American History

How much does government cost the average citizen? Wouldn't we all like to know!


In 1932, The American City attempted an approximate answer using the National Industrial Conference Board’s “Cost of Government in the United States, 1929-1930” publication.

Tax collections of all government divisions in 1930 offered the following breakdown:

Federal           $3.468 billion or $28.15 per capita

State               $1.78 billion or $14.45 per capita

Local               $5.018 billion or $40.73 per capita

Total               $10.266 billion or $83.33 per capita

Of the Federal Government expenditures, the author writes, “It is worth noting that only 10 per cent [sic] is attributable to general government costs, 2.1 per cent to highways, 5.5 per cent to economic development, 2.5 per cent to education and social welfare, 3.2 per cent to public utilities, 3.6 per cent to miscellaneous; while practically all of the remaining 73.1 per cent  represents the cost of past and future wars.”

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

on Feb 21, 2014

It is really interesting to see these calculations. The cost of Government is really high in Unites States when compares to other countries. The article is nice and it is pleasant to read. I have known very important things over here.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's American History?

It highlights the development of U.S. local and state government.


Erin Greer

While most journalism graduates would jump at a chance to chase down the latest story, Erin Greer ran, screaming, from the opportunity. A long-time performer and PR professional, Erin was used to...
Blog Archive
We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.