20 Surprising Facts About the U.S. Economy

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Published May 29, 2013

| FOXBusiness

20 Surprising Facts About the U.S. Economy

20 Surprising Facts About the U.S. Economy

These 20 facts about the U.S. economy may leave you shaking your head. They were uncovered by FOX News researchers Mitchell S. Kweit, Steven Joachim, Mark Rigby, Bryan Murphy and Mark Bentley and obtained from government agencies that include the U.S. Treasury Dept., U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Security Administration, Congressional Research Service and the Federal Reserve.

Fact

During President Barack Obama's first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the prior 42 U.S presidents combined.

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Back in 1970, the total amount of debt in the United States (government debt + business debt + consumer debt, etc.) was less than $2 trillion. Today it is over $56 trillion.

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According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 32% of all global economic activity in 2001. That number dropped to 22% in 2011.

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More than 63,300 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been permanently shut down since 2001.

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There are fewer Americans working in manufacturing today than there were in 1950 even though the U.S. population has more than doubled since.

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Back in 1950, more than 80% of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, less than 65% of all men in the United States have jobs.

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Only about 7% of all non-farm workers in the United States are self-employed, an all-time record low.

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The homeownership rate in America is now at its lowest level in nearly 18 years.

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Among U.S. households headed by an adult younger than 35, 23% were in poverty in 2010.

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49% of all Americans live in a home in which one or more residents receive monetary benefits from one or more government programs (i.e. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps). Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  

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The federal government runs 83 different welfare programs, and 108.2 million Americans are enrolled in at least one of them. That equals about 35% of the population.  

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Back in 1967, only one out of every 20 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, 57.4 million. The Congressional Budget Office projects that health reform will add 13 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.  

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It is projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.4 million in 2012 to 72.8 million in 2025. Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of $38.6 trillion dollars over the next 75 years. That comes to approximately $318,787 for every single household in the United States.

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There are approximately 58 million Americans collecting Social Security benefits. By 2035, that number is projected to rise to 91 million.

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Overall, the Social Security system is facing a $134 trillion shortfall over the next 75 years.

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Today, the number of Americans on Social Security Disability now exceeds the entire population of Greece, and the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.

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45% of all children are living in poverty in Miami, more than 50% of all children are living in poverty in Cleveland, and about 60% of all children are living in poverty in Detroit.

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Today, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.

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When President Barack Obama first entered the White House, about 32 million Americans were on food stamps. Now, more than 47 million Americans are on food stamps.

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According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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