9. INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE

KAKE News – – KAKE

KAKE News –  KAKE

By: Betsy Ladyzhets

Henry Han // Wikimedia Commons

State of the U.S. economy during the year you were born

The United States in the past century has gone from a developing industrialized nation to a global economic powerhouse. This country survived two major recessions (and several minor ones), weathered numerous wars, evolved its manufacturing and service industries, and developed a groundbreaking tech sector. But growth is rarely a straight line, as indicated by the state of the U.S. economy year-over-year. We have lived through dips and pitfalls, steady climbs and leaps. Today, we’ve reached a new precipice punctuated by a global pandemic, record-breaking $2 trillion stimulus package, and the tenuous stock market. With all of that unfolding in real-time, Stacker set out to trace the major events that define the economic legacy of the century.

We combined economic data and history to take a hard look at the country’s changing economy through the years. In each slide, you can find six metrics describing the economy from that year including the Consumer Price Index (CPI: the weighted average price of a bundle of goods and services that can be used to track inflation), the Gross Domestic Product (GDP: combined monetary value of all goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a given year), the nation’s federal debt, unemployment rate, and average or median household income of U.S. households. All data has been adjusted for inflation using the 2019 CPI.

Sources for these data are as follows:

Read on to find out how the U.S. economy was faring the year you were born and why.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 106.5 million
– CPI annual average: 20 (+15.6% annual change)
– GDP: $1,141 billion ($10,718 per capita)
– Federal debt: $331,796 million (29.1% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 1.3%
– Average household income: $17,127

Inflation and spending during World War I led to a recession in 1920, now often called a “forgotten depression,” with high inflation rates and high unemployment. Prohibition—the national ban of the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol—also went into effect in 1920. Those who supported Prohibition legislation expected an end to alcohol sales to benefit the economy by driving up consumption of household goods, food and soft drinks, and tickets to theater and other amusements. Instead, the end to liquor sales put restaurants out of business and caused an overall decline in entertainment and other consumption.

Keystone View Company // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 108.5 million
– CPI annual average: 17.9 (-10.9% annual change)
– GDP: $1,062 billion ($9,781 per capita)
– Federal debt: $342,516 million (32.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 11.2%
– Average household income: $15,116

Copyright by Moffett, Chicago. J241772 U.S. Copyright Office. // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 110.0 million
– CPI annual average: 16.8 (-6.2% annual change)
– GDP: $1,128 billion ($10,254 per capita)
– Federal debt: $349,508 million (31.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.8%
– Average household income: $17,060

Continued recovery from the 1920–1921 depression came to the United States by way of a dropping unemployment rate. President Warren Harding continued work to reduce the national budget.

Preus museum // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 111.9 million
– CPI annual average: 17.1 (+1.8% annual change)
– GDP: $1,290 billion ($11,519 per capita)
– Federal debt: $334,200 million (25.9% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 1.7%
– Average household income: $18,976

In August 1923, President Harding died of a heart attack and Vice President Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as president. Coolidge’s top priority was business: He aimed to clean up corruption, lower taxes, and reduce government spending.

P & A-Pacific and Atlantic Photos // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 114.1 million
– CPI annual average: 17.1 (+0.4% annual change)
– GDP: $1,313 billion ($11,504 per capita)
– Federal debt: $317,768 million (24.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.6%
– Average household income: $18,747

American economic growth continued throughout 1924, earning the decade the moniker of the Roaring Twenties. President Coolidge won a full term in office in 1924. Major cultural institution Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) was founded, and the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade was held in New York City.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 115.8 million
– CPI annual average: 17.5 (+2.4% annual change)
– GDP: $1,336 billion ($11,536 per capita)
– Federal debt: $299,771 million (22.4% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 1.8%
– Average household income: $18,938

NASA // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 117.4 million
– CPI annual average: 17.7 (+0.9% annual change)
– GDP: $1,414 billion ($12,045 per capita)
– Federal debt: $283,772 million (20.1% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 1%
– Average household income: $19,137

Bettmann // Getty Images

– Population: 119.0 million
– CPI annual average: 17.4 (-1.9% annual change)
– GDP: $1,418 billion ($11,909 per capita)
– Federal debt: $272,040 million (19.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.5%
– Average household income: $19,280

1927 was the year of Charles Lindbergh’s landmark solo flight from New York to Paris. It was also the year of further government moves toward a laissez-faire system, as the discount rate on loans made to banks was lowered from 4% to 3.5%.

Alexandra Studios // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 120.5 million
– CPI annual average: 17.2 (-1.2% annual change)
– GDP: $1,461 billion ($12,127 per capita)
– Federal debt: $261,710 million (17.9% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.9%
– Average household income: $19,675

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 121.8 million
– CPI annual average: 17.2 (0.0% annual change)
– GDP: $1,555 billion ($12,770 per capita)
– Federal debt: $25,171 million (1.6% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 0.9%
– Average household income: $20,512

Herbert Hoover, who served as the secretary of commerce under Presidents Harding and Coolidge, became the U.S. president in 1929. He was confident in American economic prosperity when he was sworn in, but by the following September, the stock market had begun to pull back. The crash culminated on “Black Thursday,” Oct. 24, when a record of 12,894,650 shares were traded in one day, marking the beginning of the Great Depression.

