According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost a quarter (21%) of West Virginians work for the government. This puts West Virginia fourth in the list of states with the highest percentage of its population working for the government. The national average is 15.1%.

The states largest private employers are Walmart, healthcare and fast food.

Listed below are the Top 10 states with the highest percentage of government employees in the U.S., according to this study:

Top 10 States with the Highest Percentage of Government Employees

1. Alaska (24.6%)

2. Wyoming (24.1%)

3. New Mexico (22.2%)

4. West Virginia (21.0%)

5. Mississippi (20.9%)

6. Oklahoma (20.6%)

7. Hawaii (19.1%)

8. North Dakota (19.0%)

9. Montana (18.9%)

10. Alabama (18.9%)

24/7 Wall Street, a financial news website, speculates that states with a population that is more spread out are more likely to have a higher concentration of government employees because private industry is not as dominant. West Virginia in particular has the 22nd lowest population density among states with only 77 people per square mile.

Active duty servicemen and servicewomen are not included in the number of government employees for this list. However, government-owned schools and hospitals and the U.S. Postal Service are included.

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