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What is the Total US Government Revenue?

In FY 2020, total US government revenue, federal, state, and local, is “guesstimated” to be $7.17 trillion. Federal revenue is budgeted at $3.64 trillion; state revenue is “guesstimated” at $2.13 trillion; local revenue is “guesstimated” at $1.39 trillion.

a usgovernmentrevenue.com briefing:

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Estimated Government Revenue for FY 2020



In 2020 the governments in the United States are expected to collect about 31 percent of Gross Domestic Product in revenue. The federal government will collect about 16.15 percent of GDP, the states will collect about 7.91 percent of GDP, and local governments about 6.74 percent of GDP.

Government Revenue: Federal, State, Local

Governments in the US will collect $7.17 trillion in 2020.

Table 3.01: Total Revenue in 2020

In fiscal 2020 the federal government budgets that revenue will be $3.6 trillion. State revenue for 2020 is "guesstimated" by usgovernmentrevenue.com at $2.1 trillion and local government revenue is "guesstimated" by usgovernmentrevenue.com at $1.4 trillion.

Total revenue at all levels of government in the United States is "guesstimated" by usgovernmentrevenue.com to be $7.2 trillion in 2020.


Government Revenue: the Sources

The governments in the US collect about $3.9 trillion in a year income and payroll taxes.

Table 3.02: Total Revenue Breakdown FY 2020

Income tax is where governments collect the most tax: in federal, state, and local income tax they will collect about $2.6 trillion in 2020. Next in line are social insurance taxes, including Social Security, unemployment and hospital taxes, adding up to $2.0 trillion. Ad-valorem taxes, i.e. sales taxes and property taxes, will amount to about $1.5 trillion in 2020. Fees and Charges will add up to $0.6 trillion, and Business and Other Revenue will add up to $0.5 trillion in 2020.

These revenue estimates are based on projections in the federal budget for federal revenue and on "guesstimates" of state and local revenue by usgovernmentrevenue.com.

Government Revenue: the Details

Government revenue is collected at all levels of government: federal, state, and local.

Table 3.03: Total Revenue Details FY 2020

At 51 percent, the federal government collects about half of total government revenue, with states collecting 30 percent and local governments 19 percent. Overwhelmingly, the federal take is collected as income taxes and social insurance payroll taxes. State governments balance their take between income taxes, ad-valorem taxes and other forms of revenue. Local governments collect revenue from ad-valorem taxes such as property taxes and sales taxes.

Government Revenue: the Piecharts

The source of government revenue is mostly income tax for the federal government, and mostly ad-valorem taxes at the local level.

Chart 3.04: Total Revenue Pie

Total government revenue in the United States, including federal, state, and local governments, is expected to total $7.17 trillion in 2020. The total features five major sources. The largest share is income taxes, at 37 percent of total revenue; social insurance at 28 percent of total revenue; ad-valorem taxes, at 20 percent of revenue; and fees and charges, at 8 percent of total revenue; and business and other revenue at 7 percent of total revenue.

Pie Chart of Federal Government Revenue

Chart 3.05: Federal Revenue Pie

Federal revenue is budgeted at $3.64 trillion for FY 2020. Almost all revenue comes from income taxes, individual and corporate, at 57 percent of total federal revenue; and social insurance taxes, at 36 percent of total federal revenue.

Pie Chart of State Government Revenue

Chart 3.06: State Revenue Pie

State government revenue, as "guesstimated" by usgovernmentrevenue.com, will total about $2.13 trillion in FY 2020, and is balanced between five major sources. The largest revenue source is ad-valorem taxes — property and sales taxes — at 28 percent of total state revenue. Social insurance taxes, including income from state employee retirement systems, amount to 28 percent of state revenue. State income taxes amount to 23 percent of total state revenue. Fees and charges amount to 13 percent of total state revenue; state business revenue comes in at 8 percent of receipts.

Pie Chart of Local Government Revenue

Chart 3.07: Local Revenue Pie

Local government revenue, as "guesstimated" by usgovernmentrevenue.com, will total about $1.39 trillion in FY 2020, and is dominated by ad-valorem taxes — i.e. property and sales taxes — amounting to 46 percent of total local government revenue. Fees and changes amount to 24 percent of local revenue; business revenue, such as utilities and liquor stores, amounts to 19 percent of total local revenue. The remaining revenue is 10 percent of total local receipts.

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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 1820.

State and local revenue data for individual states begins in 1957.

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Next Data Update

> US, State Pop FY17

> data update schedule.

Data Sources for 2020:

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.

State and Local Finances for FY 2017

On November 1, 2019 we updated the state and local spending and revenue for FY 2017 using the new Census Bureau State and Local Government Finances summaries for FY 2017 released on October 30, 2019.  This includes state and local spending for the United States as a whole and the 50 individual states and the District of Columbia.

State and local spending and revenue for FY2017 are now actual historical spending as reported by the Census Bureau.  Previously state spending and revenue for FY2017 were actual, and local spending and revenue were estimated.  The following table shows the difference between estimated and actual local spending and revenue for FY2017:

FY 2017Estimated
$ billion
Actual
$ billion
Local Spending$1,850$1,895
Local Revenue$1,254$1,335

The Census Bureau proposes to update revised state and local finances for 2016 in December 2019

We have updated the "guesstimated" state and local finances for FY2018-24 as indicated in our "guesstimate" blog entries.

UPDATE 11/04/2019:

We have updated data for individual local government units with data for 2017.

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