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President Biden's first year was a busy and difficult one, in which he faced a continuing global pandemic, rising inflation, the end of the country's longest war in Afghanistan, the passage of historic infrastructure legislation and the stalling of his broader social and voting agenda, among many other challenges.
Another way to look at the highs and lows of 2021 is by the numbers — here are some key figures from Mr. Biden's first year as president.
6.4 million jobs added
In 2021, Mr. Biden's first year in office, the economy added a record 6.4 million jobs — an average of 537,000 jobs a month. Former President Trump saw 2.1 million jobs added during 2017, his first year in office, with an average of 182,000 jobs per month. This was slightly lower than the two prior years, 2015 and 2016. Former President Obama took office during the most dire economic crisis since the Depression. The economy lost 5 million jobs in 2009, averaging 416,000 jobs a month as the Great Recession, which began in 2008, continued.
3.9% unemployment rate
When Mr. Biden took office in January 2021, the unemployment rate was 6.3%. By December, it had fallen to 3.9%. Under Trump, the unemployment rate fell from 4.7% in January 2017 to 4.1% by December of that year. The unemployment rate was 7.8% in January 2009, when former President Obama took office, as the Great Recession took hold. It was 9.9% in December of that year, a tick down from 10% during the fall, at the peak of the economic downturn.
Under Mr. Biden, consumer prices rose 7% across 2021, which was the fastest rate of inflation in 40 years, amid supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic and high demand. Consumer prices rose 2.1% in 2017 across Trump's first year in office. Obama saw consumer prices increase 2.7% by the end of 2009.
27 states visited
Mr. Biden visited 27 states for presidential stops his first year in office, with Pennsylvania being the most-frequented state, after his home in Delaware.
Trips to nine of these states were aimed at responding to natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms, or other tragedies like his trip to Florida to tour the Surfside apartment collapse.
For the states the president did not travel to in his first year, First Lady Jill Biden has filled the gap, making trips to 12 states, many of them conservative.
CaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaIdahoIllinois KentuckyLouisianaMaryland MassachusettsMichiganMinnesota MissouriNevadaNew Hampshire New Jersey New YorkNorth CarolinaOhio Oklahoma PennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTexasVirginia Wisconsin 5 countries visitedUnited KingdomBelgiumSwitzerlandVatican City Italy26 weekends and long holidays at home in Delaware
The president spent all or part of 26 weekends — half the weekends in the year — at one of his homes in Rehoboth Beach or Wilmington, Delaware, where some of his extended family lives and where his late first wife, son and daughter are buried.
$27.8 trillion — National debt when Mr. Biden took office
$29.8 trillion — National debt after one year in office
COVID deaths in the U.S. (according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
COVID vaccination rate
Early in his administration, Mr. Biden aimed to get 70% of adult Americans at least one COVID shot by July 4. The nation was a little behind but finally reached that milestone about a month later,according to the CDC. Nearly 74% of those 18 or older are fully vaccinated.Since he announced that goal, children as young as 5 years of age may now be vaccinated. Now, as of January 19, over 209.5 million Americans are fully vaccinated, and nearly 82 million have received a booster,
20 formal interviews
Mr. Biden has given 20 formal interviews with journalists, according to CBS News' count. Former President Barack Obama, for contrast, gave a whopping 158 interviews his first year in office, according to CBS News' count.
Here is the list of formal interviews Mr. Biden has given as president:
2/3/21 People Magazine (with Jill Biden)2/3/21 Westwood One's Jim Gray (with Jill Biden) 2/5/212/7/21 Westwood One Sports Super Bowl interview2/17/21 CNN Town Hall with Anderson Cooper2/26/21 Univision's Ilia Calderon 3/16/21 ABC George Stephanopoulos 3/31/21 ESPN's Sage Steele 4/30/21 NBC News' Craig Melvin 5/12/21 MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell 5/20/21 New York Times' David Brooks 5/25/21 The Atlantic's Edward-Isaac Dovere 7/22/21 CNN Town Hall with Don Lemon 8/18/21 ABC George Stephanopoulos 10/22/21 CNN Town Hall with Anderson Cooper11/8/21 Cincinnati Local 12 12/10/21 NBC Jimmy Fallon (virtual) 12/12/21 CBS Sunday Morning Rita Braver (Jill Biden feature) 12/14/21 WHIO TV in Dayton, Ohio 12/14/21 CBS News19 in Columbia, South Carolina 12/22/21 ABC News' David Muir 10 news conferences
President Biden has held 10 press conferences, and the most recent one, on the eve of the first anniversary of his inauguration, lasted nearly two hours. For comparison, former President Trump held 21 press conferences his first year in office, and former President Obama had 42 news conferences his first year. Mr. Biden's White House points out that the president has engaged in scores of regular informal interactions with the press.
March 25, 2021 —April 16, 2021 — at the White HouseMay 21, 2021 - , East RoomJune 13, 2021 - .June 14, 2021 - (at NATO)June 16, 2021 - July 15, 2021 - , East Room October 31, 2021 — November 2, 2021 — January 19, 2022 — 77 executive orders signed in 2021
The president has signed 77 executive orders.
