Data Innovation Day 2014

NPP’s interactive data tools—tools that serve media, activists, politicians, and citizens across the U.S.—are built on open data. So we’re proud to be a partner of Data Innovation Day 2014 and highlight some of our favorite ways to bring the federal budget closer to home.

Contributions from your state, county, congressional district, and city


Trade-Offs tool estimates the amount of money your state, county, congressional district or city contributes to pieces of the federal budget like food and nutrition assistance programs, Medicaid, interest on the debt, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

That’s powerful information and becomes even more powerful when we combine it with cost data to show alternate uses for those tax dollars.

For example, our friends in Washington, DC pay almost $66.5 million a year towards nuclear weapons. For the same amount of money, taxpayers there could get 700 Pell grants, provide low-income healthcare to 600 people for ten years, open 50 Head Start slots for ten years, and still have over $4 million left over.

Counting the costs

The open data that powers Trade-Offs also powers our Cost of National Security counters. How much does your state, county, congressional district, or city pay per hour for things like defense, foreign aid, education, and the environment?

Here’s a screenshot of New York City’s counter for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 

Cost of National Security

Want your own real-time counter? Pick one from Cost of National Security, localize it, and embed it in your own website.

Federal Spending in your state and county

Community Development 

Block Grants

Finally, our Federal Priorities Database creates custom maps of state and county-level federal spending for more than 25 specific programs, like school lunches, Community Development Block Grants, and Social Security benefits.

The database also maps social information, so you can see how your state is doing on things people care about, like health insurance coverage, poverty, energy consumption, and unemployment.

Data Innovation

Thank you, Center for Data Innovation, for taking a day to showcase what can happen when ideas and information come together. Check out the Center’s website for more great examples of open data in action.