U.S. Annual Advertising Spending Since 1919

This table has been revised slightly on Sept. 14, 2008.

Advertising expenditure by media and type is now available.

 

Year

Total  Ad Spending (m.)

Ad Spending in News, Mags., Radio, TV (m.)

GDP (b.)

Ads as % of GDP

1919

1,930

733

78.3

2.5%

1920

2,480

830

88.4

2.8%

1921

1,930

940

73.6

2.6%

1922

2,200

1,017

73.4

3.0%

1923

2,400

1,101

85.4

2.8%

1924

2,480

1,188

87.0

2.9%

1925

2,600

1,281

90.6

2.9%

1926

2,700

1,355

97.0

2.8%

1927

2,720

1,432

95.5

2.8%

1928

2,760

1,493

97.4

2.8%

1929

2,850

1,560

103.6

2.8%

1930

2,450

1,378

91.2

2.7%

1931

2,100

1,220

76.5

2.7%

1932

1,620

1,000

58.7

2.8%

1933

1,325

832

56.4

2.3%

1934

1,650

935

66.0

2.5%

1935

1,720

1,065

73.3

2.3%

1936

1,930

1,191

83.8

2.3%

1937

2,100

1,305

91.9

2.3%

1938

1,930

1,182

86.1

2.2%

1939

2,010

1,232

92.2

2.2%

1940

2,110

1,311

101.4

2.1%

1941

2,250

1,400

126.7

1.8%

1942

2,160

1,352

161.9

1.3%

1943

2,490

1,639

198.6

1.3%

1944

2,700

1,790

219.8

1.2%

1945

2,840

1,923

223.1

1.3%

1946

3,340

2,262

222.3

1.5%

1947

4,260

2,723

244.2

1.7%

1948

4,870

3,091

269.2

1.8%

1949

5,210

3,301

267.3

1.9%

1950

5,700

3,633

293.8

1.9%

1951

6,420

4,080

339.3

1.9%

1952

7,140

4,552

358.3

2.0%

1953

7,740

4,942

379.4

2.0%

1954

8,150

5,161

380.4

2.1%

1955

9,150

5,866

414.8

2.2%

1956

9,910

6,342

437.5

2.3%

1957

10,270

6,588

461.1

2.2%

1958

10,310

6,509

467.2

2.2%

1959

11,270

7,183

506.6

2.2%

1960

11,960

7,585

526.4

2.3%

1961

11,860

7,510

544.7

2.2%

1962

12,430

7,896

585.6

2.1%

1963

13,100

8,284

617.7

2.1%

1964

14,150

9,018

663.6

2.1%

1965

15,250

9,761

719.1

2.1%

1966

16,630

10,734

787.8

2.1%

1967

16,870

10,887

832.6

2.0%

1968

18,090

11,718

910.0

2.0%

1969

19,420

12,723

984.6

2.0%

1970

19,550

12,702

1,038.5

1.9%

1971

20,700

13,293

1,127.1

1.8%

1972

23,210

14,921

1,238.3

1.9%

1973

24,980

16,042

1,382.7

1.8%

1974

26,620

17,009

1,500.0

1.8%

1975

27,900

17,935

1,638.3

1.7%

1976

33,300

21,579

1,825.3

1.8%

1977

37,440

24,470

2,030.9

1.8%

1978

43,330

28,322

2,294.7

1.9%

1979

48,780

31,954

2,563.3

1.9%

1980

53,570

34,937

2,789.5

1.9%

1981

60,460

39,167

3,128.4

1.9%

1982

66,670

42,811

3,255.0

2.0%

1983

76,000

49,057

3,536.7

2.1%

1984

88,010

56,765

3,933.2

2.2%

1985

94,900

60,663

4,220.3

2.2%

1986

102,370

65,029

4,462.8

2.3%

1987

110,270

69,141

4,739.5

2.3%

1988

118,750

74,004

5,103.8

2.3%

1989

124,770

77,841

5,484.4

2.3%

1990

129,968

79,932

5,803.1

2.2%

1991

128,352

76,997

5,995.9

2.1%

1992

133,750

80,560

6,337.7

2.1%

1993

140,956

84,570

6,657.4

2.1%

1994

153,024

92,501

7,072.2

2.2%

1995

162,930

97,622

7,397.7

2.2%

1996

175,230

105,973

7,816.9

2.2%

1997

187,529

113,221

8,304.3

2.3%

1998

206,697

123,628

8,747.0

2.4%

1999

222,308

132,151

9,268.4

2.4%

2000

247,472

145,887

9,817.0

2.5%

2001

231,287

132,296

10,128.0

2.3%

2002

236,875

136,244

10,470.0

2.3%

2003

245,477

140,128

10,961.0

2.2%

2004

263,766

150,305

11,713.0

2.3%

2005

271,074

151,939

12,456.0

2.2%

2006

281,653

155,466

13,178.0

2.1%

2007

279,612

150,023

13,807.0

2.0%

 

 

Notes and Sources

 

These data revise data presented in Some Economics of Personal Activity and Implications for the Digital Economy and Communications Policy, Media Development, and Convergence.  Given the importance of advertising-based business models in current communications industry developments, I am making the revised, annual data publicly accessible for use in research and analysis.

 

Total advertising spending includes spending for advertising  in newspapers, magazines (including business papers and farm magazines), radio, broadcast television, cable television, direct mail, billboards and displays, Internet, and other forms.  The third column excludes from this total direct mail advertising, billboard and display advertising, Internet advertising, and other advertising.  The ad spending figures are in millions of current U.S. dollars.

 

The advertising expenditure data in this table from the Coen Structured Advertising Expenditure Dataset (CS Ad Dataset)

 

The GDP figures are from Louis D. Johnston and Samuel H. Williamson, "The Annual Real and Nominal GDP for the United States, 1790 -Present." Economic History Services, October 2005.  For 1919-1928, these figures are from  Kendrick, John W.,  Productivity Trends in the United States (Princeton, Princeton University Press: 1969).  The figures for 1929 on are from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  The remaining GDP figures are from standard national accounts.

 

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