MILWAUKEE, WI — The partial federal government shutdown has lasted nearly two weeks and could extend even longer if House Democrats and President Donald Trump continue digging in their heels over funding for a border wall with Mexico.

But the shutdown doesn’t affect every state equally. Some, for instance, have more residents receiving food stamps, while others have a large share of federal workers.

Government shutdown enters its 12th day

Wisconsin ranked as the 46th most-affected state, sandwiched between Kansas and Indiana, according to a report published Thursday by WalletHub. Washington, D.C. unsurprisingly topped the list. The nation’s capital has the highest number of families receiving SNAP benefits, the authors noted, and it tied for first in highest federal contract dollars per capita and highest share of federal jobs.

The researchers compared states based on five measurements, with the highest weight belonging to share of federal jobs and percent of families receiving food stamps.

How Does The Shutdown Affect You?

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization committed to educating the public on budget issues, says the federal government shutdown can affect you in a variety of ways. Here is a list of key services that are impacted:

  • Social Security and Medicare: Those fearing a gap in benefits will be relieved to know that Social Security and Medicare will continue on. Checks are sent out (and the post office will deliver them). Medicare and Medicaid will be unaffected, federal officials say.
  • Environmental and Food Inspection: Delays to inspections of hazardous waste, drinking water, and chemical facilities can happen.
  • National Parks: During the 2013 shutdown, the National Park Service turned away millions of visitors to more than 400 parks, national monuments, and other sites.
  • Health and Human Services: The National Institutes of Health would be prevented from admitting new patients or processing grant applications.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): In the event of a shutdown, the IRS, which verifies income and Social Security numbers, would again not be able to perform this service.


Here are the 10 states most affected by the shutdown, according to media outlets:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • New Mexico
  • Maryland
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Arizona


Minnesota ranked as the state least affected by the shutdown, followed by New Hampshire, Nebraska, Iowa and Indiana.

The longest shutdown in American history was 21 days during Bill Clinton’s presidency. That impasse began in December 1995 and lasted into January 1996. When the government shuts down, some federal workers perform their duties but don’t receive a paycheck. Others receive furlough, essentially meaning a leave of absence.

Tens of thousands of workers in the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Prisons, Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard and Secret Service are among those working for free at the moment, according to The New York Times. Most IRS operations have been halted and many national parks are closed.