Jacob Berman at the Chicago Fed took a hard look at the safety nets in the states, something that can be difficult to quantify:
Although anti-poverty programs are generally funded by the federal government, most are administered by states. State governments have broad discretion over the generosity of programs, so the level of benefits for any given household varies widely across regions.
Berman's analysis shows that Minnesota has the fifth most generous safety net in the nation, when he compared states using data on expenditures from the national accounts, and household income data from the Census Bureau.
Real benefits for low-income households in the most generous area, Vermont, are about two-and-a-half times greater than in the least generous area, Georgia, Berman found. Minnesota's benefits are almost $8,000 higher than the national average, and surpassed Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.
And here are the safety nets for a few of Minnesota's Midwestern neighbors: