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Recent US Federal Deficit Numbers

Obama Deficits
FY 2015*: $577 billion
FY 2014*: $744 billion
FY 2013: $680 billion
FY 2012: $1,087 billion
FY 2011: $1,300 billion
FY 2010: $1,294 billion
Bush Deficits
FY 2009†: $1,413 billion
FY 2008: $458 billion
FY 2007: $161 billion
FY 2006: $248 billion
FY 2005: $318 billion
for more years click here.

Although the federal deficit is the amount each year by which federal outlays in the federal budget exceed federal receipts, the gross federal debt increases each year by substantially more than the amount of the deficit each year. That is because a substantial amount of federal borrowing is not counted in the budget. See here.


* Federal Deficit is budgeted.
† Some people have emailed to insist that the FY 2009 deficit should be assigned to Obama. Good point.

Deficit Charts   also: Spending Charts  Revenue Charts  Debt Charts  


Recent US Federal Deficits

Click chart for briefing on Federal Deficit.
For numbers and more click here.

Click chart for briefing on Federal Deficit.
For numbers and more click here.

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

US Federal Deficits in the 20th Century

Click chart for briefing on Federal Deficit.
For numbers from 1900-2016 click here.

The two major peaks of the federal deficit in the 20th century occurred during World War I and World War II. Deficits increased steadily from the 1960s through the early 1990s, and then declined rapidly for the remainder of the 1990s. The federal deficit went over 10 percent of GDP in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008.

US Federal Deficits since the Founding

Click chart for briefing on Federal Deficit.
For numbers from 1792-2016 click here.

The United States government did not always run a deficit. In the 19th century the federal government typically only ran deficits during wartime or during financial crises. The government ran a deficit of 2 percent of GDP at the end of the war of 1812, and through the decade after the Panic of 1837 and culminating in the US - Mexican War of 1846-48. It ran a deficit of over 7 percent of GDP in the Civil War; and ran a deficit in the depressed 1890s.
In the 20th century the US ran a defict during World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and in almost all years since 1960, during peace and war.

There’s much, much more:

  • Create CHARTS of government spending history here.
  • Look at TABLES of spending breakdown year-by-year for federal, state, and local here.
  • DOWNLOAD data for a single year here.
  • Take a TOUR of the website here.

What is the spending data; where is it from?

  • Federal spending data begins in 1792.
  • State and local spending data begins in 1902.
  • 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

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Next Data Update

> State Finances FY13

> data update schedule.

Data Sources for :

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

> data sources for other years
> data update schedule.

US, State Population Update for 2014

On December 24, 2014 the US Census Bureau released its national and state population estimates for 2014.  On December 24, 2014 updated its US and state population data as follows:
  • We updated 2014 population data for US and states using data from US Census Bureau Population Estimates: vintage 2014 in file NST-EST2014-01.xls.
  • We projected 2014 thru 2019 for US and states assuming population rate change for 2013-24.
  • We updated 2015 thru 2019 for US using data from US Census Bureau 2012 National Population Projections in file NP2014-T1.xls. uses population data in computing per capita spending and revenue data.  You can see per capita spending data in a chart here, and in a table of spending here.

You can check the data update schedule here.

Tax links

us dataus chartdeficit/gdptaxes/gdpdebt/gdpus gdpus real gdp2009breakdownfederalstatelocal2010californianew yorktexas

Masthead was designed and executed by:

Christopher Chantrill.

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presented by Christopher Chantrill
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