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Where Did Your Federal Dollars Go in 2006?


The federal government disbursed $2.45 trillion in domestic spending in 2006, according to two reports published by the U.S. Census Bureau. That represented an 7.5 percent increase in federal spending over 2005.

The first of the new reports, Consolidated Federal Funds Report: 2006, provides a broad overview of how and where the federal government allocates funds. Statistics are provided for each federal department and agency, and presented by state, county and subcounty area.

The second report, Federal Aid to States for Fiscal Year 2006, contains data on federal grants to state and local governments.

Defense spending totaled $400 billion in 2006. This amount includes procurement contracts, payroll, military pensions and grants. Department of Homeland Security spending totaled $57 billion.

Per capita spending among states was highest for Louisiana ($16,263). Mississippi was second ($14,516), followed by Alaska ($13,805). The states that received the lowest per capita distribution of federal funds were Nevada ($5,852), Utah ($6,162) and Minnesota ($6,175).

California received 10.3 percent of the total distribution of federal expenditures while Texas received 6.8 percent, followed by New York at 6.2 percent.

Nearly half of all domestic government spending (excluding interest on the federal debt) went to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which accounted for $1.16 trillion. The one-year increase in spending for these three programs was approximately $170 for every person living in the United States.

The government spent $739 billion on retirement and disability. Of that amount, 80 percent, or $594 billion, went to Social Security. Social Security was comprised of retirement insurance payments ($350 billion), survivors insurance ($107 billion), disability insurance ($99 billion) and supplemental security income payments ($38 billion).

The remaining federal dollars spent on retirement and disability went to civilian government workers’ retirements ($59 billion), military retirements ($36 billion) and veterans’ benefits ($34 billion).

California received the largest share of civilian federal government employee retirement and disability dollars ($5 billion), followed by Virginia ($4 billion). Florida received the most in military retirements ($3.7 billion), while Texas received the largest share of veterans’ benefits ($3.1 billion).

Other highlights:

* The federal government spent $569 billion on direct payments other than retirement and disability, which included hospital insurance ($188 billion), supplemental medical insurance ($161 billion), earned income tax credits ($38 billion), food stamps ($30 billion), unemployment compensation ($28 billion), agricultural assistance ($28 billion), federal employment health and life programs ($21 billion) and housing assistance ($9 billion).
* Procurement contracts for the federal government totaled $409 billion in 2006 with most going to the Defense Department ($266 billion). The Army received the largest share ($83 billion), followed by the Navy ($73 billion), the Air Force ($60 billion) and other defense ($50 billion).
* Among the $143 billion procured by nondefense agencies, the Department of Energy had the largest amount ($22 billion), followed by the Department of Veterans Affairs ($16 billion), Postal Service ($15 billion), Homeland Security ($15 billion), General Services Administration ($12 billion) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration ($11 billion).
* In addition to procurement funding, the federal government issued grants totaling $494 billion. Of these, Health and Human Services accounted for $283 billion, followed by Transportation ($58 billion), Education ($38 billion), Housing and Urban Development ($37 billion), and Agriculture ($26 billion).

Federal government direct expenditures for retirement and disability, direct payments, grants and procurement are provided for each state and county area.

Population figures used to calculate per capita for the 50 states, the District of Columbia and all counties come from the 2006 population estimates and can be found at

The data in these reports are not subject to sampling variability but are subject to nonsampling errors, which include errors of response and processing.
These reports present data for the states and counties only. They do not support the application of federal spending data directly for other areas such as places and congressional districts.


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