USAFacts Launches its Second Annual ‘State of the Union in Numbers’

This year’s data guide reveals insight into COVID-19's impact on wages and steep job loss.

BELLEVUE, Wash.--()--Ahead of President Joe Biden’s Joint Address to Congress later this month, USAFacts today launched its second State of the Union in Numbers. This engaging, data-driven American portrait digs into the numbers behind the most common topics from four decades of State of the Union speeches. The State of the Union in Numbers provides government facts and figures against a contextual background so citizens can decide, for themselves, how the nation is doing.

The State of the Union in Numbers covers health and the pandemic, the American population, government budgets, economy and jobs, the standard of living, education, crime, defense, immigration, infrastructure, and energy and environment. With 83% of Americans agreeing that the spread of misinformation is a major problem, the State of the Union in Numbers empowers people to come together over a shared set of facts and debate a path forward.

“Numbers are essential in determining where we stand as a nation,” said USAFacts founder and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “I believe that government data is the best way for Americans to understand the state of the country. Americans deserve a unified presentation of the people’s data to independently decide if the country is moving in the right or wrong direction on any given issue.”

While 2020 data is not yet available for all topics as of publication, this year’s State of the Union in Numbers illustrates how the pandemic has left its mark on many aspects of American life.

Key takeaways include:

  • Middle class wealth — defined as the middle 20% of income earners — has grown slower than overall wealth. Middle class families went from owning 12% of wealth in 1990 to 7% in 2020.
  • The federal government collected $3.5 trillion in revenue in 2020 — or $10,457 per person.
  • The economy lost 9.3 million jobs in 2020, a 6.1% decrease from 2019 and larger than the 3.7% Great Recession decrease from 2008 to 2009.
  • Half of US households lost employment income during the pandemic. However, because of increased government support like unemployment insurance and other aid, personal income nationwide rose in 2020.
  • Defense spending increased in 2020 but is 11% lower than its 2010 peak. The largest portion (about 40%) compensates military and civilian personnel.
  • Carbon dioxide emissions were 11% lower in the first 10 months of 2020 compared to the same months in 2019, partly due to pandemic travel restrictions.
  • The US is again increasingly a nation of immigrants. Fourteen percent of people here are foreign born, up from the low of 5% in 1970 and near the high of 15% in the early 1900s.

Following today’s announcement, USAFacts will discuss the State of the Union in Numbers at The New York Times, and colleges and universities across the country, including Georgetown University, Spelman College, Stanford University and University of Texas at Austin.

About USAFacts

USAFacts is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan civic initiative making government data easy for all Americans to access and understand. USAFacts provides engaging visuals on data and trends in US spending, revenue, demographics, and policy outcomes to help Americans ground public debate in facts. It produces topical content throughout the year and has produced annual reports and 10-Ks on the nation. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @USAFacts, and sign up for the data-driven newsletter at www.usafacts.org.

Contacts

Lana McGilvray, lana@purposenorthamerica.com, (512) 970-8310

Lisa Conquergood, lisac@usafacts.org, (425) 332-4196

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Contacts

Lana McGilvray, lana@purposenorthamerica.com, (512) 970-8310

Lisa Conquergood, lisac@usafacts.org, (425) 332-4196