Infographic: Breakdown of federal mandatory spending


The federal government spent $2 trillion on mandatory programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and retirement benefits for federal and military employees. Health care spending took up the largest chunk of the budget with $856 billion.

Mandatory spending: $2 trillion

  • Health care:  $856 billion or 39%
  • Social Security: $725 billion or 33%.
  • Income Security: $404 billion or 18%
  • Federal civilian & military retirement: $144 billion or 6%
  • Veterans: $71 billion or 3%
  • Other programs: $20 billion or 1%

Infographic on the 2011 mandatory budget. SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office


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