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Government Spending Chart

Create and customize charts of government spending.


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. 
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 add data series at same government level, this item will be shown as Remaining Spending.

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.

Total Spending
Fiscal Years 1850 to 1930
$ billion nominal
Total Spending -fed
percent GDP
1850MW gdp23.1921.73a
1851MW gdp23.9091.98a
1852MW gdp24.6481.67a
1853MW gdp25.4091.70a
1854MW gdp26.1951.79a
1855MW gdp27.0041.75a
1856MW gdp27.8391.98a
1857MW gdp28.6991.90a
1858MW gdp29.5862.12a
1859MW gdp30.5011.92a
1860MW gdp31.4431.78a
1861MW gdp32.0911.73a
1862MW gdp32.7538.31a
1863MW gdp33.4289.43a
1864MW gdp34.1179.19a
1865MW gdp34.82013.14a
1866MW gdp35.5375.90a
1867MW gdp36.2704.47a
1868MW gdp37.0174.86a
1869MW gdp37.7804.38a
1870MW gdp38.5584.27a
1871MW gdp39.5884.13a
1872MW gdp40.6463.66a
1873MW gdp41.7323.61a
1874MW gdp42.8473.91a
1875MW gdp43.9913.74a
1876MW gdp45.1663.56a
1877MW gdp46.3733.19a
1878MW gdp47.6123.20a
1879MW gdp48.8833.18a
1880MW gdp50.1892.91a
1881MW gdp51.3422.56a
1882MW gdp52.5212.42a
1883MW gdp53.7262.48a
1884MW gdp54.9602.45a
1885MW gdp56.2222.65a
1886MW gdp57.5132.39a
1887MW gdp58.8332.42a
1888MW gdp60.1842.32a
1889MW gdp61.5662.59a
1890MW gdp62.9802.52a
1891MW gdp64.1922.82a
1892MW gdp65.4282.56a
1893MW gdp66.6882.99a
1894MW gdp67.9723.17a
1895MW gdp69.2812.81a
1896MW gdp70.6152.83a
1897MW gdp71.9742.82a
1898MW gdp73.3602.96a
1899MW gdp74.7733.59a
1900MW gdp76.2123.03a
1901MW gdp77.6802.85a
1902MW gdp79.1762.35a
1903MW gdp80.7012.29i
1904MW gdp82.2552.43i
1905MW gdp83.8392.27i
1906MW gdp85.4532.21i
1907MW gdp87.0992.13i
1908MW gdp88.7762.51i
1909MW gdp90.4862.46i
1910MW gdp92.2292.49i
1911MW gdp93.5232.54i
1912MW gdp94.8362.45i
1913MW gdp96.1672.45a
1914MW gdp97.5162.73i
1915MW gdp98.8852.69i
1916MW gdp100.2732.08i
1917MW gdp101.6803.83i
1918MW gdp103.10717.03i
1919MW gdp104.55423.84i
1920MW gdp106.0227.60i
1921MW gdp107.6267.42i
1922MW gdp109.2545.08a
1923MW gdp110.9084.31i
1924MW gdp112.5864.18i
1925MW gdp114.2903.96i
1926MW gdp116.0193.66i
1927MW gdp117.7753.66a
1928MW gdp119.5573.73i
1929MW gdp121.3663.64i

a - actual reported
i - interpolated between actual reported values

Data Sources for 1850:
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 1930:
GDP, GO: See GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the US, Colonial Times to 1970
State and Local: Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the US, Colonial Times to 1970

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Top Spending Requests:

Find DEFICIT stats and history.

Get WELFARE stats and history.

US BUDGET overview and pie chart.


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.


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

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 Finances FY13

> 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
Receipts $3,002$3,021
Deficit$649$483 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 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

Masthead was designed and executed by:

Christopher Chantrill.

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