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US Federal Debt Since The Founding

Create and customize charts of government debt.

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Use the controls below to CUSTOMIZE chart or CHANGE the data series

Hover mouse over dropdown controls for help. Remember, you can display a maximum of five data series at once.

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Spending Units: By default, government spending is displayed in billions of dollars. But using a dropdown control in the table heading you can select billions of 2005 dollars, percent of GDP, 2005 dollars per capita, percent of federal spending, or percent of total spending.
Chart Title: You can create a title for your chart. Use the text field to enter a title and click the button to the right of the text field.
US or State: By default, the chart shows overall United States government spending. But you can select spending for individual states by selecting the state dropdown control in the table heading.
State, Local: By default, you can chart state spending or local spending by clicking a radio button in the selection table. But you can chart state-and-local combined by selecting state n local in the state/local dropdown control in the table heading.
View: There are many ways to view the spending data. The default view is functional. There is a census view that conforms with the spending categories used by the US Census Bureau in its Statistical Abstract. There is a COFOG view that categorizes spending using the UN methodology.
Linear/Log: By default, the data series are displayed as linear charts. But you can also select a log chart. Linear charts show constant amount changes as a straight line; Log charts show constant rates of change as a straight line.
Line/Bar: By default, the data series are displayed as line charts. But you can also select a bar chart.
Data Stack: By default, the data series are “stacked” when displayed on the chart. But you can change the setting to “un stack” the data series.
Chart Size: By default, the chart is displayed at medium size. But you can use the dropdown control to change the size.
Color: By default charts are displayed with color data lines and fill. You can change this to grayscale if you want.
US Budget Year: By default, the chart displays budgeted and estimated federal spending in the current US Budget submitted to the Congress by the president. But you can look at previous budgeted numbers using this dropdown control.

Data Range

Start Year: You can select any start year you want using the dropdown control in the table heading. At the top and bottom of the dropdown only years ending in “0” are shown. Select a start year to get close, then select the start year you want.
End Year: You can select any end year you want using the dropdown control in the table heading. At the top and bottom of the dropdown only years ending in “0” are shown. Select an end year to get close, then select the end year you want.
Category (max 5)Sub-categoryFed Gov. 
Xfer 
State Local Total   
 
Data Series: Select a spending series you want to chart from a dropdown on the left. If you select on the bottom dropdown you will add a data series (up to a maximum of five). The right-hand dropdown allows you to replace a data series with a more narrowly focused series. Click the “X” link to remove a data series from the chart.
 
 All Categories

If you’d like to create your own custom chart of spending data you should use the table above to make your selections.

  • Select the year range: Select the start year and the end year you want by selecting the years you want in the two year dropdown boxes.
  • Select spending items: Just select the spending item you want from the dropdown control. Then click a radio button to select the level of government: federal, state, or local. If you select from the < select > you will add another data series to your chart. Up to 5 data series are allowed at once. Click the “X” link to remove a data series from the chart.
  • Select units: You can select the display in billions of nominal (i.e. inflated) dollars, billions of real (i.e. year 2005) dollars, or as percent of GDP.
  • Choose chart features: You can select the size of the chart, switch from bar chart to line chart, select color or black and white, stacked or not. You can also blow up the chart to fill the screen with the “fullsize” tab control above the chart display.

Download Data

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Download Data File

 

Click button to download CSV file of dataset in chart.
 

Download Tab-delimited Data

Copy and Paste: To copy and paste data into spreadsheet for analysis, just copy the tab-delimited text in the textbox below (click cursor in text box, then press ctrl-A then press ctrl-C) and paste it into your spreadsheet.

View Data Series

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Below is a formatted version of the data displayed in the chart.

