2003 Federal Outlays: Summary


This page provides an overview of how the federal government spent money in a single year. For a more detailed breakdown of the spending numbers, see ' Federal Budget: Detailed Numbers.

The chart and table depict federal spending for fiscal year 2003. Figures here are for outlays, not budget authority. The budget categories below roughly reflect the budget functions.

Composition of 2003 Federal Outlays: Piechart

Numbers are the percent of total outlays.

2003 budget outlays piechart

Composition of 2003 Federal Outlays: Table

Namepercentage$ billionsDetails
Total outlays 100.0 2157.64
Social Security22.0474.68 Function 650
Military18.8404.92 Function 050
Medicare11.6249.43 Function 570
Social welfare8.6185.18 Subfunctions 604, 605, 609
Medicaid7.6165.01 Medicaid
Interest7.1153.08 Function 900
Retirement, disability, unemployment 6.9149.26 Subfunctions 601, 602, 603
Education, training, employment, social services 3.882.57 Function 500
Transportation3.167.07 Function 400
Veterans2.657.02 Function 700
Other health2.554.56 Health (function 550) minus Medicaid
Other 5.3114.86 Sum of following items:
Administration of justice1.635.41 Function 750
Natural resources and environment1.429.70 Function 300
General government1.122.99 Function 800
Agriculture1.022.60 Function 350
International affairs1.021.21 Function 150
Science1.020.87 Function 250
Community and regional development0.918.85 Function 450
Energy-0.0-0.78 Function 270
Commerce and housing credit-0.1-1.61 Function 370
Offsetting receipts-2.5-54.38 Offsetting receipts


Figures below 100.0 in the column entitled percentage may not add up to 100 because of rounding errors.

Units: the figures in the column entitled $ billions are millions of dollars. They have not been adjusted for inflation. Examples:

Some of the numbers in the table are negative. This is because offsetting receipts and collections are recorded as negative outlays.

Data source

Public Budget Database, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2005.

Recommended Reading

The choice of budget categories in the piechart and table were influenced by Anders Schneiderman and Nathan Newman, The National Budget Simulation.


The following documents were used in the development of this presentation of the budget:

Page version

Page last updated on 2004 February 15