National Photo Company // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 124.0 million
– CPI annual average: 16.7 (-2.7% annual change)
– GDP: $1,412 billion ($11,381 per capita)
– Federal debt: $247,819 million (17.6% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.9%
– Average household income: $18,585

Early efforts to defend against the Great Depression included the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which President Hoover signed into law on June 17, 1930. The bill raised foreign tariff rates to keep money in the U.S. rather than investing in Europe. The result was a sharp downturn in global trade.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 124 million
– CPI annual average: 15.2 (-8.9% annual change)
– GDP: $1,302 billion ($10,497 per capita)
– Federal debt: $282,637 million (21.7% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 14.2%
– Average household income: $16,863

No major legislation was passed relating to the Depression in 1931. However, unemployment rose sharply (from 8.7% in December 1930 to 15.9% in December 1931), and the GDP continued to fall.

FPG // Getty Images

– Population: 124.8 million
– CPI annual average: 13.6 (-10.3% annual change)
– GDP: $1,119 billion ($8,961 per capita)
– Federal debt: $3,664 million (0.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 22.7%
– Average household income: $14,182

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its lowest point of the Great Depression—41.22—on July 8, 1932. The Summer Olympics, which opened in Los Angeles later that month, were held on a tight budget. The Great Depression was causing economic hardship around the world: Just 37 nations sent 1,503 athletes to the summer games and several events were canceled because of the lack of participants.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 125.6 million
– CPI annual average: 12.9 (-5.2% annual change)
– GDP: $1,134 billion ($9,029 per capita)
– Federal debt: $446,755 million (39.4% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 23.4%
– Average household income: $13,813

President Hoover was decidedly unpopular after his tenure during the Depression, helping Franklin Delano Roosevelt win the presidential election of 1932 by a landslide. In the first 100 days of FDR’s presidency, 15 bills were passed that redistributed the nation’s wealth from the government and the wealthy to those who were in need.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 126.4 million
– CPI annual average: 13.4 (+3.5% annual change)
– GDP: $1,275 billion ($10,087 per capita)
– Federal debt: $52,536 million (4.1% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 19%
– Average household income: $15,171

1934 marked the beginning of America’s recovery from the Great Depression, largely thanks to policies spearheaded by FDR and Congress. The country’s unemployment rate dropped below 20% and the GDP began to rise again.

Arthur Rothstein // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 127.3 million
– CPI annual average: 13.7 (+2.6% annual change)
– GDP: $1,387 billion ($10,898 per capita)
– Federal debt: $535,680 million (38.6% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 17.6%
– Average household income: $16,427

Due to unsustainable farming practices and significant drought in the Midwest and Southern Great Plains, these regions suffered intense poverty during the 1930s—a period now known as the Dust Bowl. The worst dust storm, coined “Black Sunday” by reporters, struck on April 14, 1935; up to 3 million tons of topsoil blew off the Great Plains and moved east. This event motivated Congress to pass New Deal programs to help displaced farmers and improve the land in the wake of environmental degradation.

Minnesota Historical Society // Getty Images

– Population: 128.1 million
– CPI annual average: 13.9 (+1% annual change)
– GDP: $1,562 billion ($12,196 per capita)
– Federal debt: $621,379 million (39.8% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 14.1%
– Average household income: $18,030

As the country continued to recover from economic depression, Americans across the nation experienced an intense heat wave. Many cities—including New York, Columbus, Baltimore, and Minneapolis—recorded their hottest temperatures in history in the summer of 1936.

Unnamed WPA photographer // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 128.8 million
– CPI annual average: 14.4 (+3.7% annual change)
– GDP: $1,651 billion ($12,819 per capita)
– Federal debt: $646,790 million (39.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 12.2%
– Average household income: $18,907

The Wagner Act, passed in 1935, protected workers’ rights, encouraged collective bargaining, and created the National Labor Relations Board to investigate unfair labor practices. Employer groups led by the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation questioned this Board, but the Supreme Court upheld it as constitutional in a landmark court case in 1937.

Jaclyn Nash/National Numismatic Collection/US Mint // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 129.8 million
– CPI annual average: 14.1 (-2% annual change)
– GDP: $1,585 billion ($12,209 per capita)
– Federal debt: $673,973 million (42.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 18.4%
– Average household income: $17,391

Economic recovery faltered in 1937 and 1938, when government spending was reduced and the Treasury Department limited gold inflows, leading to lowered production and increased unemployment. This policy was reversed later that year.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 130.9 million
– CPI annual average: 13.9 (-1.3% annual change)
– GDP: $1,720 billion ($13,142 per capita)
– Federal debt: $743,913 million (43.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 16.3%
– Average household income: $18,530

Three Lions/Stringer // Getty Images

– Population: 132.1 million
– CPI annual average: 14 (+0.7% annual change)
– GDP: $1,879 billion ($14,225 per capita)
– Federal debt: $925,926 million (49.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 12.7%
– Average household income: $19,400

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 133.4 million
– CPI annual average: 14.7 (+5.1% annual change)
– GDP: $2,251 billion ($16,873 per capita)
– Federal debt: $1,000,726 million (44.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.5%
– Average household income: $22,676

In January 1941, FDR introduced the “lend-lease” program, allowing America to send military aid to England without technically getting involved in World War II. The U.S. did finally join the fight that year, however, after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 134.9 million
– CPI annual average: 16.3 (+10.9% annual change)
– GDP: $2,604 billion ($19,309 per capita)
– Federal debt: $1,242,420 million (47.7% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 2.7%
– Average household income: $26,345

FDR in 1942 created the War Production Board, directed by former Sears Roebuck executive Donald Nelson. The War Production Board worked to manage the U.S.’s wartime economy through balancing military needs with civilian needs, including curtailing the military’s budget and allocating all steel, aluminum, and copper to manufacturers.

