The Cost of National Defense

This data table is a list of National Defense Expenditures by year by President. The third and fourth columns are used to show if the year in question was a time of war for the United States and lists which war.  This will help to explain spikes in National Defense costs from the typical/gradual increase in spending.  The fifth column shows the percentage of the year’s budget spent on National Defense.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (1789-1939) & U.S. Government Printing Office (1940-2017)

Year President War-Time? Which War Spending (in thousands) % of Total Spending
1789 Continental-Confederation Congress na na na na
1790 George Washington na na na na
1791 George Washington $4,269
1792 George Washington $5,080
1793 George Washington $4,482
1794 George Washington $6,991
1795 George Washington $7,540
1796 George Washington $5,727
1797 John Adams $6,134
1798 John Adams $7,677
1799 John Adams $9,666
1800 John Adams $10,786
1801 Thomas Jefferson $9,395
1802 Thomas Jefferson $7,862
1803 Thomas Jefferson $7,852
1804 Thomas Jefferson $8,719
1805 Thomas Jefferson $10,506
1806 Thomas Jefferson $9,804
1807 Thomas Jefferson $8,354
1808 Thomas Jefferson $9,932
1809 James Madison $10,281
1810 James Madison $8,157
1811 James Madison $8,058
1812 James Madison $20,281
1813 James Madison $31,682
1814 James Madison $34,721
1815 James Madison $32,708
1816 James Madison $30,587
1817 James Monroe $21,844
1818 James Monroe $19,825
1819 James Monroe $21,464
1820 James Monroe $18,261
1821 James Monroe $15,811
1822 James Monroe $15,000
1823 James Monroe $14,707
1824 James Monroe $20,327
1825 John Quincy Adams $15,857
1826 John Quincy Adams $17,036
1827 John Quincy Adams $16,139
1828 John Quincy Adams $16,395
1829 Andrew Jackson $15,203
1830 Andrew Jackson $15,143
1831 Andrew Jackson $15,248
1832 Andrew Jackson $17,289
1833 Andrew Jackson $23,018
1834 Andrew Jackson $18,628
1835 Andrew Jackson $17,573
1836 Andrew Jackson $30,868
1837 Martin Van Buren $37,243
1838 Martin Van Buren $33,865
1839 Martin Van Buren $26,899
1840 Martin Van Buren $24,318
1841 John Tyler $26,566
1842 John Tyler $25,206
1843 John Tyler $11,858
1844 John Tyler $22,338
1845 James Knox Polk $22,937
1846 James Knox Polk $27,767
1847 James Knox Polk $57,281
1848 James Knox Polk $45,377
1849 Zachary Taylor $45,052
1850 Millard Fillmore $39,543
1851 Millard Fillmore $47,709
1852 Millard Fillmore $44,195
1853 Franklin Pierce $48,184
1854 Franklin Pierce $58,045
1855 Franklin Pierce $59,743
1856 Franklin Pierce $69,571
1857 James Buchanan $67,796
1858 James Buchanan $74,185
1859 James Buchanan $69,071
1860 James Buchanan $63,131
1861 Abraham Lincoln $66,547
1862 Abraham Lincoln $474,762
1863 Abraham Lincoln $714,741
1864 Abraham Lincoln $865,323
1865 Andrew Johnson $1,297,555
1866 Andrew Johnson $520,809
1867 Andrew Johnson $357,543
1868 Andrew Johnson $377,340
1869 Ulysses Simpson Grant $322,865
1870 Ulysses Simpson Grant $309,654
1871 Ulysses Simpson Grant $292,177
1872 Ulysses Simpson Grant $277,518
1873 Ulysses Simpson Grant $290,345
1874 Ulysses Simpson Grant $302,634
1875 Ulysses Simpson Grant $274,623
1876 Ulysses Simpson Grant $265,101
1877 Rutherford Birchard Hayes $241,334
1878 Rutherford Birchard Hayes $236,964
1879 Rutherford Birchard Hayes $266,948
1880 Rutherford Birchard Hayes $267,643
1881 Chester Alan Arthur $260,713
1882 Chester Alan Arthur $257,981
1883 Chester Alan Arthur $265,408
1884 Chester Alan Arthur $244,126
1885 Grover Cleveland $260,227
1886 Grover Cleveland $242,483
1887 Grover Cleveland $267,932
1888 Grover Cleveland $267,925
1889 Benjamin Harrison $299,289
1890 Benjamin Harrison $318,041
1891 Benjamin Harrison $365,774
1892 Benjamin Harrison $345,023
1893 Grover Cleveland $383,478
1894 Grover Cleveland $367,525
1895 Grover Cleveland $356,195
1896 Grover Cleveland $352,179
1897 William McKinley $365,774
1898 William McKinley $443,369
1899 William McKinley $605,072
1900 William McKinley $520,861
1901 Theodore Roosevelt $524,617
1902 Theodore Roosevelt $485,234
1903 Theodore Roosevelt $517,006
1904 Theodore Roosevelt $583,660
1905 Theodore Roosevelt $567,279
1906 Theodore Roosevelt $570,202
1907 Theodore Roosevelt $579,129
1908 Theodore Roosevelt $659,196
1909 William Howard Taft $693,744
1910 William Howard Taft $693,617
1911 William Howard Taft $691,202
