Sunday, December 31, 2017

US, State Population Update for 2017

On December 20, 2017 the US Census Bureau released its US national and state population estimates for July 1, 2017.  On December 31, 2017 updated its US and state population data as follows:
  • We updated 2010-2017 population data for US and states using data from US Census Bureau Population Estimates: vintage 2017 in file nst-est2017-01.xlsx.
  • We projected 2018 thru 2022 for US and the states assuming population rate change for 2016-17.
  • We updated 2018 thru 2022 for US only using data from US Census Bureau 2014 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.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Federal Deficit, Outlays, and Receipts Actuals for FY17

On October 20, 2017, the US Treasury reported in its Monthly Treasury Statement (and xls) for September that the federal deficit for FY 2017 ending September 30, 2017, was $666 billion. Here are the numbers, including total receipts, total outlays, and deficit compared with the numbers projected in the FY 2018 federal budget published in May 2017:

Federal Finances
FY 2017 Outcomes
Receipts $3,460$3,315
Deficit$603$666 now shows the new numbers for total FY 2017 total outlays and receipts on its Estimate vs. Actual page.

The Monthly Treasury Statement includes "Table 4: Receipts of the United States Government, September 2017 and Other Periods." This table of receipts by source is used for to post federal receipt actuals for FY 2017.

This FTS report on FY 17 actuals is a problem for because this site uses Historical Table 3.2--Outlays by Function and Subfunction from the Budget of the United States as its basic source for federal subfunction outlays. But the Monthly Treasury Statement only includes "Table 9. Summary of Receipts by Source, and Outlays by Function of the U.S. Government, September 2017 and Other Periods". Subfunction amounts don't get reported until the FY19 budget in February 2018. Until then estimates actual outlays by "subfunction" for FY 2017 by factoring subfunction budgeted amounts for FY17 by the ratio between relevant actual and budgeted "function" amounts where actual outlays by subfunction cannot be gleaned from the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Final detailed FY 2017 actuals will not appear on until the FY 2019 federal budget is published in February 2018 with the actual outlays for FY 2017 in Historical Table 3.2--Outlays by Function and Subfunction.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

State and Local Finances for FY 2015

On October 10, 2017 we updated the state and local spending and revenue for FY 2015 using the new Census Bureau State and Local Government Finances summaries for FY 2015 released on September 7, 2017.  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 FY2015 are now actual historical spending as reported by the Census Bureau.  Previously state spending and revenue for FY2015 was actual, and local spending and revenue was estimated.  The following table shows the difference between estimated and actual local spending and revenue for FY2015:

FY 2015Estimated
$ billion
$ billion
Local Spending$1,701$1,763
Local Revenue$1,268$1,206

The Census Bureau has also updated state and local finances for 2012, 2013 and 2014, as follows:

FY 2012
$ billion
FY 2012
$ billion
FY 2013
$ billion
FY 2013
$ billion
FY 2014
$ billion
FY 2014
$ billion
State Spending$1,497$1,497$1,517$1,517$1,552$1,550
Local Spending$1,650$1,651$1,658$1,662$1,707$1,711
State Revenue$1,366$1,366$1,666$1,668$1,811$1,814
Local Revenue$1,077$1,077$1,155$1,155$1,221$1,229

We have updated the "guesstimated" state and local finances for FY2016-22 as indicated in our "guesstimate" blog entries.

Monday, September 25, 2017

State FY17 Taxes Update

On September 25, 2017 updated FY2017 state revenue with quarterly tax data released by the US Census Bureau on September 19, 2017.  Local tax data was updated by assuming that local taxes for 2017 changed by the same percent as state taxes of the same type.

State and local spending projections for FY2018 to FY2022 have been reestimated using the "Guesstimate" method.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CBO Long Term Budget Outlook for 2017

On March 30, 2017 the Congressional Budget Office released its annual Long Term Budget Outlook for 2017, which projects federal spending and revenue out into the 2040s.  As before, the CBO study shows that federal health-care programs will eat the budget, with federal spending exceeding 28 percent GDP by mid century while federal revenue stays below 20 percent GDP. has updated its chart of the CBO Long Term Budget Outlook here.  You can download the data and also view CBO Long Term Budget Outlooks going back to 1999.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Medicare Part C Updated From 2017 Trustee Report has updated its estimate of Medicare Part C, the Medicare Advantage program using data in the Medicare Trustees Report of 2017 that was released July 13, 2017. You can see the results here.