U.S. Air Force // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 136.7 million
– CPI annual average: 17.3 (+6% annual change)
– GDP: $3,002 billion ($21,953 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,108,387 million (70.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 1.3%
– Average household income: $30,464

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 138.4 million
– CPI annual average: 17.6 (+1.6% annual change)
– GDP: $3,263 billion ($23,578 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,964,943 million (90.9% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 0.9%
– Average household income: $32,264

Delegates from all 44 Allied nations met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, for the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in July of 1944. This conference resulted in plans for a global economy after the defeat of Germany and Japan, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund.

LT. Stephen E. Korpanty // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 139.9 million
– CPI annual average: 18 (+2.3% annual change)
– GDP: $3,242 billion ($23,167 per capita)
– Federal debt: $3,695,192 million (114.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.7%
– Average household income: $31,533

1945 marked the end of World War II, with the German surrender on May 8 and the Japanese surrender Aug. 14. About 16 million Americans had served in the war, and economic sectors from shipbuilding to nuclear power (kicked off by the Manhattan Project, which cost about $2 billion) had been completely transformed.

Seattle Municipal Archives // Flickr

– Population: 141.4 million
– CPI annual average: 19.5 (+8.5% annual change)
– GDP: $2,987 billion ($21,127 per capita)
– Federal debt: $3,553,456 million (119.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.6%
– Average household income: $29,845

The federal government severely cut back on spending following World War II, from $84 billion in 1945 to less than $30 billion in 1946. Keynesian economists predicted that this would return the nation to widespread unemployment, but labor markets adjusted quickly and the economy remained secure.

Bettmann // Getty Images

– Population: 144.1 million
– CPI annual average: 22.3 (+14.4% annual change)
– GDP: $2,865 billion ($19,882 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,948,565 million (102.9% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 2.8%
– Average household income: $28,641

The U.S. put its newly gained wealth to global use in 1947 with the beginning of the Truman Doctrine, which emerged from a speech President Harry Truman gave in March of that year urging Congress to provide monetary support to the Greek government in its fight against the Greek Communist Party. The speech set a precedent of America supporting democratic nations under threat from communist forces that would continue throughout the Cold War.

Universal History Archive // Getty Images

– Population: 146.6 million
– CPI annual average: 24 (+7.7% annual change)
– GDP: $2,928 billion ($19,967 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,685,180 million (91.7% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4%
– Average household income: $29,146

The channeling of American wealth overseas continued with the Marshall Plan, named after Secretary of State George C. Marshall. Through this plan, 16 western European nations received almost $13 billion in aid to help restart their economies.

Abbie Rowe, 1905-1967, Photographer // Wikimedia Cmmons

– Population: 149.2 million
– CPI annual average: 23.8 (-1.0% annual change)
– GDP: $2,931 billion ($19,646 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,713,965 million (92.6% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.6%
– Average household income: $28,791

A minor recession took place from 1948 into 1949, demonstrated in declining industrial production, declining exports, and a rise in unemployment. However, with expanded government spending (especially in the military and foreign aid), the nation was soon back on track.

Pfc. Wayne H. Weidner // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 152.3 million
– CPI annual average: 24.1 (+1.1% annual change)
– GDP: $3,185 billion ($20,917 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,725,200 million (85.6% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.3%
– Average household income: $31,075

The United States entered the Korean War in June 1950, providing South Korean forces with financial and military aid in their attempts to dispel the USSR-backed North Korean invasion. The fighting would end in 1953 when Korea was divided along the 38th parallel.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 154.9 million
– CPI annual average: 26 (+7.9% annual change)
– GDP: $3,416 billion ($22,053 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,510,659 million (73.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.1%
– Average household income: $32,017

The summer of 1951 was a time of crisis in the Midwest when the Kansas River flooded due to heavy rains, forcing thousands of people to abandon their homes and workplaces. The damages due to this flood were $760 million—equivalent to more than $5 billion today.

Abbie Rowe, 1905-1967, Photographer // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 157.6 million
– CPI annual average: 26.6 (+2.3% annual change)
– GDP: $3,535 billion ($22,435 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,490,643 million (70.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 2.7%
– Average household income: $33,035

In April 1952, President Truman authorized the secretary of commerce to seize and operate America’s steel mills in order to prevent a strike by dissatisfied steel workers. This move toward nationalization did not stand, however, as the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in June.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 160.2 million
– CPI annual average: 26.8 (+0.8% annual change)
– GDP: $3,718 billion ($23,212 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,537,565 million (68.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.5%
– Median household income: $40,473

Bettmann // Getty Images

– Population: 163.0 million
– CPI annual average: 26.9 (+0.3% annual change)
– GDP: $3,718 billion ($22,804 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,574,224 million (69.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5%
– Median household income: $39,610

The U.S. economy was booming in 1954, but social tensions were high: Sen. Joseph McCarthy publicly investigated the U.S. Army for being “soft” on communism, and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of integrating public schools in Brown v. Board of Education. 1954 also marked the beginning of mass polio vaccinations.

