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Federal expenditures in metropolitan areas

The federal government plays a significant role in our nation’s metropolitan
economies. Annually, $1.1 trillion in federal funds flow into the 50 largest metro
areas. Just under half of this money (46.8%) goes to individuals through direct
payment programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Food Stamps – in other words,
funding streams based on an individual’s entitlement or on some set formula. The
remaining 53.2% goes for grants, wages, loans, and procurement contracts, all of
which tend to be more competitive funding streams in which businesses, local
governments, non-profits, and non-governmental organizations vie for a finite
amount of federal funding.

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