January — 25February — 9March — 3April — 5May — 5June — 4July — 1August — 3September — 9October — 3November — 4December — 61.7 million migrant apprehensions at the southern border in fiscal 2021
This number is a record, but it's partially inflated by the unusually high rate of repeat migrant border crossings. In the prior fiscal year, 2020, there were only 458,000 who crossed. That lower figure is attributed to the fact that it was the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 1 million Title 42 border expulsions
Title 42 is the health regulation first used by the Trump administration in March 2020 to turn away asylum applicants at the border because of the contagiousness of COVID-19. But it has been used by the Biden administration, too, to expel migrants without allowing them to see an immigration judge or an asylum officer first. Over 1 million Title 42 expulsions have been carried out in Mr. Biden's first full 11 months, according to Customs and Border Protection data. The Trump administration carried out 400,000 Title 42 expulsions.
11,414 refugees admitted
In May, Mr. Biden raised the U.S. refugee cap to 62,500, raising it from Trump's historic low of 15,000. But ultimately, only 11,414 were admitted because the resettlement infrastructure underwent heavy cuts during the Trump era — the refugee resettlement agencies closed offices and scaled back services. For 2022, Mr. Biden has set an ambitious 125,000 refugee cap, which is likely not to be met because of the decimated resettlement infrastructure. In the three months of the 2022 fiscal year so far, only 3,268 have been admitted. And these numbers do not include tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees.
Immigration court backlog: nearly 1.6 million
The Biden administration's immigration court backlog recently increased to another all-time high, nearly 1.6 million cases. When Trump left office, there were 1.3 million pending immigration court cases.
41 federal circuit and district court judges confirmed by the Senate
President Biden has confirmed the highest number of circuit and district court judges of any president since Ronald Reagan, the White House noted in a statement in December. It went on to point out that "80% of those confirmed judges are women, with 53% being people of color."
Deborah L. Boardman, confirmed 6/23/21 as United States District Judge for the District of MarylandTiffany P. Cunningham, confirmed 7/19/21 as United States Circuit Judge for the Federal CircuitLydia Kay Griggsby, confirmed 6/16/21 as United States District Judge for the District of MarylandKetanji Brown Jackson, confirmed 6/14/21 as United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia CircuitCandace Jackson-Akiwumi, confirmed 6/24/21 as United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh CircuitJulien Xavier Neals, confirmed 6/8/21 as United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey Zahid N. Quraishi, confirmed 6/10/21 as United States District Judge for the District of New JerseyRegina M. Rodriguez, confirmed 6/8 as United States District Judge for the District of ColoradoMargaret Irene Strickland, confirmed 9/21/21 as United States District Judge for the District of New MexicoDavid G. Estudillo, confirmed 9/14/21 as United States District Judge for the Western District of WashingtonTana Lin, of Washington, confirmed 10/21/21 as United States District Judge for the Western District of WashingtonChristine P. O'Hearn, confirmed 10/19/21 as United States District Judge for the District of New JerseyGustavo A. Gelpí, confirmed 10/18/21 as United States Circuit Judge for the First Circuit Angel Kelley, confirmed 9/14/21 as United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts Lauren J. King, confirmed 9/14/21 as United States District Judge for the Western District of WashingtonEunice C. Lee, of New York, confirmed 8/7/21 as United States Circuit Judge for the Second CircuitVeronica S. Rossman, confirmed 9/20/21 as United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth CircuitKaren McGlashan Williams, confirmed 10/26 as United States District Judge for the District of New JerseyJia M. Cobb, confirmed 10/26 as United States District Judge for the District of ColumbiaSarah A.L. Merriam, confirmed 10/6/21 as United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut Sarala Vidya Nagala, confirmed 10/27/21 as United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut Florence Y. Pan, confirmed 9/23/21 as United States District Judge for the District of ColumbiaMyrna Pérez, confirmed 10/25/21 as United States Circuit Judge for the Second CircuitOmar Antonio Williams, confirmed 10/28/21 as United States District Judge for the District of ConnecticutJane M. Beckering, confirmed 12/17/21 as United States District Judge for the Western District of Michigan Shalina D. Kumar, confirmed 12/17/21 as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan Michael S. Nachmanoff, confirmed 10/27/21 as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia judge Toby J. Heytens, confirmed 11/1/21 as judge of the United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth CircuitJennifer Sung, confirmed 12/15/21 as judge of the United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth CircuitPatricia Tolliver Giles, confirmed 10/26/21 as judge of the United States District Judge for the Eastern District of VirginiaMary Katherine Dimke, confirmed 12/18/21 as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of WashingtonBeth Robinson, confirmed 11/1/21 as United States Circuit Judge for the Second CircuitMaame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong, confirmed 12/17/21 as United States District Judge for the Central District of CaliforniaLucy Haeran Koh, confirmed 12/13 as United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth CircuitKatherine Marie Menendez, confirmed 12/18/21 as United States District Judge for the District of MinnesotaGabriel P. Sanchez, confirmed 1/12/2022 as United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Jennifer L. Thurston, confirmed 12/17/21 as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of CaliforniaDavid Herrera Urias, confirmed 12/17 as United States District Judge for the District of New MexicoSamantha D. Elliott, confirmed 12/15/21 as United States District Judge for the District of New Hampshire Linda Lopez, confirmed 12/17/21 as United States District Judge for the Southern District of CaliforniaJinsook Ohta, confirmed 12/17/21 as United States District Judge for the Southern District of California20 states visited by Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris visited 20 states during her first year in office, with nearby Virginia receiving the most with five visits.
CaliforniaColoradoConnecticutFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIllinoisMarylandMichiganNevadaNew Jersey New York North CarolinaOhioPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaTexasVirginiaWisconsin