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Spending Charts   also: Revenue Charts  Debt Charts  Deficit Charts  

 

This page shows the current trends in US Federal spending. There are also charts on US Federal spending history. See also: Social Security Spending and Medicare Spending
 

Recent and Budgeted* US Federal Spending

Spending in billions


Click chart for briefing on Entitlement Spending.
For numbers and more click here.

Spending in Percent GDP


Click chart for briefing on Entitlement Spending.
For numbers and more click here.

The two charts show above show recent and budgeted spending for the US federal government. On the left is a chart of spending in current dollars. On the right is a chart of spending as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Note:

* Federal Spending after 2014 is budgeted.

US Federal Spending Since 1900


Click chart for briefing on Federal Spending.
For numbers from 1900-2019 click here.

Federal spending began the 20th century at less than 3 percent of GDP per year. It jerked above 24 percent as a result of World War I and then declined in the 1920s to 3 to 4 percent by 1929. Federal spending started to increase after the Crash of 1929, and rose above 10 percent in the depths of the Great Depression.

Federal spending exploded during World War II to nearly 48 percent of GDP, and then declined to about 15 percent in the late 1940s.

In the Korean War of the early 1950s federal spending increased to over 20 percent of GDP, and then declined to about 17 to 18 percent by the end of the 1950s. In the 1960s federal spending began a slow increase to about 22 percent of GDP in the early 1980s, and then declined modestly to about 18 percent by 2000.

In the 2000s federal spending increased modestly to about 20 percent of GDP before exploding to 24 to 25 percent in the Crash of 2008.

US Federal Spending since the Founding


Click chart for briefing on Federal Spending.
For numbers from 1792-2019 click here.


Federal spending in the first half of the 19th century stayed typically below 2 percent of GDP except in wartime. In the Civil War, federal spending exploded to 13 percent of GDP. After the Civil War spending gradually declined. It dropped below 4 percent of GDP in 1872 and below 3 percent of GDP in 1880. Thereafter, federal spending hovered between 2.5 percent and 3 percent of GDP until World War I. Federal spending peaked at 24 percent of GDP and declined below 4 percent in the 1920s. Federal spending reached 10 percent of GDP in the 1930s before rocketing to 48 percent of GDP at the end of World War II. From the end of World War II to the mid 1980s federal spending gradually increased from 15 percent to 22 percent and then declined to below 20 percent of GDP by 2000. Spending drafted back above 20 percent of GDP in the 2000s before increasing to 25 percent of GDP in the Crash of 2008.

Top Spending Requests:

Find DEFICIT stats and history.

Get WELFARE stats and history.

US BUDGET overview and pie chart.

Find NATIONAL DEBT today.

See FEDERAL BUDGET breakdown and estimated vs. actual.

MILITARY SPENDING details, budget and history.

ENTITLEMENT SPENDING history.

See BAR CHARTS of spending, debt.

See PIE CHARTS of total spending, federal spending.

Check STATE spending: CA NY TX FL and compare.

See SPENDING HISTORY briefing.

Take a COURSE at Spending 101.

Make your own CUSTOM CHART.

Spending Data Sources

Spending data is from official government sources.
  Federal data since 1962 comes from the president’s budget.
  All other spending data comes from the US Census Bureau.

Gross Domestic Product data comes from US Bureau of Economic Analysis and measuringworth.com.

Detailed table of spending data sources here.

Federal spending data begins in 1792.

State and local spending data begins in 1890.

State and local spending data for individual states begins in 1957.

Spending 101 Courses

Spending | Federal Debt | Revenue | Defense | Welfare | Healthcare | Education
Debt History | Entitlements | Deficits | State Spending | State Taxes | State Debt


There’s More...

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Where you go to get facts about government.

Prepared by Christopher Chantrill.
email: chrischantrill@gmail.com

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Next Data Update

> State Finances FY13

> data update schedule.

Data Sources for 2010_2019:

Sources for 2010:

GDP, GO: See GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
Guesstimated” by projecting the latest change in reported spending forward to future years

Sources for 2019:

GDP, GO: See GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
Guesstimated” by projecting the latest change in reported spending forward to future years

> data sources for other years
> data update schedule.

Federal Deficit Announced for FY14

On October 13, 2014, the US Treasury reported in its Monthly Treasury Statement for September that the federal deficit for FY14 ending September 30 was $483 billion. Here are the numbers, including total receipts, total outlays, and deficit compared with the numbers projected in the FY 15 federal budget published in February 2014:

Federal Finances
FY14 Outcomes
Budget
billions
Outcome
billions
Receipts $3,002$3,021
Outlays$3,651$3,504
Deficit$649$483

usfederalbudget.us now shows the new numbers for total FY14 outlays and receipts on its Estimate vs. Actual page.

The Monthly Treasury Statement includes "Table 9. Summary of Receipts by Source, and Outlays by Function of the U.S. Government, September 2014 and Other Periods".   This table of outlays by function makes it possible for usgovernmentspending.com to estimate outlays by "subfunction" for FY2014 by factoring budgeted amounts by the difference between budgeted and actual "function" amounts where actual outlays by subfunction cannot be gleaned from the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Final detailed FY2014 numbers will not appear until the FY2016 federal budget is published in February 2015

Spend links

us numbersus budgetcustom chartdeficit/gdpspend/gdpdebt/gdpus gdpus real gdpstate gdpbreakdownfederalstatelocal200920102011californiatexas

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Christopher Chantrill.

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