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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’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.

Family And Children
Fiscal Years 1961 to 1981
$ million nominal
Family and children -total
$ million nominal

a - actual reported
i - interpolated between actual reported values

Data Sources for 1961:
GDP, GO: 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

Data Sources for 1981:
GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: Statistical Abstract of the United States

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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.

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 and Outlay Actuals for FY15

On October 15, 2015, the US Treasury reported in its Monthly Treasury Statement (and xls) for September that the federal deficit for FY15 ending September 30 was $439 billion. Here are the numbers, including total receipts, total outlays, and deficit compared with the numbers projected in the FY 16 federal budget published in February 2015:

Federal Finances
FY15 Outcomes
Receipts $3,176$3,249
Deficit$583$439 now shows the new numbers for total FY15 outlays and receipts on its Estimate vs. Actual page.

The Monthly Treasury Statement includes ""Table 4: Receipts of the United States Government, September 2015 and Other Periods." This table of receipts by source is used for to post federal receipt actuals for FY2015.

The Monthly Treasury Statement includes "Table 9. Summary of Receipts by Source, and Outlays by Function of the U.S. Government, September 2015 and Other Periods".   This table of outlays by function makes it possible for to estimate actual outlays by "subfunction" for FY2015 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 FY2015 numbers will not appear until the FY2016 federal budget is published in February 2015 with the actual outlays for FY15 in Historical Table 3.2--Outlays by Function and Subfunction.

Spend links

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

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Christopher Chantrill.

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presented by Christopher Chantrill

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