Deficit: The amount by which the government’s total budget outlays exceeds its total receipts for a fiscal year. US Senate Budget Committee
In FY 2018 the federal deficit was $779 billion. But the gross federal debt increased by $1250 billion. Here is why.
This year, FY 2019, the federal government in its latest budget has estimated that the deficit will be $984 billion.
Here is the federal deficit by year for the last decade:
Click for deficits from 1960 to present.
See also deficit as percent of GDP.
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The federal debt increases each year by more than the deficit. For FY 2019 the federal budget estimates that the federal debt will increase by about $1.24 trillion. That’s about $256 billion more than the official “deficit.” See Federal Debt.
But there’s more. There is the increase in in the “agency debt” of government-sponsored enterprises like the Federal National Mortgage Association. And there is the implied deficit from unfunded liabilities like Social Security and Medicare. See chart of latest Long-term Budget Outlook from the Congressional Budget Office.
Now you are ready to explore. Click here for the basics on the national debt and deficits. Click here for a look at overall government spending; click here for a look at the federal budget by function. And there is no better place to get up to speed than Spending 101’s online course on Federal Debt.
Chart D.03f: Federal Deficit in 20th Century
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.
Federal deficits increased in the early 2000s, and went over 10 percent of GDP in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008.
In the recovery from the Crash of 2008 deficits have slowly reduced to 3 percent of GDP.
Find NATIONAL DEBT today.
See DEBT ANALYSIS briefing.
See DEBT HISTORY briefing.
Take a COURSE at Spending 101.
Make your own CUSTOM CHART.
Debt data is from official government sources.
Detailed table of debt data sources here.
Federal debt data begins in 1792.
State and local debt data begins in 1820.
State and local debt data for individual states begins in 1957.
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> US, State Pop FY17
Sources for 2014:
Sources for 2023:
GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported spending forward to future years
FY 2018 Outcomes