The answer might surprise “Defund the police” advocates.
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In light of the summer of protests over police brutality and racial inequality that besieged the nation, many have taken a renewed look at police spending.
Blue states spend, on average, 38 percent more, $706 per capita, on policing than red states, $509 per capita, according to a new study by MoneyGeek using Census Bureau data.
State’s colors are defined by their presidential voting in the last four elections. States that were tied two-two, the color was defined by the party of their current governor.
The nation as a whole spennt $200 billion on policing and corrections in 2018, the most recent data available released from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The data took into account both state and local spending, as corrections often fall under state budgets and law enforcement is mostly funded at the local level.
The highest per capita spending on policing occurs in Washington, D.C., where $1,254 annually per capita is dedicated to policing and corrections funding.
State and local governments spend 5.25% on policing and corrections nationally.
Nevada spends the highest percentage of its budget at 7.4%, and Iowa spends the lowest, at 3.5%. Behind Nevada in spending as a portion of the total budget is Alaska, the District of Columbia, Florida and Maryland.
Behind Iowa for states that spend the least on policing and corrections are Alabama, West Virginia, South Carolina and Kentucky.
California spends the most in total on police and corrections, at $35 billion annually. The Golden State comprises 15 percent of the national GDP, 12 percent of the nation’s population and 18 percent of the national policing and corrections spending.