Ahead of the president’s scheduled State of the Union address to Congress, USAFacts today launched “State of the Union in Numbers”, a data-driven portrait of the state of our union. The new digital resource was created in response to polling data showing Americans are deeply skeptical about who and what sources to trust. Two hundred members of Congress also supported a non-partisan compilation of the government’s own data to help ground our debates in fact.
USAFacts’ State of the Union in Numbers presents data regarding the most popular issues from the last 40 years of State of the Union addresses, and is part of a USAFacts.org site relaunch—improving access to and the public’s understanding of the government’s own data. With interactive graphs on historical trends, the State of the Union in Numbers provides an approachable way to digest decades of available data.
“During the State of the Union address and response, Americans will hear different versions of how our country is progressing depending on the politician or media outlet providing the assessment,” said USAFacts founder and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “But the state of the union can be measured in numbers. The American people deserve to look at a unified presentation of their government’s own facts and be able to determine independently if the country is moving in the right or wrong direction on any given issue.”
“Democrats remain committed to fixing the issues we’ve been sent to Congress to address—from taking on the climate crisis, to fixing our infrastructure, to addressing the scourge of gun violence, and more,” said Senate Democratic Leader Schumer. “As we continue this work, the American people want and deserve clear, straightforward facts about our country without the noise and spin. USAFacts’ new resource is data-driven and approachable, and will serve as a critical tool in our fight to amplify truth, support informed advocacy, and ground our political and policy understandings in fact.”
“Elected officials and all Americans should have the most information and data available to them when making decisions that will impact their lives,” Senator Romney said. “I appreciate the work of USAFacts in launching a new resource to present straightforward information about the most pressing issues facing our nation.”
Topics include Population, Budget, Economy and Jobs, Standard of Living, Education, Health, Crime, Defense, Immigration, Infrastructure, and Energy and Environment.
Our population grew by 1.6 million from 2018 to 2019, with 38% of growth coming from immigration. This 0.5% annual population growth is the lowest rate since 1918.
We are again increasingly a nation of immigrants. Fourteen percent of people in the US are foreign born, up from a low of 5% in 1970 and near the high of 15% in the early 1900s.
We spent 28% more — $984 billion — than we took in as revenue, and the federal debt grew to $22.7 trillion.
The economy added 2.1 million jobs in 2019, a 1.4% increase from 2018. Healthcare generated 398,000 jobs — more than any other industry — while manufacturing created 46,000 jobs.
Median wages increased 0.1% (inflation adjusted) from 2017 to 2018. They’re up 1% since 2004, adjusting for inflation. Holding company wages increased 20% since 2004, whereas wages in retail and transportation decreased 4% and 11%, respectively.
The poverty rate decreased from 15.1% in 2010 to 11.8% in 2018. The rate fell from 27.4% to 20.8% for Black people and 26.5% to 17.6% for Hispanic people.
Defense spending increased in 2018 but is 17% lower than its 2010 peak. The largest portion (about 40%) compensates military and civilian personnel.
Our bridges are improving, with bridges rated as poor decreasing from 9.4% in 2012 to 7.6% in 2018; our train infrastructure is degrading, with two-thirds of train tunnels and nearly one-third of train control systems and elevated structures rated as poor or substandard as of last count; and in 2017, vehicle commuters were delayed by traffic congestion an average of 54 hours, compared to 18 hours in 1982.
We are emitting fewer greenhouse gases per person than in 1990. In 2017, the US made up 14% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and emitted more metric tons of carbon dioxide (5.1 billion metric tons) than any country in the world other than China (10.4 billion metric tons).
The State of the Union in Numbers is hosted on USAFacts’ new website, which also launched today. The site features a more intuitive layout, improved search, additional context for metrics and more.
Following today’s announcement, USAFacts will begin a nationwide tour to help people across the country to explore the facts.
USAFacts is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan civic initiative providing the most comprehensive and understandable single source of government data. USAFacts provides an online resource of well-visualized data and trends in US spending, revenue, demographics and policy outcomes – aimed at helping to ground our public debate in facts. It produces topical content throughout the year and has produced annual reports and 10-Ks on the nation. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @USAFacts, and sign up for the data-driven newsletter at www.usafacts.org