The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce responsible for measuring our Nation’s economic production. It’s primary responsibility is to prepare the national economic accounts. The cornerstone of BEA’s statistics is the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), which feature estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) and related measures. GDP measurement has been standardized back to 1929.
The following chart shows economic growth for the period spanning the completed presidential tenures of Hoover through Obama 2011. Data for the FDR war years, 1939 -1944, is omitted to counter political arguments that their inclusion skews the results. The data points are operational as average annual change in real GDP per capital, thus they control for inflation and population.
As the historical record shows, over the period spanning the presidential tenures of Hoover through Obama ‘11, economic growth has been much stronger when the Democratic Party holds office. In the aggregate, average annual change in real GDP per capita was 2.45% for the Dems as opposed to .76% for the GOP, yielding a Dem/GOP ratio of 3.2