Federal Deficit and Debt: April 2021

Every month the U.S. Treasury releases data on the federal budget, including the current deficit. The following contains budget data for April 2021, which is the seventh month of fiscal year (FY) 2021.

Current Federal Deficit

The federal government ran a budget deficit in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020

  • Federal Budget Deficit for April 2021: $226 billion
  • Federal Budget Deficit for April 2020: $738 billion

The deficit for April 2021 was $512 billion smaller than the deficit recorded in April 2020. Certain payments were shifted into April 2021 because May 1 fell on a weekend. Without those shifts, the deficit in April 2021 would have been $572 billion smaller than the deficit in April 2020.

Cumulative Federal Deficit

The federal government ran a budget deficit in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020

  • Cumulative FY21 Deficit Through April 2021: $1,932 billion
  • Cumulative Budget Deficit Over Same Period in FY20: $1,481 billion

The cumulative deficit for the first seven months of FY21 was $450 billion larger than it was through the first seven months of FY20. The increase in the cumulative deficit reflects a $748 billion increase in outlays that was only partially offset by a $298 billion increase in revenues.

The federal government ran a budget deficit in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020

The federal government ran a budget deficit in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020

National Debt

The federal government ran a budget deficit in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020

  • Debt Held by the Public at the end of April 2021: $22.0 trillion
  • Debt Held by the Public at the end of April 2020: $19.1 trillion

The sizeable deficit in FY20, and so far in FY21, has pushed up the current amount of debt held by the public by 15 percent relative to a year ago. Eventually, once the situation has stabilized, policymakers should turn their focus to the country’s underlying fiscal situation.

What Does the Debt Mean for Our Future?

We all have a responsibility to build a brighter fiscal and economic future for the next generation.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.