Guess How Much Of Uncle Sam's Money Goes To Foreign Aid. Guess Again!

Added: 06-26-2018

This concise article summarizes a 2014 Kaiser study which found that under 5% of the 1,500 respondents surveyed accurately knew that the US gives 1% of its federal budget to foreign aid. This article reminds readers that under 1% of the US’s $4 trillion budget goes to foreign aid, significantly less that the 27% average guess from study participants.

national governments and agencies United States (US) Education aid expenditure Kaiser Family Foundation federal budget foreign aid

Type Reading Time Author Date Source
article 5 minutes PONCIE RUTSCH 10-02-2015
Type Reading Time
article 5 minutes
Author Date
Poncie Rutsch 2018-06-26 00:00:00 UTC
Key Takeaways

  • USA spends under 1% of its $4 trillion budget on foreign aid.
  • Kaiser study found that 95% of American respondents thought foreign aid spending was much higher than it really was.
  • The average guess regarding foreign aid spending was 26%.

In this Goats and Soda article, NPR reporter Poncie Rutsch reports that a December 2014 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation polled over 1,500 people, and under 5% of respondents knew how much the United States (US) spends on foreign aid annually. The US spends under 1% of its federal budget of four trillion dollars on foreign aid.

The average response to how much the US spends on foreign aid was 26%, over 25 times the actual amount. Rutsch explains that over 50% of respondents thought the US spends too much on foreign aid originally, but under half of those same respondents still felt that way after finding out the real amount.