Mark Febrizio presenting at a conference

Reg Stats

The charts on this page have been featured in a number of publications, please contact us if you would like to use these files in your publication or presentation.

The effects of regulation—both benefits and costs—are difficult to measure, particularly when considered in the aggregate. As a result, analysts often turn to indirect proxies to understand the reach and impact of regulations over time.

The information here provides accessible charts and supporting data to better understand disparities and similarities across presidential administrations, and their cumulative approaches to implementing regulatory policy. Our team of policy analysts update these charts on a regular basis as new data are available.

If you would like to see us include other data points, or have questions about the information presented here, please email [email protected].

Terminology


 


Screenshot of the Capitalism in America: A History book cover by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge.

Reg Stats featured in "Capitalism in America"

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Alan Greenspan and the Economist's political editor Adrian Wooldridge's 2018 book features our "Pages in the Code of Federal Regulations" chart.

Image of the Bloomberg Opinion logo.

Reg Stats featured in Bloomberg

Opinion columnist Justin Fox cited our "Total Pages in the Federal Register" and "Significant Final Rules Published by Presidential Year" charts.


 

Economically Significant Final Rules Published by Presidential Year

This chart shows the economically significant final rules published by presidential year from 1981 through 2017. Years 1981 through 1992, 2001 through 2008, and 2017 were under Republican administrations. Years 1993 through 2000 and years 2009 through 2016 were under Democratic administrations. The number of economically significant final rules published in the following years are as follows. 1981, 1, 1982, 12, 1983, 27, 1984, 18, 1985, 23, 1986, 24, 1987, 25, 1988, 29, 1989, 26, 1990, 34, 1991, 55, 1992, 66, 1993, 45, 1994, 61, 1995, 34, 1996, 39, 1997, 37, 1998, 38, 1999, 35, 2000, 72, 2001, 36, 2002, 39, 2003, 47, 2004, 45, 2005, 41, 2006, 33, 2007, 44, 2008, 73, 2009, 51, 2010, 70, 2011, 54, 2012, 49, 2013, 54, 2014, 57, 2015, 61, 2016, 94, 2017, 19.

 

This graph presents the number of economically significant final rules published each presidential year. Economically significant rules are regulations issued by executive branch agencies that meet this definition in Executive Order 12866: “Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities.”

We present numbers by “presidential year” (February 1st through January 31st) to understand priorities and activities during presidential terms.

 

 

 

 

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for Economically Significant Rules Published by Presidential Year (CSV)

If you would like to see the breakdown of Economically Significant Final Rules Published by Presidential Year for specific agencies, there are additional charts and data available for several agencies including the Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Dept. of Health & Human Services.

View Agency Specific Charts and Data


 

Cumulative Economically Significant Final Rules by Administration

This chart shows a series of lines depicting the publication of economically signifcant rules published by presidential administration from Reagan through Trump.

 

This graph tracks the cumulative number of economically significant final regulations published by executive branch agencies under different administrations, during equivalent months in office, from President Reagan to President Trump.

It is interesting to note how each administration follows the same general trend upward as their time in office elapses, and that each administration (excluding Reagan) has a notable uptick in their final months.

 

 

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for Cumulative Economically Significant Final Rules by Administration (CSV)


Number of Final Major Rules Published by Presidential Year

This chart shows the final major rules published by presidential year from 1996 through 2018. Years 1996 through 2000 and years 2009 through 2016 were under Democratic administrations. Years 2001 through 2008, and 2017 and 2018 were under Republican administrations. The number of final major rules published in the following years are as follows: 1996, 52, 1997, 62, 1998, 71, 1999, 52, 2000, 97, 2001, 52, 2002, 49, 2003, 55, 2004, 64, 2005, 53, 2006, 57, 2007, 64, 2008, 105, 2009, 77, 2010, 96, 2011, 80, 2012, 72, 2013, 80, 2014, 78, 2015, 81, 2016, 127, 2017, 36, 2018, 52.

