The Executive Branch by the Numbers

14 facts about the president and other senior U.S. government officials who lead the executive branch

The executive branch is one of the three branches of the U.S. government; it includes the president, vice president, presidential advisors and Cabinet, 15 executive departments, as well as hundreds of other bureaus and agencies. U.S. government employees within the executive branch play a variety of critical roles, such as issuing passports, maintaining public lands, printing money, monitoring the economy, and supporting health programs.

4

The number of years in a presidential term. 

44

The number of people who have served as president between 1789 and 2020 — but there have been 45 presidencies in that time (Grover Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms).

35

The minimum age requirement to become president.

12

The number of years in office for the president with the longest tenure — Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served from 1933 to 1945.

1951

The year presidents were limited to serving only two full terms.

1804

The year electors began voting for vice president. Previously, electors voted only for president, and the candidate who received the second-greatest number of votes became vice president.

9

The number of vice presidents who have assumed the presidency due to the death or resignation of a president.

15

The number of main federal departments included in the executive branch; the leaders of these departments constitute the president’s Cabinet. These departments include the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Department of the Treasury.

4th

In the line of presidential succession, the secretary of state becomes president if none of these leaders can serve: the president, vice president, speaker of the House of Representatives, or president pro tempore of the Senate.

14

Of the 15 executive department heads, 14 have a title beginning with the word “secretary.” The head of the Department of Justice is called the attorney general.

1

The number of executive departments headquartered outside Washington, D.C.: The Department of Defense has its main offices at the Pentagon in Virginia. 

100+

Other agencies, offices, bureaus, and task forces in the executive branch. Some exist as sub-agencies and others are separate.

4 million

The number of Americans employed by the executive branch. They include national park rangers, FBI agents, scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and astronauts at NASA.

1000+

The number of positions in the executive branch appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. 


Learn more about:
Executive branch powers (U.S. Government Printing Office)
The office of vice president (U.S. Senate)
The president’s cabinet (Truman Library)
Requirements for president (Library of Congress)
Executive departments, agencies, and other committees (Library of Congress)
The federal workforce (Congressional Research Service)

Find more resources here.

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