Bettmann // Getty Images

– Population: 165.9 million
– CPI annual average: 26.8 (-0.3% annual change)
– GDP: $4,066 billion ($24,507 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,617,738 million (64.4% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.2%
– Median household income: $42,152

In December 1955, America’s two largest labor unions—the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations—merged to form one large, unified body: the AFL-CIO. Although AFL leadership was more conservative and the CIO was more liberal, the two unions had common goals and significant bargaining power when unified.

National Archives and Records Administration // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 168.9 million
– CPI annual average: 27.2 (+1.5% annual change)
– GDP: $4,231 billion ($25,051 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,563,515 million (60.6% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.2%
– Median household income: $44,936

The interstate highway system, now an essential part of the American landscape, was born in June 1956 when President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. This bill allocated $26 billion to build a 41,000-mile highway network spanning the nation. Eisenhower was reelected for a second presidential term that same year.

BrokenSphere // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 172 million
– CPI annual average: 28.1 (+3.3% annual change)
– GDP: $4,321 billion ($25,127 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,477,396 million (57.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.2%
– Median household income: $45,189

Two major stock exchanges on the West Coast, the San Francisco Stock Exchange and the Los Angeles Oil Exchange, in 1957 merged to form the Pacific Stock Exchange. Among others, this new Exchange was led by financial moguls Elias Jackson Baldwin and George Hearst.

NASA/Uwe W. // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 174.9 million
– CPI annual average: 28.9 (+2.7% annual change)
– GDP: $4,265 billion ($24,386 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,474,415 million (58% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.2%
– Median household income: $45,009

Hoping to match its economic prosperity with technological advancement, the U.S. launched its first satellite, Explorer 1, on Jan. 31, 1958, following the U.S.S.R.’s launch of Sputnik in 1957. Explorer 1 successfully orbited Earth more than 50,000 times before re-entering the atmosphere in 1970.

Abbie Rowe // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 177.8 million
– CPI annual average: 29.2 (+1.1% annual change)
– GDP: $4,575 billion ($25,729 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,517,288 million (55.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.3%
– Median household income: $47,436

The 49th and 50th U.S. states joined the union in 1959: Alaska joined on Jan. 3 and Hawaii on Aug. 21. Alaska, in particular, went on to benefit the U.S. economy through its rich natural resources.

Mirrorpix // Getty Images

– Population: 180.7 million
– CPI annual average: 29.6 (+1.5% annual change)
– GDP: $4,693 billion ($25,977 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,509,704 million (53.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.6%
– Median household income: $48,548

A minor recession hit the U.S. in April 1960, demonstrated by a rise in unemployment (more than 6%) and lowered product demand. This recession was also known as the “rolling adjustment” for some industries—particularly the automobile industry—which had to adjust as Americans switched from buying American-made products to purchasing foreign products.

Reino Kalevi Lehtonen // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 183.7 million
– CPI annual average: 29.9 (+1.1% annual change)
– GDP: $4,817 billion ($26,225 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,502,679 million (52.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6%
– Median household income: $49,045

The U.S. recovered from the rolling adjustment, and economic expansion of the 1950s continued into the ’60s, marked by the merging of corporations into conglomerates and the decline of single-proprietor businesses. The American middle class was clearly here to stay.

Seattle Municipal Archives // Flickr

– Population: 186.5 million
– CPI annual average: 30.3 (+1.2% annual change)
– GDP: $5,106 billion ($27,375 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,556,392 million (50.1% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.5%
– Median household income: $50,262

The first World’s Fair to be held in the U.S. since World War II opened in 1962 in Seattle. Seattle’s Fair, a monumental enough project for the city to build a new monorail line, drew 10 million visitors from around the world and was a major economic boost for the West Coast.

Abbie Rowe // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 189.2 million
– CPI annual average: 30.6 (+1.2% annual change)
– GDP: $5,336 billion ($28,198 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,593,132 million (48.6% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.5%
– Median household income: $52,218

As part of a campaign to reduce the circulation of Silver Certificates, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 1110 in June 1963. This order gave the secretary of the Treasury power to control the issue of this currency.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 191.9 million
– CPI annual average: 31 (+1.3% annual change)
– GDP: $5,657 billion ($29,479 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,606,977 million (46.1% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5%
– Median household income: $54,184

President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was sworn into office after Kennedy’s assassination, was reelected to a full term in 1964. Domestically, Johnson’s policies focused on fighting poverty through the introduction of work training programs, education reform, Medicare and Medicaid, and other programs. He was still largely unpopular, however, because of his decisions to increasingly involve America in the Vietnam War.

White House Press Office // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 194.3 million
– CPI annual average: 31.5 (+1.6% annual change)
– GDP: $6,037 billion ($31,070 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,616,404 million (43.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4%
– Median household income: $56,473

LBJ was officially sworn into office in January 1965; he established Medicare and Medicaid later that year with the Social Security Act of 1965. This year also marked the beginning of major protests against the Vietnam War, including the first public burning of a draft card and public self-immolation.