 

The Government Accountability Office reports on “major” rules published. The Congressional Review Act, passed in 1996, defines a major rule as “one that has resulted in or is likely to result in (1) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; (2) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or (3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, or innovation, or on the ability of the United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.”

 

 

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for Number of Final Major Rules Published by Presidential Year (CSV)


Regulators' Budget Report

This chart shows the regulatory agency budget outlays by fiscal year from 1960 through 2018. The chart distinguishes between economic regulation, social regulation, and regulations from the Transportation Security Administration (which has features that differ from other regulatory agencies). Economic regulation budget outlays are as follows. 1960 $1.02b 1961 $1.17b 1962 $1.20b 1963 $1.37b 1964 $1.46b 1965 $1.69b 1966 $1.61b 1967 $1.74b 1968 $1.82b 1969 $1.86b 1970 $2.14b 1971 $2.34b 1972 $2.21b 1973 $1.85b 1974 $2.11b 1975 $2.43b 1976 $2.61b 1977 $2.70b 1978 $2.56b 1979 $2.56b 1980 $2.81b 1981 $2.51b 1982 $2.69b 1983 $2.63b 1984 $2.75b 1985 $2.98b 1986 $3.44b 1987 $2.97b 1988 $3.41b 1989 $3.53b 1990 $3.83b 1991 $3.69b 1992 $4.05b 1993 $4.62b 1994 $4.31b 1995 $5.01b 1996 $4.62b 1997 $4.98b 1998 $4.87b 1999 $5.11b 2000 $5.38b 2001 $5.51b 2002 $5.93b 2003 $5.86b 2004 $6.35b 2005 $6.45b 2006 $6.70b 2007 $6.95b 2008 $7.31b 2009 $7.86b 2010 $8.12b 2011 $8.71b 2012 $9.08b 2013 $9.71b 2014 $9.75b 2015 $10.28b 2016 $10.96b 2017 $10.85b 2018 $11.36b 2019 $11.28b Social regulation budget outlays are as follows. 1960 $2.02b 1961 $2.37b 1962 $2.69b 1963 $3.03b 1964 $3.20b 1965 $3.23b 1966 $3.36b 1967 $3.55b 1968 $3.97b 1969 $4.42b 1970 $4.82b 1971 $5.96b 1972 $7.31b 1973 $9.60b 1974 $9.07b 1975 $9.97b 1976 $11.19b 1977 $11.83b 1978 $12.18b 1979 $12.68b 1980 $13.65b 1981 $13.26b 1982 $12.04b 1983 $12.11b 1984 $12.34b 1985 $12.60b 1986 $12.87b 1987 $13.77b 1988 $14.77b 1989 $15.69b 1990 $16.66b 1991 $18.24b 1992 $19.97b 1993 $20.07b 1994 $20.36b 1995 $20.85b 1996 $20.67b 1997 $21.69b 1998 $23.63b 1999 $24.44b 2000 $25.66b 2001 $26.83b 2002 $30.53b 2003 $30.60b 2004 $31.37b 2005 $32.08b 2006 $33.34b 2007 $33.69b 2008 $35.75b 2009 $38.75b 2010 $40.68b 2011 $41.07b 2012 $41.31b 2013 $39.74b 2014 $40.11b 2015 $39.60b 2016 $40.90b 2017 $41.49b 2018 $43.03b 2019 $43.52b TSA regulation budget outlays are as follows. 2002 $1.29b 2003 $10.27b 2004 $4.60b 2005 $4.24b 2006 $4.24b 2007 $4.35b 2008 $4.59b 2009 $4.79b 2010 $4.43b 2011 $4.51b 2012 $4.54b 2013 $4.48b 2014 $4.31b 2015 $5.53b 2016 $5.29b 2017 $5.91b 2018 $6.62b 2019 $6.26b

Agency Budget Outlays by Fiscal Year

A chart on regulatory agency budget outlays by fiscal year from our annual Regulators' Budget report, co-published with the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis.

