With Independence Day right around the corner and states having received an additional $195 billion in federal COVID-19 aid this year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Most Independent States. This study follows WalletHub’s reports on the Best Places for 4th of July Celebrations and Most Patriotic States.

To determine the most self-sufficient states, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 39 metrics, which measure how dependent Americans are on the government and other people for finances, their jobs and personal vices. You can find highlights from the report below.

2021’s Most Independent States
1. Utah 6. Idaho
2. Colorado 7. South Dakota
3. Nebraska 8. Washington
4. Virginia 9. Minnesota
5. Kansas 10. Delaware

Key Stats:

  • Montana has the lowest share of private industry workers employed by foreign-owned firms, at 1.78 percent. That’s 4.1 times lower than in Kentucky, the highest at 7.33 percent.
  • Pennsylvania has the lowest share of government workers (local, state and federal), at 10.40 percent. Alaska has the country’s highest share, at 25.20 percent.
  • New Hampshire has the lowest share of residents in poverty, at 7.60 percent – 2.7 times lower than in Mississippi (20.30 percent).

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a phone, Skype or in-studio interview with one of our experts. Feel free to embed this YouTube video summarizing the study on your website. You can also use or edit these raw files as you see fit.

Diana Polk
WalletHub Communications Manager
(202) 684-6386

More from WalletHub

Expert Commentary

How will the COVID-19 impact on the global economy and world trade affect production and consumption in the long term?

“It will speed up automation and boost productivity in some sectors. It will lead to a reallocation of labor, possibly to more efficient uses.”
Victor Menaldo – Professor, Department of Political Science – University of Washington

“It will have a long run positive effect, but just how much remains to be determined. It may, however, lead to some macroeconomc instability in that a lot of countries have larded up with debt and this could spur a financial crash, potentially a sovereign debt crisis, in the future if they have trouble financing their debt as interest rates increase in the wake of increased inflation.”
Victor Menaldo – Professor, Department of Political Science – University of Washington

Is it fair that some states are more dependent on the Federal Government than others?

“The federal government represents the people of the United States, rather than the states and territories of the Union. This was decided when the United States moved to a federal, rather than a confederal, form of government in 1789. Accordingly, the federal government will provide aid to individuals and states with less financial resources in order to equalize, to some extent, economic circumstances, while at the same time tying the aid to the achievement of federal goals.”
Harvey L. Schantz – Professor, State University of New York, Plattsburgh

What tips do you have for a person that wishes to reduce his/her job dependency? Should they try to join the “gig” economy?

“Sure. But the problem is that you have to hedge against risk in ways that you were previously hedged against when you worked for somebody else: because you might have been hard to replace, even during bad times they had an incentive to keep you employed and keep paying you. Also, firms have more diversified product and service portfolios than folks who work for themselves. Those sources of security are gone once you break out on your own. So hustle, hustle, hustle.”
Victor Menaldo – Professor, Department of Political Science – University of Washington

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