In Numbers

A data-driven, nonpartisan snapshot

of the state of our union

SOTU Main

The Issues

Article II  of the US Constitution requires that the president address Congress on the "state of the union," including a budget report and legislative proposals*.  USAFacts analyzed decades of State of the Union addresses to find the most-covered issues; here are the numbers behind those popular topics. ​

This year's State of the Union is unique, both because of the new administration and because it is the first since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic's full impact on the nation is not yet clear, both because it is ongoing and because not all 2020 data is available as of this publication. Some of its effects will be apparent in this report, and some will not. Still, these historical metrics provide perspective. Americans can use them to determine if the nation is on the right or wrong track for any given issue.​ Watch a video from the USAFacts team on how this 2021 edition came together.

*While presidents address Congress in February in their first year in office, the speech is not an official State of the Union address. Much of the function remains the same.