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Comparing U.S. Federal Spending with Revenue

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chart showing U.S. spending compared to revenue in 2021

Comparing U.S. Federal Spending with Revenue

In 2021, the U.S. government spent $6.8 trillion on various expenditures and government-aided programs. Where was this money spent, and how much was covered by taxpayers’ dollars?

This graphic by Truman Du shows a breakdown of U.S. federal spending in 2021, as well as a breakdown of where the money came from, using data from USAspending.gov.

Money Comes and Goes

In 2021, U.S. government revenue totaled more than $4 trillion. About half of it came from individual income taxes, while about 30% came from Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Here’s a full breakdown of revenue sources in 2021:

U.S. Government Revenue Source2021 Amount ($B)
Individual income taxes$2,044
Social security and medicare taxes$1,247
Corporate income taxes$372
Miscellaneous revenue$133
Custom duties$80
Excise taxes$75
Unemployment insurance$57
Estate and gift taxes$27
Other retirement$10
Total$4,045

Despite the trillions in revenue generated, like most years, U.S. federal spending was higher in 2021, which put the federal government in a budget deficit of $2.7 trillion.

This was the second highest deficit on record, down from a peak of $3.1 trillion in 2020 during the height of the global pandemic.

After income and Social Security spending, health was the third-largest expenditure in 2021. Here’s a look at the full breakdown, and where spending was allocated last year:

U.S. Government Spending Category2021 Amount ($B)
Income security$1,649
Social security$1,135
Health$797
National defense$755
Medicare$697
Net interest$352
Commerce and housing credit$304
Education$297
General government$270
Veterans benefits$234
Transportation$155
Administration of Justice$72
Agriculture$50
International affairs$47
Community and regional development$47
Natural resources$42
General science, space and technology$36
Energy$6
Offsetting revenue collected but not attributed to functions($124)
Total$6,820

Spending is expected to curb further in 2022. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office via AP News, the 2022 deficit is projected to drop to $1.15 trillion and will continue to decrease for the next three years.

U.S. National Debt

In March 2021, U.S. national debt reached an all-time high of $28 trillion. That includes intragovernmental holdings, which is about $6 trillion of debt owed within the government itself.

While overall debt is rising, the cost of servicing this debt has actually dropped in recent years thanks to record low interest rates.

U.S. federal debt costs

However, with interest rates on the rise again this year, servicing the existing national debt is becoming more expensive.

And eventually, when it comes time for the U.S. government to refinance its loans, a greater portion of the federal budget will need to be allocated to servicing debt, which will put a squeeze on other areas of spending.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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China

Which Countries Have the Most Economic Influence in Southeast Asia?

One country dominates this survey of who has the most economic influence in the region.

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A cropped bar chart depicting the countries/ regions identified by respondents as having the greatest economic influence in Southeast Asia.

Countries With the Most Economic Influence in Southeast Asia

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

This chart visualizes the results of a 2024 survey conducted by the ASEAN Studies Centre at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Nearly 2,000 respondents from 10 countries were asked to select which country/region they believe has the most influential economic power in Southeast Asia.

The countries surveyed are all member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a political and economic union of 10 countries in Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia Perceptions: Who’s Got Economic Influence?

Across all ASEAN nations, China is regarded as the region’s most influential economic power.

Laos and Thailand had the highest share of respondents picking China, at 78% and 71% respectively. As the report points out, China is Laos’ largest foreign investor as well as its top export market.

Country🇨🇳 China🌏 ASEAN🇺🇸 U.S.
🇧🇳 Brunei64%18%8%
🇰🇭 Cambodia60%11%20%
🇮🇩 Indonesia54%28%8%
🇱🇦 Laos78%8%8%
🇲🇾 Malaysia67%17%9%
🇲🇲 Myanmar60%7%20%
🇵🇭 Philippines31%26%28%
🇸🇬 Singapore60%15%21%
🇹🇭 Thailand71%9%11%
🇻🇳 Vietnam53%29%11%

Note: Percentages are rounded.

Other ASEAN countries usually score highly as well, along with the United States.

It’s only in the Philippines, where China (31%), the U.S. (28%) and ASEAN (26%) were perceived as having a similar amount of influence.

ASEAN, Japan, and the EU

Filipinos also rated Japan’s economic influence the highest (9%) compared to those surveyed in other ASEAN countries. In 2023, the Southeast Asian bloc celebrated 50 years of friendship with Japan, marking it as one of their most important “dialogue partners.”

Country🇯🇵 Japan🇪🇺 EU🌐 Other
🇧🇳 Brunei3%1%7%
🇰🇭 Cambodia1%5%3%
🇮🇩 Indonesia5%1%3%
🇱🇦 Laos1%4%1%
🇲🇾 Malaysia4%0%2%
🇲🇲 Myanmar6%6%2%
🇵🇭 Philippines9%4%3%
🇸🇬 Singapore3%0%2%
🇹🇭 Thailand3%4%4%
🇻🇳 Vietnam3%3%2%

Note: Percentages are rounded. Other countries include: Australia, South Korea, India, and the UK.

The EU also received single-percentage responses, its highest share coming from Myanmar (6%), Cambodia (5%), and Laos (4%).

Finally, the report contrasted China’s robust economic influence with concerns about its growing impact in the region. Respondents from Vietnam (88%), Myanmar (88%), and Thailand (80%) had the highest levels of concern, despite their countries’ strong trade ties with China.

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