1912 William Howard Taft $689,881
1913 Woodrow Wilson $714,864
1914 Woodrow Wilson $725,525
1915 Woodrow Wilson $746,093
1916 Woodrow Wilson $712,967
1917 Woodrow Wilson $1,953,857
1918 Woodrow Wilson $12,677,359
1919 Woodrow Wilson $18,492,665
1920 Woodrow Wilson $6,357,677
1921 Warren Gamaliel Harding $5,061,785
1922 Warren Gamaliel Harding $3,289,404
1923 Calvin Coolidge $3,140,287
1924 Calvin Coolidge $2,907,847
1925 Calvin Coolidge $2,923,762
1926 Calvin Coolidge $2,929,964
1927 Calvin Coolidge $2,857,429
1928 Calvin Coolidge $2,961,245
1929 Herbert Clark Hoover $3,127,199
1930 Herbert Clark Hoover $3,320,211
1931 Herbert Clark Hoover $3,577,434
1932 Herbert Clark Hoover $4,659,182
1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $4,598,496
1934 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $
1935 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $
1936 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $
1937 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $
1938 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $
1939 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $
1940 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $1,660,000
1941 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $6,435,000
1942 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $25,658,000
1943 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $66,699,000
1944 Franklin Delano Roosevelt $79,143,000
1945 Harry S Truman $82,965,000
1946 Harry S Truman $42,681,000
1947 Harry S Truman $12,808,000
1948 Harry S Truman $9,105,000
1949 Harry S Truman $13,150,000
1950 Harry S Truman $13,724,000
1951 Harry S Truman $23,566,000
1952 Harry S Truman $46,089,000
1953 Dwight David Eisenhower $52,802,000
1954 Dwight David Eisenhower $49,266,000
1955 Dwight David Eisenhower $42,729,000
1956 Dwight David Eisenhower $42,523,000
1957 Dwight David Eisenhower $45,430,000
1958 Dwight David Eisenhower $46,815,000
1959 Dwight David Eisenhower $49,015,000
1960 Dwight David Eisenhower $48,130,000
1961 John Fitzgerald Kennedy $49,601,000
1962 John Fitzgerald Kennedy $52,345,000
1963 Lyndon Baines Johnson $53,400,000
1964 Lyndon Baines Johnson $54,757,000
1965 Lyndon Baines Johnson $50,620,000
1966 Lyndon Baines Johnson $58,111,000
1967 Lyndon Baines Johnson $71,417,000
1968 Lyndon Baines Johnson $81,926,000
1969 Richard Milhous Nixon $82,497,000
1970 Richard Milhous Nixon $81,692,000
1971 Richard Milhous Nixon $78,872,000
1972 Richard Milhous Nixon $79,174,000
1973 Richard Milhous Nixon $76,681,000
1974 Gerald Rudolph FOrd Jr $79,347,000
1975 Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr $86,509,000
1976 Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr $89,619,000
1977 James Earl Carter $97,241,000
1978 James Earl Carter $104,495,000
1979 James Earl Carter $116,342,000
1980 James Earl Carter $133,995,000
1981 Ronald Wilson Reagan $157,513,000
1982 Ronald Wilson Reagan $185,309,000
1983 Ronald Wilson Reagan $209,903,000
1984 Ronald Wilson Reagan $227,411,000
1985 Ronald Wilson Reagan $252,743,000
1986 Ronald Wilson Reagan $273,373,000
1987 Ronald Wilson Reagan $281,996,000
1988 Ronald Wilson Reagan $290,360,000
1989 George Herbert Walker Bush $303,555,000
1990 George Herbert Walker Bush $299,321,000
1991 George Herbert Walker Bush $273,285,000
1992 George Herbert Walker Bush $298,346,000
1993 William Jefferson Clinton $291,084,000
1994 William Jefferson Clinton $281,640,000
1995 William Jefferson Clinton $272,063,000
1996 William Jefferson Clinton $265,748,000
1997 William Jefferson Clinton $270,502,000
1998 William Jefferson Clinton $268,194,000
1999 William Jefferson Clinton $274,769,000
2000 William Jefferson Clinton $294,363,000
2001 George Walker Bush $304,732,000
2002 George Walker Bush $348,456,000
2003 George Walker Bush $404,744,000
2004 George Walker Bush $455,833,000
2005 George Walker Bush $495,308,000
2006 George Walker Bush $521,827,000
2007 George Walker Bush $551,271,000
2008 George Walker Bush $616,073,000
2009 Barack Hussein Obama $661,049,000
2010 Barack Hussein Obama $693,586,000
2011 Barack Hussein Obama $705,625,000
2012 (estimate) Barack Hussein Obama $716,300,000
2013 (estimate) $701,767,000
2014 (estimate) $599,295,000
2015 (estimate) $572,464,000
2016 (estimate) $578,305,000
2017 (estimate) $589,464,000
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