US Federal Debt Since The Founding
Fiscal Years 1792 to 2016
YearGDP-US
$ billion nominal
Population-US
million
Gross Public Debt -fed
percent GDP
1792MW gdp4.17334.32a
1793MW gdp4.30032.02a
1794MW gdp4.43224.90a
1795MW gdp4.56721.08a
1796MW gdp4.70720.09a
1797MW gdp4.85020.06a
1798MW gdp4.99819.18a
1799MW gdp5.15117.74a
1800MW gdp5.30817.29a
1801MW gdp5.47616.16a
1802MW gdp5.64817.90a
1803MW gdp5.82615.82a
1804MW gdp6.01016.22a
1805MW gdp6.19914.67a
1806MW gdp6.39512.27a
1807MW gdp6.59611.75a
1808MW gdp6.80410.09a
1809MW gdp7.0198.30a
1810MW gdp7.2407.53a
1811MW gdp7.4506.26a
1812MW gdp7.6665.75a
1813MW gdp7.8895.78a
1814MW gdp8.1187.56a
1815MW gdp8.35410.79a
1816MW gdp8.59615.55a
1817MW gdp8.84616.06a
1818MW gdp9.10214.04a
1819MW gdp9.36713.16a
1820MW gdp9.63812.82a
1821MW gdp9.92112.24a
1822MW gdp10.21211.62a
1823MW gdp10.51111.97a
1824MW gdp10.81911.97a
1825MW gdp11.13610.19a
1826MW gdp11.4629.36a
1827MW gdp11.7988.08a
1828MW gdp12.1447.52a
1829MW gdp12.5006.28a
1830MW gdp12.8664.75a
1831MW gdp13.2353.72a
1832MW gdp13.6142.15a
1833MW gdp14.0050.60a
1834MW gdp14.4060.39a
1835MW gdp14.8190.00a
1836MW gdp15.2440.00a
1837MW gdp15.6820.02a
1838MW gdp16.1310.21a
1839MW gdp16.5940.63a
1840MW gdp17.0700.23a
1841MW gdp17.6010.32a
1842MW gdp18.1490.84a
1843MW gdp18.7142.09a
1844MW gdp19.2961.38a
1845MW gdp19.8970.86a
1846MW gdp20.5160.75a
1847MW gdp21.1541.61a
1848MW gdp21.8131.94a
1849MW gdp22.4922.61a
1850MW gdp23.1922.46a
1851MW gdp23.9092.51a
1852MW gdp24.6482.16a
1853MW gdp25.4091.81a
1854MW gdp26.1951.14a
1855MW gdp27.0040.90a
1856MW gdp27.8390.79a
1857MW gdp28.6990.69a
1858MW gdp29.5861.10a
1859MW gdp30.5011.32a
1860MW gdp31.4431.48a
1861MW gdp32.0911.95a
1862MW gdp32.7538.97a
1863MW gdp33.42814.55a
1864MW gdp34.11719.02a
1865MW gdp34.82026.87a
1866MW gdp35.53730.54a
1867MW gdp36.27031.79a
1868MW gdp37.01731.76a
1869MW gdp37.78032.68a
1870MW gdp38.55831.75a
1871MW gdp39.58830.70a
1872MW gdp40.64627.12a
1873MW gdp41.73225.29a
1874MW gdp42.84726.30a
1875MW gdp43.99127.09a
1876MW gdp45.16625.99a
1877MW gdp46.37325.63a
1878MW gdp47.61226.67a
1879MW gdp48.88324.87a
1880MW gdp50.18920.27a
1881MW gdp51.34217.62a
1882MW gdp52.52115.56a
1883MW gdp53.72615.15a
1884MW gdp54.96015.39a
1885MW gdp56.22215.92a
1886MW gdp57.51314.43a
1887MW gdp58.83312.49a
1888MW gdp60.18412.09a
1889MW gdp61.56611.58a
1890MW gdp62.98010.20a
1891MW gdp64.1929.94a
1892MW gdp65.4289.62a
1893MW gdp66.6889.93a
1894MW gdp67.97211.43a
1895MW gdp69.28110.64a
1896MW gdp70.61511.31a
1897MW gdp71.97411.15a
1898MW gdp73.3609.84a
1899MW gdp74.77310.11a
1900MW gdp76.21210.29a
1901MW gdp77.6809.53a
1902MW gdp79.1768.89a
1903MW gdp80.7018.41a
1904MW gdp82.2558.73a
1905MW gdp83.8397.83a
1906MW gdp85.4537.46a
1907MW gdp87.0997.19a
1908MW gdp88.7768.63a
1909MW gdp90.4868.11a
1910MW gdp92.2297.86a
1911MW gdp93.5237.98a
1912MW gdp94.8367.60a
1913MW gdp96.1677.38a
1914MW gdp97.5167.91a
1915MW gdp98.8857.83a
1916MW gdp100.2737.20a
1917MW gdp101.6809.49a
1918MW gdp103.10719.06a
1919MW gdp104.55434.63a
1920MW gdp106.02229.08a
1921MW gdp107.62632.26a
1922MW gdp109.25430.97a
1923MW gdp110.90825.92a
1924MW gdp112.58624.21a
1925MW gdp114.29022.43a
1926MW gdp116.01920.07a
1927MW gdp117.77519.19a
1928MW gdp119.55717.91a
1929MW gdp121.36616.19a
193092.2123.20317.55a
193177.4124.07121.71a
193259.5124.94532.75a
193357.2125.82539.40a
193466.8126.71240.50a
193574.3127.60538.63a
193684.9128.50439.79a
193793129.41039.17a
193887.4130.32142.52a
193993.5131.24043.25a
1940102.9132.16549.27a
1941129.4133.96644.46a
1942166135.79247.71a
