Prime Ministers and Government Spending: Updated 2021 Edition

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Prime Ministers and Government Spending: Updated 2021 Edition


  • Per-person federal program spending (adjusted for inflation) reached $17,121 in 2020-21, by far the highest level in Canada’s history.
  • Non-COVID-related per-person spending in 2020-21 was $11,165.
  • Moreover, federal spending is estimated to reach between $13,032 to $13,735 per-person in 2021-22, which would represent the second highest level in the country’s history.
  • For context, 2021-22 per-person spending will be 42.4% to 50.0% higher than during the 2009 recession. Per-person spending in 2021- 22 is also projected to be 64.8% to 73.7% higher than at the peak of World War II.
  • Per-person spending is expected to decrease in 2022-23, ranging between $10,846 and $11,446. It is still projected to be 12.2% to 18.4% higher than the level seen in 2019-20, which was the highest level of spending pre-COVID.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on track to record the five highest levels of per-person spending (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022) in Canadian history.

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