This chart shows the regulatory agency staffing in full-time equivalent (FTE) employment from 1960 through 2018.  The chart distinguishes between economic regulation, social regulation, and regulations from the Transportation Security Administration (which has features that differ from other regulatory agencies). The number of agency staff devoted to regulatory activity for economic regulation is as follows. 1960 18,290 1961 18,984 1962 20,492 1963 21,649 1964 21,679 1965 25,300 1966 24,609 1967 26,179 1968 27,098 1969 27,761 1970 32,590 1971 31,133 1972 30,024 1973 23,860 1974 25,207 1975 29,198 1976 30,846 1977 28,353 1978 29,462 1979 30,025 1980 31,361 1981 29,347 1982 29,177 1983 27,551 1984 27,313 1985 26,988 1986 27,587 1987 27,109 1988 27,778 1989 35,885 1990 33,271 1991 34,412 1992 37,089 1993 38,062 1994 37,623 1995 37,756 1996 33,714 1997 32,409 1998 31,941 1999 32,471 2000 32,646 2001 32,354 2002 32,524 2003 32,077 2004 32,652 2005 31,842 2006 32,068 2007 32,953 2008 33,969 2009 35,983 2010 37,321 2011 39,455 2012 40,327 2013 41,252 2014 44,229 2015 44,923 2016 45,466 2017 45,247 2018 45,936 2019 46,212 The number of agency staff devoted to regulatory activity for social regulation is as follows. 1960 38,819 1961 42,669 1962 46,459 1963 49,157 1964 50,008 1965 48,925 1966 51,231 1967 51,726 1968 54,460 1969 54,208 1970 57,685 1971 67,546 1972 87,601 1973 93,549 1974 92,630 1975 92,984 1976 98,435 1977 109,744 1978 111,858 1979 120,195 1980 115,047 1981 115,528 1982 103,781 1983 99,997 1984 99,974 1985 100,818 1986 99,961 1987 103,347 1988 108,145 1989 115,568 1990 119,475 1991 123,531 1992 130,815 1993 135,913 1994 133,589 1995 136,147 1996 137,135 1997 133,356 1998 139,977 1999 139,978 2000 143,232 2001 140,704 2002 149,328 2003 153,166 2004 155,959 2005 152,864 2006 152,177 2007 154,602 2008 162,675 2009 172,551 2010 178,564 2011 182,110 2012 181,451 2013 175,498 2014 177,633 2015 174,255 2016 176,792 2017 178,832 2018 181,980 2019 180,419 The number of agency staff devoted to regulatory activity for TSA is as follows. 2002 3,434 2003 57,324 2004 46,413 2005 50,725 2006 49,469 2007 49,999 2008 52,692 2009 53,421 2010 55,000 2011 55,000 2012 56,317 2013 57,233 2014 56,581 2015 51,712 2016 54,901 2017 53,084 2018 52,956 2019 53,637

Full-Time Equivalent Personnel by Fiscal Year

A chart on regulatory agency personnel by fiscal year from our annual Regulators' Budget report, co-published with the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis.


 

Significant Final Rules Published by Presidential Year

This chart shows the significant final rules published by presidential year from 1994 through 2017. Years 1994 through 2000 and years 2009 through 2016 were under Democratic administrations. Years 2001 through 2008, and 2017 were under Republican administrations. The number of significant final rules published in the following years are as follows. 1994, 360, 1995, 297, 1996, 277, 1997, 224, 1998, 241, 1999, 273, 2000, 343, 2001, 253, 2002, 322, 2003, 356, 2004, 280, 2005, 284, 2006, 302, 2007, 283, 2008, 348, 2009, 243, 2010, 311, 2011, 304, 2012, 218, 2013, 189, 2014, 180, 2015, 189, 2016, 303, 2017, 63.

 

This graph presents the number of significant final rules published each presidential year. Significant rules (which include economically significant rules) are those regulations that meet one or more of the following definitions in Executive Order 12866: “create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in [Executive Order 12866].” We present numbers by “presidential year” (February 1st through January 31st) to understand priorities and activities during presidential terms.