U.S. Information Agency // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 196.6 million
– CPI annual average: 32.5 (+3.0% annual change)
– GDP: $6,412 billion ($32,622 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,584,521 million (40.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.8%
– Median household income: $59,259

continent. // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 198.7 million
– CPI annual average: 33.4 (+2.8% annual change)
– GDP: $6,597 billion ($33,198 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,606,341 million (39.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.8%
– Median household income: $60,733

Social tension continued in 1967, including the violent Detroit Race Riots and a march of 100,000 on the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War. Despite these tensions, the GDP and unemployment remained steady. This year also saw the swearing in of Thurgood Marshall, America’s first African American Supreme Court Justice.

manhhai // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 200.7 million
– CPI annual average: 34.8 (+4.3% annual change)
– GDP: $6,925 billion ($34,504 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,708,987 million (39.1% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.4%
– Median household income: $63,425

– Population: 202.7 million
– CPI annual average: 36.7 (+5.5% annual change)
– GDP: $7,106 billion ($35,060 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,548,423 million (35.9% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.5%
– Median household income: $65,723

1969 was the year that man walked on the moon. It was also President Richard Nixon’s first year in the Oval Office; he was faced with inflation problems starting that December.

University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability // Flickr

– Population: 205.1 million
– CPI annual average: 38.8 (+5.8% annual change)
– GDP: $7,090 billion ($34,579 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,510,348 million (35.4% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.1%
– Median household income: $65,026

Department of Defense // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 207.7 million
– CPI annual average: 40.5 (+4.3% annual change)
– GDP: $7,373 billion ($35,505 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,577,052 million (35.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6%
– Median household income: $64,935

In August 1971, President Nixon declared a state of national emergency and announced the New Economic Plan (N.E.P.), which ironically shares a name with Soviet policies put into effect by Vladimir Lenin 50 years earlier. This plan included a surcharge on imports and the freezing of prices, wages, and rents for 90 days, with future price controls to come.

NIH Intramural Research Program

– Population: 209.9 million
– CPI annual average: 41.8 (+3.3% annual change)
– GDP: $7,845 billion ($37,374 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,666,719 million (34.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.2%
– Median household income: $67,999

Nixon’s New Economic Plan had great short-term success in 1972; production output rose and unemployment fell, helping Nixon win his second term in office. The plan was less successful in the long run, as it contributed to negative repercussions of the oil embargo the following year.

Wehwalt // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 211.9 million
– CPI annual average: 44.4 (+6.2% annual change)
– GDP: $8,227 billion ($38,822 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,685,374 million (32.6% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.9%
– Median household income: $69,402

Recession struck the U.S. again in 1973 when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), including Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, agreed to stop exporting oil to the U.S. after the U.S. supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War. The Nixon administration kept tight control on wages, prices, and interest rates, which led to mass layoffs as companies struggled to stay in business.

Alaska Blue Book // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 213.9 million
– CPI annual average: 49.3 (+11.1% annual change)
– GDP: $8,033 billion ($37,563 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,509,766 million (31.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 7.2%
– Median household income: $66,918

In response to the oil recession, the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act was passed and signed into law in January 1974. This act included a national speed limit of 55 miles per hour, intended to conserve American use of oil. The OPEC embargo was lifted in March, but drivers continued to face high gas prices of $11.65 per barrel and demand increased for energy-efficient cars.

David Falconer // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 216 million
– CPI annual average: 53.8 (+9.1% annual change)
– GDP: $8,027 billion ($37,167 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,575,655 million (32.1% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 8.2%
– Median household income: $65,204

Although the OPEC embargo was lifted in 1974, America took more time to recover from the oil recession. Unemployment reached a high of 9% in May of 1975. The turning point marking the end of the recession finally came in March; it lasted a total of 16 months, longer than any recession since World War II.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 218 million
– CPI annual average: 56.9 (+5.7% annual change)
– GDP: $8,438 billion ($38,699 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,826,496 million (33.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 7.8%
– Median household income: $67,219

On July 4, 1976, the U.S. celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence; plans for festivities started 10 years earlier. Many marginalized groups protested ceremonies purporting American unity.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 220.2 million
– CPI annual average: 60.6 (+6.5% annual change)
– GDP: $8,802 billion ($39,965 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,980,627 million (33.9% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.4%
– Median household income: $67,550

The nation was fully recovered from the oil recession by 1977: Rhe Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank reported that between winter 1975 and winter 1978, “production had increased by at least 16% and more than 7.7 million workers had found new jobs,” largely due to increased consumer spending.

SecretName101 // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 222.6 million
– CPI annual average: 65.2 (+7.6% annual change)
– GDP: $9,242 billion ($41,522 per capita)
– Federal debt: $3,045,662 million (33.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6%
– Median household income: $69,180

Warren K. Leffler // Flickr

– Population: 225.1 million
– CPI annual average: 72.6 (+11.3% annual change)
– GDP: $9,270 billion ($41,192 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,921,415 million (31.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6%
– Median household income: $68,986

US National Archives bot // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 227.2 million
– CPI annual average: 82.4 (+13.5% annual change)
– GDP: $8,883 billion ($39,092 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,820,895 million (31.8% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 7.2%
– Median household income: $65,238

A recession in the first six months of 1980 was caused by oil price spikes related to the Iranian revolution of 1979 and a restrictive monetary policy put into place by Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to fight inflation. Recovery appeared to be on the horizon that summer, but it soon faltered, coinciding with President Ronald Reagan’s cuts in domestic spending.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 229.5 million
– CPI annual average: 90.9 (+10.3% annual change)
– GDP: $9,032 billion ($39,363 per capita)
– Federal debt: $2,798,433 million (31.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 8.5%
– Median household income: $62,977

The recession of 1980 continued through the summer of 1981 as the Federal Reserve once again reduced its output in a failing attempt to combat inflation. This move caused high interest rates, which put particular pressure on industries dependent upon borrowing money such as manufacturing and construction, leading to heavy layoffs in those sectors.