1943203.1137.64370.24a
1944224.6139.51990.86a
1945228.2141.421113.99a
1946227.8143.349118.96a
1947249.9145.303102.90a
1948274.8147.28391.71a
1949272.8149.29192.60a
1950300.2151.32685.56a
1951347.3153.91773.51a
1952367.7156.55270.46a
1953389.7159.23268.25a
1954391.1161.95869.24a
1955426.2164.73164.38a
1956450.1167.55160.58a
1957474.9170.42057.33a
1958482173.33758.02a
1959522.5176.30555.02a
1960543.3179.32353.47a
1961563.3181.58851.95a
1962605.1183.88150.06a
1963638.6186.20448.59a
1964685.8188.55546.09a
1965743.7190.93743.34a
1966815193.34840.31a
1967861.7195.79039.51a
1968942.5198.26339.12a
19691019.9200.76635.86a
19701075.9203.30235.40a
19711167.8205.51534.95a
19721282.4207.75233.99a
19731428.5210.01332.64a
19741548.8212.29931.24a
19751688.9214.60932.09a
19761877.6216.94533.50a
19772086219.30733.86a
19782356.6221.69432.95a
19792632.1224.10731.51a
19802862.5226.54631.76a
19813210.9228.67030.98a
19823345230.81534.00a
19833638.1232.97937.70a
19844040.7235.16438.72a
19854346.7237.36941.81a
19864590.1239.59546.20a
19874870.2241.84248.17a
19885252.6244.11049.52a
19895657.7246.39950.69a
19905979.6248.71053.62a
19916174251.80258.28a
19926539.3254.93361.20a
19936878.7258.10363.25a
19947308.7261.31263.53a
19957664264.56164.20a
19968100.2267.85063.97a
19978608.5271.18062.37a
19989089.1274.55260.27a
19999665.7277.96657.99a
200010289.7281.42254.70a
200110625.3284.18454.30a
200210980.2286.97456.45a
200311512.2289.79058.72a
200412277292.63559.91a
200513095.4295.50760.37a
200613857.9298.14560.99a
200714480.3300.80761.81a
200814720.3303.49267.84a
200914417.9306.20282.37a
201014508.2308.93693.25a
201114958.6311.57698.70a
201215547.4314.239103.24a
201316797.5316.92599.54a
201417332.3319.634103.23e
201518219.4322.366102.71e
201619180.6325.010101.73e

Legend:
a - actual reported
i - interpolated between actual reported values
e - estimated by usgovernmentspending.com
g - 'guesstimated' projection by usgovernmentspending.com
b - budgeted estimate in US FY15 budget

Data Sources for 1792:
GDP, GO: See GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the US, Colonial Times to 1970
State and Local: not available

Data Sources for 2016:
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

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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.

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.

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Next Data Update

> State and Local Finances FY12

> data update schedule.

Data Sources for 1792_2016:

Sources for 1792:

GDP, GO: See GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the US, Colonial Times to 1970
State and Local: not available

Sources for 2016:

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.

CBO Long-term Outlook 2014

On July 15, 2014, the Congressional Budget Office released its annual Long Term Budget Outlook, which projects federal spending and revenue out into the 2080s.  As before, the CBO study shows that federal health-care programs will eat the budget.

UsGovernmentspending.com has updated its chart of the CBO Long Term Budget Outlook here.  You can download the data and also view CBO Long Term Budget Outlooks going back to 1999.

Spend links

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

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usgovernmentspending.com was designed and executed by:

Christopher Chantrill.

Email here.


presented by Christopher Chantrill
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