 

Download the Data
for Significant Final Rules Published by Presidential Year (CSV)


Total Pages in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register

This chart shows the total pages published in the Code of Federal Regulations from 1950 through 2018. The total number of pages by year is as follows: 1950, 9,745, 1951, 15,932, 1952, 19,232, 1953, 18,464, 1954, 16,502, 1955, 17,989, 1956, 21,651, 1957, 19,589, 1958, 20,643, 1959, 21,760, 1960, 22,877, 1961, 25,242, 1962, 22,863, 1963, 25,828, 1964, 31,584, 1965, 34,783, 1966, 43,118, 1967, 50,375, 1968, 53,513, 1969, 52,863, 1970, 54,834, 1971, 56,720, 1972, 60,632, 1973, 64,872. 1974, 67,860, 1975, 71,224, 1976, 72,740, 1977, 84,729, 1978, 94,151, 1979, 98,032, 1980, 102,195, 1981, 107,109, 1982, 104,938, 1983, 105,654, 1984, 111,830, 1985, 105,935, 1986, 109,509, 1987, 114,337, 1988, 117,480, 1989, 122,090, 1990, 126,893, 1991, 125,331, 1992, 128,344, 1993, 132,228, 1994, 134,196, 1996, 138,186, 1996, 132,112, 1997, 131,060, 1998, 135,127, 1999, 134,932, 2000, 138,049, 2001, 141,281, 2002, 145,099, 2003, 144,187, 2004, 147,639, 2005, 151,973, 2006, 154,107, 2007, 156,010, 2008, 157,974, 2009, 163,333, 2010, 165,494, 2011, 168,159, 2012, 174,545, 2013, 175,496, 2014, 179,381, 2015, 178,277, 2016, 185,053, 2017, 186,374, 2018, 185,434.

Total Pages Published in the Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules promulgated by the departments and agencies of the federal government. The number of total pages published in the CFR annually provides a sense of the volume of existing regulations with which American businesses, workers, consumers, and other regulated entities must comply.

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for Total Pages Published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CSV)

This chart shows the total pages published in the Federal Register from 1936 through 2018. The total number of pages by year is as follows 1936 2,620 1937 3,450 1938 3,194 1939 5,007 1940 5,307 1941 6,877 1942 11,134 1943 17,553 1944 15,194 1945 15,508 1946 14,736 1947 8,902 1948 9,608 1949 7,952 1950 9,562 1951 13,175 1952 11,896 1953 8,912 1954 9,910 1955 10,196 1956 10,528 1957 11,156 1958 10,579 1959 11,116 1960 14,479 1961 12,792 1962 13,226 1963 14,842 1964 19,304 1965 17,206 1966 16,850 1967 21,088 1968 20,072 1969 20,466 1970 20,036 1971 25,447 1972 28,924 1973 35,592 1974 45,422 1975 60,221 1976 50,505 1977 57,787 1978 55,696 1979 71,191 1980 73,258 1981 57,736 1982 53,104 1983 53,018 1984 48,643 1985 50,502 1986 44,812 1987 47,033 1988 50,616 1989 50,501 1990 49,795 1991 57,973 1992 57,003 1993 61,166 1994 64,914 1995 62,645 1996 64,591 1997 64,549 1998 68,571 1999 71,161 2000 74,258 2001 64,438 2002 75,606 2003 71,269 2004 75,675 2005 73,870 2006 74,937 2007 72,090 2008 79,435 2009 68,598 2010 81,405 2011 81,247 2012 78,961 2013 79,311 2014 77,687 2015 80,260 2016 95,894 2017 61,308 2018 63,645

Total Pages Published in the Federal Register

The number of pages in the Federal Register—the daily journal of the federal government in which all newly proposed rules are published along with final rules, executive orders, and other agency notices—provides a sense of the flow of new or changed regulations issued during a given period. These regulations might increase or decrease regulatory burdens, making this an imperfect—but frequently cited—measure of regulatory burden.

Download the Data
for Total Pages Published in the Federal Register (CSV)