Seattle Municipal Archives // Flickr

– Population: 231.7 million
– CPI annual average: 96.5 (+6.1% annual change)
– GDP: $8,863 billion ($38,260 per capita)
– Federal debt: $3,013,590 million (34.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 10.8%
– Median household income: $62,091

Unemployment from the early ‘80s recession reached its peak in 1982 at almost 11%, the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. since the Great Depression. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker stuck to his guns and did not significantly loosen monetary policy, but interest rates fell, taxes and the national budget were reduced, and recovery had begun by the end of the year.

Reagan White House Photographs // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 233.8 million
– CPI annual average: 99.6 (+3.2% annual change)
– GDP: $9,340 billion ($39,950 per capita)
– Federal debt: $3,521,420 million (37.7% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 8.3%
– Median household income: $63,103

Another big government bailout occurred in 1983. This time it was for Social Security, which was in serious danger of becoming unable to supply pensions to retired workers. In a strategy lauded at the time as a bipartisan victory (but harmful for retirees today), President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill raised the retirement age and required government employees to pay into social security, among other changes.

Carey Akin // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 235.8 million
– CPI annual average: 103.9 (+4.3% annual change)
– GDP: $9,944 billion ($42,168 per capita)
– Federal debt: $3,850,478 million (38.7% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 7.3%
– Median household income: $65,052

New Orleans in 1984 hosted the final World’s Fair. The event had high expectations, but was underfunded from the beginning and eventually only attended by about 7 million people (of a hoped-for 15 million). It closed with a total debt of $102 million in November.

Yvonne Hemsey // Getty Images

– Population: 237.9 million
– CPI annual average: 107.6 (+3.5% annual change)
– GDP: $10,329 billion ($43,415 per capita)
– Federal debt: $4,318,913 million (41.8% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 7%
– Median household income: $65,909

Cobatfor // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 240.1 million
– CPI annual average: 109.6 (+1.9% annual change)
– GDP: $10,709 billion ($44,596 per capita)
– Federal debt: $4,947,191 million (46.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.6%
– Median household income: $68,726

Roger Hsu // Flickr

– Population: 242.3 million
– CPI annual average: 113.6 (+3.7% annual change)
– GDP: $10,962 billion ($45,244 per capita)
– Federal debt: $5,280,466 million (48.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.7%
– Median household income: $69,710

A dramatic stock market crash took place on Oct. 19, 1987, now known as Black Monday: the “worst day in Wall Street history.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 22.6%, more than any other single day in history. The crash has been attributed to high interest rates, inflation, and trading computer programs that automatically liquidated stocks as the market began to fall, leading to a domino effect around the world.

Jim.henderson // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 244.5 million
– CPI annual average: 118.3 (+4.1% annual change)
– GDP: $11,353 billion ($46,435 per capita)
– Federal debt: $5,622,166 million (49.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.3%
– Median household income: $69,579

BlackRock, a global asset management firm now called “the most powerful shadow bank in the world,” was founded in 1988 by eight experts in fixed-income security. This firm marks an increasing trend in the U.S. economy towards investment with asset managers rather than with banks or large firms.

Jebur~commonswiki // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 246.8 million
– CPI annual average: 124 (+4.8% annual change)
– GDP: $11,667 billion ($47,268 per capita)
– Federal debt: $5,913,681 million (50.7% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.4%
– Median household income: $70,551

The savings and loan industry experienced rapid growth throughout the 1980s, but much of that growth was due to investments in increasingly risky projects and the payment of increasingly high interest rates. Many businesses failed at high costs for taxpayers, especially in Texas, leading the federal government (now under President George H.W. Bush) to reform the industry with the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989.

Hohum // Wikiedia Commons

– Population: 249.6 million
– CPI annual average: 130.7 (+5.4% annual change)
– GDP: $11,698 billion ($46,864 per capita)
– Federal debt: $6,272,749 million (53.6% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.3%
– Median household income: $69,164

The Gulf War coincided with a recession in 1990. A combination of factors led to a decline in the GDP and rising unemployment, including the savings and loan collapse, lack of stability in the stock market, and high oil prices due to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

Mark Wilson // Getty Images

– Population: 253.0 million
– CPI annual average: 136.2 (+4.2% annual change)
– GDP: $11,591 billion ($45,818 per capita)
– Federal debt: $6,755,170 million (58.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 7.3%
– Median household income: $67,471

Although tensions in the Middle East were part of the causes of the early ’90s recession, U.S. involvement in the Gulf War also helped bring oil prices and inflation back down, buffered by Americans at the time remaining faithful that the markets would rise back up. The New York Times reported “America’s foreign balance swung from a $23.4 billion deficit in the fourth quarter of 1990 to a $10.2 billion surplus in the first quarter of 1991.”

Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 256.5 million
– CPI annual average: 140.3 (+3.0% annual change)
– GDP: $11,918 billion ($46,462 per capita)
– Federal debt: $7,293,350 million (61.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 7.4%
– Median household income: $66,655

The U.S. had mostly recovered from the recession of 1990 and 1991 in 1992, though unemployment remained fairly high that year. Worries about America’s future carried Bill Clinton to a victory in the 1992 presidential election as he talked about the “Bush recession,” arguing that an economic overhaul was necessary.