The Budget of the United States Government reports Medicare outlays as a single line item, subfunction 571 in Historical Table 3.2, but shows a breakdown of the Medicare program into its constituent parts, as follows:
  1. Part A: Hospital Insurance
  2. Part B: Supplementary Medical Insurance
  3. Part C: Medicare Advantage
  4. Part D: SMI Drug Plan
These data are constructed from data in the Public Budget Database and Table IV.C2 in the Medicare Trustees Report 2017. You can inspect the extracted data from Medicare Trustees Reports Table IV.C2 here.

See the blog entry that introduced Medicare Part C here.

Medicare/Social Security 2017 Trustee Reports Released

On July 13, 2017, the Center for Medicare Services released its annual Medicare Trustees Report, which projects Medicare spending out to 2090.  As in the past, the report shows that federal health-care programs will eat the budget. has updated its chart of the Medicare Outlook here based on data in the 2017 Medicare Trustees Report.  You can download the data and also view selected Medicare Trustee forecasts going back to 2005.

On July 13, 2017, the Social Security Administration released its annual OASDI Trustees Report, which projects Social Security spending out to 2090.  As in the past, the report shows that Social Security spending will max out at about 6 percent of GDP. has updated its chart of the Social Security Outlook here based on data in the 2017 OASDI Trustees Report.  You can download the data and also view selected OASDI Trustee forecasts going back to 1997.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Final Federal Budget for FY18 Released

On May 23, 2017, we updated with the numbers from the historical tables in the Budget of the United States Government for Fiscal Year 2018. Actual revenue for FY 2016 and estimated revenue through FY 2022 come from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, and 2.5. Actual spending for FY 2016 and estimated spending at the subfunction level through FY 2022 come from Table 3.2. Budget Authority estimates come from Table 5.1, federal debt estimates come from Table 7.1 and GDP estimates come from Table 10.1. Intergovernmental transfers come from Table 12.3.

Here is how headline budget estimates for the upcoming FY 2018 fiscal year have changed since the release of the FY 2017 budget a year ago in 2016.

FY 2018 Federal Budget Changes Since 2016
$ billionEstimate in
FY17 Budget
Estimate in
FY18 Budget
Federal Outlays$4,352.2$4,094.5-$257.7
Federal Receipts$3,898.6$3,654.3-$244.3
Federal Deficit$453.6$440.2-$13.4

You can see line item changes from budget to budget here. You can compare budget estimates with actuals here.

Account level spending estimates through FY 2022 come from the Outlays table in the Public Budget Database and were updated on on May 23, 2017.

Account level budget authority estimates through FY 2022 come from the Budget Authority table in the Public Budget Database and were updated on on May 23, 2017.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

State Finances for FY2015

On May 11, 2017 the US Census Bureau released data on state finances for FY 2015 here, including spending and revenue for each individual state and for all states combined.

On May 20, 2017 we updated state and local spending and revenue data for FY2015 through FY2021 as follows:
  1. We replaced "guesstimatedstate spending and revenue data for FY2014 using the new FY2015 data from the Census Bureau.
  2. We replaced "guesstimatedlocal spending and revenue data for FY 2015 with estimates for each spending and revenue category using the trends in state finances between FY 2014 and FY 2015.
  3. We replaced "guesstimatedstate revenue data for FY 2016 with data from the Census Bureau's quarterly state tax summary here.
  4. We replaced "guesstimatedlocal revenue data for FY 2016 with estimates for each category using trends for each category of state revenue between FY 2014 and FY 2015.
  5. We replaced "guesstimated" state and local spending and revenue for FY 2016 thru FY2021 with new guesstimates based on the latest Census Bureau data for FY 2015 state finances and FY 2016 quarterly tax data.

State Finances for FY2015
Estimate vs. Actual

$ billionGuesstimateActual

We expect the Census Bureau to release local spending and revenue data for FY 2015 not earlier than Summer 2017.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gross State Product Data for 2016

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its Gross State Product (GSP) data for 2016 on May 11, 2017. has updated its individual state GSPs for 2016 and projected nominal and real GSP through 2021 for each state using the projected national GDP numbers from Table 10.1 in the Historical Tables for the Federal FY2017 Budget and the historical GDP data series from the BEA as a baseline. We will update the numbers with new budget GDP projections when the FY2018 budget is released.

