News Release

Federal government spending reached 31% of Gross Domestic Product in 2020, most since World War II

February 8, 2022 (Salt Lake City) – In 2020, U.S. government expenditures climbed to 31.2% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the largest expenditure as a percent GDP since the end of World War II. Such a level of government participation in the nation’s economy alarms some analysts. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute today released a report that analyzes whether Utah has seen similar growth trends, or followed its own path related to government spending.

“Total state expenditures in Utah (from all sources) increased from $2.6 billion in 1989 to $13.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 400%,” said Michael Christensen, Gardner Institute scholar-in-residence and lead author of the study. “However, when state expenditures are measured per $1,000 of total personal income (TPI) during the 30-year period of 1989-2019, state government expenditures have declined from $110 to $89, a drop of 19.3%. This story of a shrinking Utah government is similar when mea