Hagindaz~commonswiki // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 259.9 million
– CPI annual average: 144.5 (+3% annual change)
– GDP: $12,172 billion ($46,831 per capita)
– Federal debt: $7,699,391 million (63.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.5%
– Median household income: $65,401

The late 1990s marked a time of economic prosperity in the U.S. President Bill Clinton’s first budget, drafted in 1993 for the 1994 fiscal year, cut spending and increased taxes in a move that arguably led to budget surplus later in the decade.

Carlos Delgado // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 263.1 million
– CPI annual average: 148.2 (+2.6% annual change)
– GDP: $12,610 billion ($47,925 per capita)
– Federal debt: $8,011,428 million (63.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.5%
– Median household income: $66,913

1994 was a contradictory year: Although the economy grew overall, stock and bond markets suffered. Economists claimed that money was flowing out of Wall Street and back into the “real world” of actual goods and services.

THERESE FRARE/AFP // Getty Images

– Population: 266.3 million
– CPI annual average: 152.4 (+2.8% annual change)
– GDP: $12,859 billion ($48,292 per capita)
– Federal debt: $8,255,865 million (64.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.6%
– Median household income: $68,138

The World Trade Organization was founded Jan. 1, aiming to operate global trade rules and mediate disputes. Windows 95 was released that August, launching the internet’s explosive growth.

Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 269.4 million
– CPI annual average: 156.9 (+2.9% annual change)
– GDP: $13,201 billion ($49,002 per capita)
– Federal debt: $8,444,236 million (64% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.4%
– Median household income: $68,936

The U.S. economy continued to grow in 1996; low inflation was particularly notable, as the “core” rate only rose by 2.6%, its lowest rate in more than 30 years. But in a famous speech in December of that year, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Alan Greenspan warned investors not to get too comfortable in “irrational exuberance” and slow down on buying.

mark reinstein // Shutterstock

– Population: 272.7 million
– CPI annual average: 160.5 (+2.3% annual change)
– GDP: $13,715 billion ($50,300 per capita)
– Federal debt: $8,553,931 million (62.4% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.7%
– Median household income: $71,003

Rdsmith4 // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 275.9 million
– CPI annual average: 163 (+1.6% annual change)
– GDP: $14,258 billion ($51,688 per capita)
– Federal debt: $8,593,699 million (60.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.4%
– Median household income: $73,317

Signs the U.S. economy was too good to be true emerged in 1998. Currency devaluations in several Asian countries, a drop in oil prices, lower corporate bond rates, and a disproportionately prosperous stock market all surprised and worried Federal Reserve researchers.

Avij // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 279 million
– CPI annual average: 166.6 (+2.2% annual change)
– GDP: $14,827 billion ($53,137 per capita)
– Federal debt: $8,603,435 million (58% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4%
– Median household income: $74,946

Mike Kalasnik // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 282.2 million
– CPI annual average: 172.2 (+3.4% annual change)
– GDP: $15,272 billion ($54,125 per capita)
– Federal debt: $8,358,064 million (54.7% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.9%
– Median household income: $75,332

9/11 Photos // Flickr

– Population: 285 million
– CPI annual average: 177.1 (+2.8% annual change)
– GDP: $15,336 billion ($53,816 per capita)
– Federal debt: $8,330,653 million (54.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.7%
– Median household income: $74,222

Most Americans were not particularly affected by the huge tech crash resulting from the popping of the dotcom bubble, as the majority of tech stocks were held by the rich. However, the crash still had a big enough effect to drive unemployment up to 5.7%. Furthermore, the events of 9/11 worsened this recession: The New York Stock Exchange closed for the first time since the Great Depression and the federal government channeled money into the military.

Meutia Chaerani / Indradi Soemardjan // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 287.6 million
– CPI annual average: 179.9 (+1.6% annual change)
– GDP: $15,603 billion ($54,247 per capita)
– Federal debt: $8,810,067 million (56.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6%
– Median household income: $73,455

Alex Wright // Flickr

– Population: 290.1 million
– CPI annual average: 184 (+2.3% annual change)
– GDP: $15,996 billion ($55,139 per capita)
– Federal debt: $9,394,215 million (58.7% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.7%
– Median household income: $73,208

Spencer Platt // Getty Images

– Population: 292.8 million
– CPI annual average: 188.9 (+2.7% annual change)
– GDP: $16,616 billion ($56,746 per capita)
– Federal debt: $9,955,457 million (59.9% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.4%
– Median household income: $73,178

Orygun // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 295.5 million
– CPI annual average: 195.3 (+3.4% annual change)
– GDP: $17,143 billion ($58,011 per capita)
– Federal debt: $10,350,155 million (60.4% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.9%
– Median household income: $73,573

At the end of 2005, the slow-growing economy took a sharp downturn as consumers cut spending on cars, business investment slowed, the price of oil surged, and military spending fell. Some economists also began to worry that the housing bubble might soon burst.

shankar s. // Flickr

– Population: 298.4 million
– CPI annual average: 201.6 (+3.2% annual change)
– GDP: $17,574 billion ($58,899 per capita)
– Federal debt: $10,719,297 million (61% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.4%
– Median household income: $74,081

GDP rose 3.4% in 2006 in spite of high interest rates and oil prices. The service industry continued to grow and average wages rose, but the housing boom had ended, leading to major job losses in related industries. Furthermore, the federal government continued to run large deficits.

