamics, $18.6 billion; Raytheon, $15.7 billion; United Technologies, $10.3 billion; BAE Systems, $7.3 billion; Huntington Ingalls, $6.7 billion; Humana, $6.7 billion and L3 Technologies, $4.9 billion.

Each company also was represented in the list for fiscal year 2018, Pentagon officials said.

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