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Understanding federal spending related to the government's main functions

Do you know what the government spends money on in support of its main functions? Budget Functions are categories that describe the purpose of federal spending (the why), and Object Classes are categories that describe what goods and services were purchased (the what). This visualization will shed light on both categories and help you draw connections between them.

Categorization Systems

Budget Functions are used by Congress to categorize federal spending, and are also useful for the public to understand the different missions, or functions of the federal government. Though Budget Functions have evolved over time, the use of Budget Functions is nothing new: Congress has been tracking federal spending using a version of these categories for more than 200 years.

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Budget Function Explorer
Spending in Fiscal Year 2017/2018
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How We Conducted This Analysis

This analysis was conducted using agency account obligation data reported to, which is available to the public. Each reported account is aligned to a single Budget Function and is further broken out by the dollars obligated under each Object Class (data can be found via the TAS/categories endpoint within the DATA Act API).

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