Government Transfer Payments

Government transfer payments involve payments for which no current services are performed and are a component of personal income.

Government payments to individuals include retirement and disability insurance benefits, medical benefits (mainly Medicare and Medicaid), income maintenance benefits, unemployment insurance compensation, veterans benefits, and federal education and training assistance. Government payments to nonprofit institutions excludes payments by the federal government for work under research and development contracts. Business payments to persons consists primarily of liability payments for personal injury and of corporate gifts to nonprofit institutions.

All state and local area dollar estimates are in current dollars (not adjusted for inflation).

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are transfer payments?
    Transfer payments are income to persons for which no current service has been performed. It consists of payments to individuals and nonprofit institutions by Federal, State, and local governments and by businesses.
  • There are so many different types of transfer payments. Where can I go to find out what they mean?
    These definitions are available in the regional definitions section of the BEA website.