SusanLesch // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 301.2 million
– CPI annual average: 207.3 (+2.9% annual change)
– GDP: $17,858 billion ($59,283 per capita)
– Federal debt: $11,040,546 million (61.8% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5%
– Median household income: $75,680

Teri Tynes // Flickr

– Population: 304.1 million
– CPI annual average: 215.3 (+3.8% annual change)
– GDP: $17,480 billion ($57,484 per capita)
– Federal debt: $11,859,922 million (67.8% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 7.3%
– Median household income: $73,065

The mortgage crisis came to a head on Sept. 14, 2008, when one major securities firm, Merrill Lynch, sold itself to Bank of America, and another, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy. These two firms were followed by near-bankruptcies of many other banks previously deemed “too big to fail” in the U.S. and around the world, which had to be bailed out by their governments.

PFHLai // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 306.8 million
– CPI annual average: 214.5 (-0.4% annual change)
– GDP: $17,188 billion ($56,029 per capita)
– Federal debt: $14,156,900 million (82.4% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 9.9%
– Median household income: $71,629

The banking crisis in the spring of 2009 became a national public crisis on a global scale. Debtor nations such as the U.S. and Greece were unable to pay back creditor nations such as China and Germany, and there was little international cooperation underway to push towards recovery. U.S. unemployment peaked at 10% in October. President Barack Obama, despite a bold inauguration speech and expensive Recovery Act, was not very popular by the end of the year.

SecretName101 // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 309.3 million
– CPI annual average: 218.1 (+1.6% annual change)
– GDP: $17,544 billion ($56,714 per capita)
– Federal debt: $15,861,146 million (90.4% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 9.3%
– Median household income: $70,621

Troubles continued for the U.S. economy in 2010, but legislators took steps toward recovery with the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which gave incentives for employers to take on new employees, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which put into place extensive reform and regulation measures on Wall Street. In the third quarter of this year, American companies made a record $1.66 trillion, but the average worker was still struggling; unemployment at the end of the year was 9.3%.

David Shankbone // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 311.7 million
– CPI annual average: 224.9 (+3.2% annual change)
– GDP: $17,643 billion ($56,609 per capita)
– Federal debt: $16,786,179 million (95.1% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 8.5%
– Median household income: $69,324

Wikifreund // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 314 million
– CPI annual average: 229.6 (+2.1% annual change)
– GDP: $17,992 billion ($57,299 per capita)
– Federal debt: $17,875,525 million (99.4% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 7.9%
– Median household income: $69,316

Justin Sullivan // Getty Images

– Population: 316.2 million
– CPI annual average: 233 (+1.5% annual change)
– GDP: $18,318 billion ($57,930 per capita)
– Federal debt: $18,348,323 million (100.2% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 6.7%
– Median household income: $70,032

LaDawna Howard // Flickr

– Population: 318.6 million
– CPI annual average: 236.7 (+1.6% annual change)
– GDP: $18,827 billion ($59,098 per capita)
– Federal debt: $19,222,853 million (102.1% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5.6%
– Median household income: $71,981

Eduardo P // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 320.9 million
– CPI annual average: 237 (+0.1% annual change)
– GDP: $19,550 billion ($60,925 per capita)
– Federal debt: $19,549,836 million (100.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 5%
– Median household income: $76,275

GDP saw decent expansion in 2015 while the financial market suffered, particularly in the energy industry. Gus Faucher, deputy chief economist at the PNC Financial Services Group, reported: “Of the overall $160 billion annualized decline in profits, $124 billion came from petroleum and coal products.” In the tech industry, Radio Shack filed its second bankruptcy in two years.

Gage Skidmore // Flickr

– Population: 323.1 million
– CPI annual average: 240 (+1.3% annual change)
– GDP: $19,843 billion ($61,409 per capita)
– Federal debt: $20,704,583 million (104.3% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.7%
– Median household income: $77,463

The economy grew more slowly in 2016; in the final quarter of the year, GDP grew at a rate of 1.9%, its slowest pace since recession-era 2011. In his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to cut taxes and regulations in order to boost growth to 4%.

The White House // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 325.1 million
– CPI annual average: 245.1 (+2.1% annual change)
– GDP: $20,225 billion ($62,210 per capita)
– Federal debt: $21,020,831 million (103.9% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 4.1%
– Median household income: $79,222

MB298 // Wikimedia Commons

– Population: 327.2 million
– CPI annual average: 251.1 (+2.4% annual change)
– GDP: $20,957 billion ($64,050 per capita)
– Federal debt: $21,910,262 million (104.5% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.9%
– Median household income: $80,087

In spite of $1.5 trillion in tax cuts and a dramatic jump in government spending (the budget deficit climbed by 17% to $113 billion), economic growth did not reach a targeted 3%. That said, fourth-quarter growth boosted domestic product for the year to 2.9%.

The White House // Flickr

– Population: 329.1 million
– CPI annual average: 255.7 (+1.8% annual change)
– GDP: $21,427 billion ($65,108 per capita)
– Federal debt: $22,719,400 million (106.0% of GDP)
– Unemployment rate: 3.5%
– Median household income: not available

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