Government shutdown by the numbers

With the federal government now partially shut down for the first time in 17 years, “non-essential” government agencies and services are closed. Democrats and Republicans each blame the other side for being unreasonable, and there’s no end in sight to the impasse. The effects are rippling out across the nation.

Here’s a look at the government shutdown’s impact by the numbers:


The number of federal workers furloughed out of 2.15 million total. Ninety-seven percent of NASA’s workers and 94 percent of Environmental Protections Agency employees were furloughed, while 4 percent of Veteran Affairs and 14 percent of Homeland Security workers were forced to stay home, according to the New York Times.


The number of government shutdowns in U.S. history. The first shutdown was in 1976 and lasted 10 days. The most recent shutdown occurred on Dec.16, 1995, and ran through Jan. 5, 1996. During that shutdown, roughly 36 percent of the 2.2 million federal civilian non-postal workers were furloughed, according to economic consulting firm IHS Global Insight.

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$12.5 million

The amount it costs every hour the government shutdown drags on, according to IHS. That translates to about $300 million a day or $1.6 billion per week.

$1.4 billion (or $2.1 billion in today’s dollars)

The amount the 26-day government shutdown cost in 1996-96, the Pew Research Center said, citing figures from the Office of Management and Budget. The current shutdown differs from the last one, because the economy is still in recovery mode, following the worst recession since the Great Depression, IHS Global Insight said. The unemployment rate remains high, at 7.3 percent at the latest reading in August.

$1.6 billion

The loss in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for one week, assuming that an average annual salary per federal employee is $110,000. According to IHS, such a loss would also reduce the fourth-quarter economic growth rate by 0.16 of a percentage point.


The percentage of Americans disapproving of the way the GOP is handling its job, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday. Sixty percent of Americans said they disapproved of the way Democrats in Congress were handling their job, and 49 percent disapproved of the way President Obama is handling his job. The poll also found that voters broadly oppose — 72 to 22 percent — shutting down the federal government to block the implementation of Obamacare.

1.4 million

The number of military’s active duty personnel who will stay on duty and still be paid on time as a result of legislation passed by Congress and signed by Obama.


The number of federal prisons that will remain open, according to The Associated Press.


The number of White House staffers (out of 90 total) who will stay on the job in the residence, according to USA Today.


Number of new cancer patients who will not be allowed to start their scheduled clinical research trials at the National Institutes of Health, according to USA Today.

9 million

The number of Americans who will be affected by lack of funding for the Women, Infants and Children program, according to The Washington Post. The Department of Agriculture will cut off its support for the program, which helps low-income pregnant women and new mother buy healthy food.


The number of couples who planned to get married at memorials on the National Mall this month but may have to make other plans, according to NBC Washington.


The Number of fountains in Washington, D.C., that will lose water, according to Mother Jones.


The amount extra a San Diego-area military wife says she has to spend for formula because her base commissary is closed, according to NBC San Diego.


The number of housing authorities that will stop receiving additional money for housing vouchers from The Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to The Washington Post.

More than 400

The number of national parks and museums, including Yosemite National Park in California, Alcatraz in San Francisco, and the Statue of Liberty in New York, that will be closed, according to The Washington Post. During the last shutdown, some 7 million visitors were turned away.

$16.7 trillion

The current U.S. debt limit. Even if the budget battle is resolved, Congress and President Obama need to find a compromise on raising the government’s debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the debt limit will be reached on Oct. 17.

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