Per Capita Transfer Payments, 2013
Transfer payments can be divided into two categories. More than 70 percent of Arizona’s transfer payments in 2013 were of types that do not change much from year to year. This category particularly consists of retirement and disability payments and Medicare, and therefore is highly correlated to the proportion of retirees. In contrast, income maintenance, Medicaid, and unemployment benefits are highly countercyclical, rising during recessions and falling during economic expansions. In 2013 in Arizona, 29 percent of total transfer payments were of the countercyclical type.
Average per capita transfer payments in Arizona in 2013 was $7,395, slightly less than the national average of $7,638. In four of the state’s eight metropolitan counties, per capita transfer payments were greater than the U.S. metro average. In five of the seven nonmetro counties, the figure exceeded the U.S. nonmetro average.