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What is the Total US Government Revenue?

In FY 2016, total US government revenue, federal, state, and local, was “guesstimated” to be $6.61 trillion, with federal $3.27 trillion; state $1.97 trillion; local $1.38 trillion.

Total Revenue Analysis   also: Spending Charts  Debt Charts  Deficit Charts  

 

This page shows the current trends in US National revenue. There are also charts on US National revenue history.

Recent US Total Government Revenue

Chart R.01t: Recent Total Revenue

Chart R.02t: Recent Total Revenue as Pct GDP

Total Revenue was increasing strongly, year on year, in the mid 2000s from $4.1 trillion to $4.6 trillion in 2007. But total revenues cratered in the Great Recession, down to a about $3.9 trillion in 2009. In the subsequent recovery total revenues increased rapidly to $4.5 trillion by 2011. After a glitch in 2012 revenues increased steadily to an expected $6 trillion in 2015.

Viewed from a GDP perspective, total revenue was increasing steadily as a percent of GDP from 32.5 percent in 2005 to reach nearly 36 percent in 2007. In the Great Recession total revenues plunged down to about 25.4 percent GDP in 2009 but returned to over 30 percent of GDP in 2010 and has slowly returned to about 33 percent GDP by 2015.

US Total Government Revenue Since 1900

Chart R.03t: Total Revenue in 20th Century

Government revenue at the start of the 20th century was about 7 percent of GDP. It rapidly increased throughout the first half of the century, reaching about 27 percent of GDP by the early 1950s, after a peak of 30 percent of GDP achieved at the end of World War II. The 1950s began a steady revenue increase to about 35 percent of GDP by 2000. Since 2000 government revenue has hit over 35 percent at the peak of the business cycle while plunging to 30 percent of GDP during recessions.

Federal, State, Local Revenue in 20th Century

Chart R.04t: Total Government Revenue
by Government Level


At the start of the 20th century, about half of government revenue was local government revenue. Out of a total of 7 percent of GDP, a full 3.5 percent was collected at the local level. Federal revenue spiked in World War I, but by the mid 1920s, local government revenue and federal revenue were about equal at 5 percent of GDP, with state revenue below 2 percent of GDP. During the 1930s this changed, as state revenue surged to 5 percent of GDP while federal revenue increased to 7 to 8 percent of GDP and local revenue increased to about 6 percent of GDP. After the spike of World War II, when federal revenue briefly hit almost 24 percent of GDP, state and local governments entered the 1950s at about 4 percent of GDP while federal revenue fluctuated between 16 and 18 percent of GDP. Since the 1950s state and local revenue has steadily increased, with state revenue reaching 10 percent of GDP and local revenue reaching 6.5 percent of GDP in 2000.

Top Revenue Requests:

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Revenue Data Sources

Revenue data is from official government sources.

Gross Domestic Product data comes from US Bureau of Economic Analysis and measuringworth.com.

Detailed table of revenue data sources here.

Federal revenue data begins in 1792.

State and local revenue data begins in 1890.

State and local revenue 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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Next Data Update

> US, State Pop FY14

> data update schedule.

Data Sources for 2012_2021:

Sources for 2012:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported revenue forward to future years

Sources for 2021:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported revenue forward to future years

> data sources for other years
> data update schedule.

Federal Deficit and Outlay Actuals for FY16

On October 14, 2016, the US Treasury reported in its Monthly Treasury Statement (and xls) for September that the federal deficit for FY 2016 ending September 30 was $587 billion. Here are the numbers, including total receipts, total outlays, and deficit compared with the numbers projected in the FY 2017 federal budget published in February 2016:

Federal Finances
FY 2016 Outcomes
Budget
billions
Outcome
billions
Receipts $3,336$3,267
Outlays$3,951$3,854
Deficit$616$587

usfederalbudget.us now shows the new numbers for total FY 2016 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 usgovernmentspending.com to post federal receipt actuals for FY 2016.

The Monthly Treasury Statement includes "Table 9. Summary of Receipts by Source, and Outlays by Function of the U.S. Government, September 2016 and Other Periods".   This table of outlays by function makes it possible for usgovernmentspending.com to estimate actual outlays by "subfunction" for FY 2016 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 FY 2016 numbers will not appear on usgovernmentspending.com until the FY 2018 federal budget is published in February 2017 with the actual outlays for FY 2016 in Historical Table 3.2--Outlays by Function and Subfunction.

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