Annual GDP and real GDP for the United States 1930-2020

On October 29, 1929, the US experienced the most devastating stock market crash in it's history. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 marked the beginning of the Great Depression, which lasted for twelve years and affected all industrialized countries in the western hemisphere. In the United States, GDP fell to it's lowest recorded level of just 57 billion U.S dollars in 1933, before rising again shortly before the Second World War. After the war, GDP fluctuated, but it increased gradually until the Great Recession in 2008.

Real GDP

Real GDP allows us to compare GDP over time, by adjusting all figures for inflation. In this case, all numbers have been adjusted to the value of the US dollar in FY2012. While GDP rose every year between 1946 and 2008, when this is adjusted for inflation it can see that the real GDP dropped at least once in every decade except the 1960s and 2010s.

The Great Recession

Apart from the Great Depression and immediately after WWII, the only other time where both GDP and real GDP dropped together was during the Great Recession. This lasted from December 2007 until June 2009 in the US, although its impact was felt for years after this. After the collapse of the financial sector in the US, the government famously bailed out some of the country's largest banking and lending institutions. Since recovery began in late 2009, US GDP has grown year-on-year, and reached 21.4 trillion dollars in 2019. It remains to be seen what impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will have on the US economy, although most experts agree that another recession is currently underway.

Annual Gross Domestic Product and real GDP in the United States from 1930 to 2020*

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Release date

August 2020


United States

Survey time period

1930 to 2020

Supplementary notes

*Annual data not available for 2020, figures are for the first and second quarters only.

**Real GDP - all figures are given in FY2012 US dollars.

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