Ed Glaeser has a great op-ed that does a brief tour de horizon of anti-urban bias in public policy, that includes this tidbit: “In 2009, America’s five least dense states were awarded $1,100 per capita in federal recovery grants while the five densest states, including Massachusetts, got $561 per capita.”
I’m not sure how great an example of the overall phenomenon this is. The five densest states are New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maryland. These are the first, eighteenth, sixth, third, and second richest states in the country so insofar as the federal government tends to transfer wealth from richer areas to poorer areas, a shift away from the densest states is all-but-inevitable. What would be interesting would be to look at ARRA through a dual lens of density and income.