U.S. expenditures for defense and education, 1940-2009

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 13 February 2009

Defense spending includes all federal spending for national defense, DOD and civilian, but excludes veterans affairs. Defense spending peak in 1977 is due to inclusion of the 1977 transition quarter expenditures. Public school spending includes all government expenditures (federal, state, and local) for public schools elementary through high school. All education spending includes public school spending plus expenditures for private primary and secondary schools and for private and public post-secondary institutions. All figures adjusted for inflation (expressed in 2008 $)

The table below gives yearly expenditures in millions of inflation-adjusted dollars (2008 $):

yeardefensepublic K-12all education
194024,38734,435 
194193,311  
1942337,851  
1943808,672  
1944932,470  
1945957,356  
1946480,358  
1947123,888  
194880,227  
1949111,983  
1950118,96950,60873,632
1951192,500  
1952360,00857,36583,853
1953406,515  
1954376,11969,412100,370
1955327,838  
1956324,74083,661121,479
1957337,321  
1958336,54897,690144,173
1959347,497  
1960336,287109,089155,909
1961342,294  
1962357,524125,490183,239
1963360,335  
1964364,500141,954213,034
1965332,735  
1966373,895168,884260,956
1967445,432  
1968494,574199,077311,248
1969474,866  
1970443,987221,108349,067
1971407,619235,149369,907
1972395,010239,728381,719
1973367,752248,675397,616
1974349,387250,855401,068
1975342,923257,051411,873
1976331,763261,360422,035
1977414,379259,530426,031
1978335,993264,995434,365
1979339,080259,887430,786
1980343,834253,774423,322
1981363,824246,778418,019
1982398,615242,559416,296
1983436,208247,713428,095
1984453,948257,175445,756
1985486,582265,930464,603
1986513,688280,362489,286
1987515,159296,973518,574
1988509,432306,070534,847
1989508,402326,910564,531
1990477,495344,023591,494
1991415,023351,731606,048
1992439,819358,078620,839
1993416,476364,345633,628
1994392,657372,518647,511
1995368,950380,827662,515
1996350,586390,203675,737
1997347,586404,578696,177
1998339,097424,355724,114
1999340,871443,989753,436
2000353,950463,062787,444
2001354,979481,695826,665
2002399,913501,603867,313
2003453,862512,847897,036
2004499,529523,201916,009
2005525,517534,506937,633
2006533,986540,619952,274
2007552,473556,156977,548
2008581,327  
2009650,443  

Sources: Defense expenditures, U.S. GAO budget FY 2009 [http://frwebgate5.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/TEXTgate.cgi?WAISdocID=1287937791+7+1+0&WAISaction=retrieve]; Education expenditures, U.S. Dept. of Education National Center for Education Statistics [http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_026.asp?referrer=list and http://nces.ed.gov/pubs91/91660.pdf]; CPI for inflation adjustments, U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics [ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/cpi/cpiai.txt],


© 2001, 2006, 2009 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 13 February 2009.
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