As before we have projected individual state GSPs out to 2021 by applying a factor to reflect each state's deviation from the national growth rate. (E.g. In 2014 the national real GDP expanded by 2.4 percent. But North Dakota grew by 6.3 percent, a deviation of nearly 4 percent. The deviation is reduced by 40 percent for each year after 2014, making the assumption that each state will slowly revert to the national norm.)

Click here to view a complete list of US states and their 2016 GSP growth rates.

Monday, April 24, 2017

US Gross Output for 2016 Released

On April 24, 2017, updated its Gross Output series with the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, including nominal Gross Output for calendar 2016 of $32.189 trillion. Gross Output for some years previous to 2016 have been revised by BEA. now reports Gross Output on its Spending Details page and permits charting of spending and revenue as "percent of Gross Output".

The Gross Output series extends back to 1947.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Federal Revenue by State for 2015

On April 7, 2017, we updated with the numbers from "SOI Tax Stats - Gross Collections, by Type of Tax and State, Fiscal Year - IRS Data Book Table 5" of the IRS Data Book for 2015.  The data can be viewed on the Federal Revenue by State page here.

UPDATED: 1/6/2018 with new IRS URLs.

Agency Debt Update for 2016 has updated its data for agency debt from the Federal Reserve Board database. Data is now available for the period 1945-2016. You can see our Agency Debt page here, and a comparison with the official "on-the-books" debt here.

For the period 2017 to 2022 has "guesstimated" the agency debt, assuming that it increases at the same rate as it did in 2015 to 2016.

See "Federal 'Agency Debt' Added" for explanation of  data derivation.

Data is downloaded from the FRB data download page for "Financial Accounts of the United States (Z.1)" as follows.

  1. Select a preformatted data package: "L.211 (A) Agency- and GSE-Backed Securities, n.s.a."
  2. Click: Format package.
  3. Select: 100 years.
  4. Click: Go to Download.
  5. Click: Download File.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

US GDP for 2016 Updated

On April 6, 2017, updated its GDP series with the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, including nominal GDP for calendar 2016 of $18.569 trillion and real GDP  for calendar 2016 of $16.662 trillion in 2009 dollars. GDP for some years previous to 2016 have been revised by BEA. uses the BEA GDP data series from 1929 to the present and as its GDP source from 1790 to 1928.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

FY18 Budget Blueprint Released

On March 16, 2018 the Trump administration issued a Budget Blueprint outlining proposed changes to "discretionary" spending for Fiscal Year 2018. The following table shows the major changes to Budget Authority in excess of $2 billion per agency.

AgencyFY18 Change
in $ billion
Health and
Human Services
State and Intl Aid-10.9

Because usgovernmentspending spending data is based on Historical Table 3.2, it shows spending by function rather than by agency. Until Table 3.2 is published in the final version of the FY18 budget we cannot exactly predict how the Table 3.2 numbers will change at the subfunction level.

But we have applied the Budget Blueprint budget authority changes into the budgeted FY18 outlays by guessing the application of agency level changes to subfunction changes to give a rough feeling of what the Trump changes look like. You can check out what is going on here or here.

The numbers will change when the final FY18 federal budget numbers come out.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Feds Borrow More Than The "Deficit"

People naturally assume that the annual Deficit is the total that the Federal government borrows each year. Actually this is not so. The Deficit is simply the difference between Federal Outlays and Federal Receipts. Usually, the Feds borrow a lot more than the official Deficit.

Like below, in $ billion:


We have provided the difference between the Debt increase and the Deficit for each year under "Other Borrowing" on the Spending Details page. There are two items:

"Borrowings from Govt. Accounts" = Increase in Debt held by government, also known as "Federal Securities Held as Investments of Government Accounts" in Table 6, Schedule D of the Monthly Treasury Statement.

"Other Liability Increase" = (Increase in Total Federal Securities) - (Official Deficit) - (Borrowings from Govt. Accounts)

Other Borrowing = (Increase in Federal Debt) - (Official Deficit)

But what does it mean?

"Borrowings from Govt. Accounts" means everything from spare cash in some federal agency to excess monies contributed to various Trust Funds from Social Security to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

"Other Liability Increase"  is everything else on the Federal balance sheet, from changes in operating cash in the Treasury's Federal Reserve Account to IMF transactions. See Table 6 in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Note that these numbers do not include the unfunded liabilities of the federal government's entitlement programs.

Updated 12/18/2019.