Federal Deficit and Debt: October 2021

Every month the U.S. Treasury releases data on the federal budget, including the current deficit. The following contains budget data for November 2021, which was the second month of fiscal year (FY) 2022.

Current Federal Deficit

  • Federal Budget Deficit for November 2021: $191 billion
  • Federal Budget Deficit for November 2020: $145 billion

The deficit for November 2021 was $46 billion more than the deficit recorded in November 2020. That increase in the deficit was due to a 30 percent increase in outlays that was partially offset by a 28 percent increase in revenues.

However, certain federal payments were shifted out of November 2020 because November 1 fell on a weekend. Without such timing shifts, the deficit in November 2021 would have been $17 billion lower than the deficit in November 2020.

Cumulative Federal Deficit

  • Cumulative FY22 Deficit Through November 2021: $356 billion
  • Cumulative Budget Deficit Over Same Period in FY21: $429 billion

The cumulative deficit for the first two months of FY22 was $73 billion smaller than it was through the first two months of FY21, which reflects a $108 billion increase in revenues and a $35 billion increase in outlays.

National Debt

  • Debt Held by the Public at the end of November 2021: $22.7 trillion
  • Debt Held by the Public at the end of November 2020: $21.3 trillion

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, debt held by the public has increased by 30 percent. Once the situation has stabilized, policymakers should turn their focus to the country’s underlying fiscal situation.

Expert Views: Inflation, Interest & the National Debt

We asked experts with diverse views from across the political spectrum to share their perspectives.

National Debt Clock

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