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US Government Spending As Percent Of GDP

 

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 spending and estimates of future spending for all levels of government in the United States. 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 2013 is budgeted and state and local spending after 2010 is estimated.

US Total Government Spending Since 1900


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

Government spending at the start of the 20th century was less than 7 percent of GDP. It vaulted to almost 30 percent of GDP by the end of World War I, and then settled down to 10 percent of GDP in the 1920s. In the 1930s spending doubled to 20 percent of GDP. Defense spending in World War II drove overall government spending over 50 percent of GDP before declining to 22 percent of GDP in the late 1940s. The 1950s began a steady spending increase to about 36 percent of GDP by 1982. In the 1990s and 2000s government spending stayed about constant at 33-35 percent of GDP, but in the aftermath of the Crash of 2008 spending has jogged up to 40 percent of GDP.

Federal, State, Local Spending in 20th Century


Click chart for briefing on Total Spending.
For numbers from 1900-2018 click here.


At the start of the 20th century, government spending was principally local government spending. Out of a total of 7 percent of GDP, a full 4 percent was spent at the local level. Federal spending spiked in World War I, but in the 1920s, local government still represented about half of all government spending. In the 1930s this changed, and federal spending surged to about half of all government spending. After the spike of World War II the federal share increased again and state government spending also began to increase as a percent of GDP, so that by the 2010s federal spending checked in at over 20 percent of GDP, state spending amounted to 8 to 9 percent of GDP and local spending exceeded 10 percent of GDP.

Top Spending Requests:

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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.

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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


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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 and Local Finances FY12

> data update schedule.

Data Sources for 2009_2019:

Sources for 2009:

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

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.

Gross State Product Update for 2013

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its Gross State Product (GSP) data for 2013 on June 11, 2014.

Usgovernmentspending.com has updated its individual state GSPs for 2013 and projected nominal and real GSP through 2019 for each state using the projected national GDP numbers from Table 10.1 in the Historical Tables for the Federal FY2014 Budget and the historical GDP data series from the BEA as a baseline.

As before we have projected individual state GSPs out to 2019 by applying a factor to reflect each state's deviation from the national growth rate. (E.g. In 2013 the national real GDP expanded by 1.9 percent. But North Dakota grew by 9.7 percent, a deviation of nearly 7 percent. The deviation is reduced by 40 percent for each year after 2013, making the assumption that each state will slowly revert to the national norm.)

Usgovernmentspending.com displays individual state data going back to 1957, but BEA has nominal GSP data going back to only 1963, and real GSP data going back to 1987.  Also the 1987-1997 real GSP data is in 1997 dollars, not 2009 dollars like the 1997-present data, and the pre-1997 data is based on a different model than post 1997 data.  For the pre-1997 data we have factored it to remove any "bumps" over the 1997 transition.

Because usgovernmentspending.com needs GSP data to provide e.g., spending as a percent of GDP, we have extended the two BEA GSP data series back to 1957.  We have assumed that the rate of change of GSP prior to 1963 is the same as the national GDP and we have assumed that the rate of change of real GSP prior to 1987 is the same as the nation real GDP growth rate.

Click here to view a complete list of US states and their 2013 GSP growth rates.

Spend links

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

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Christopher Chantrill.

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