Ahead of tonight’s first presidential debate, WalletHub’s analysts compared the economic performance of the U.S. under both Democratic and Republican control to objectively answer an important question: Which Party Is Better for the Economy?

In order to do so, we examined the years during which each party was in control of either the presidency, legislature or both according to 13 key indicators of economic performance. They range from “real gross domestic product (GDP) growth” to “annual poverty rate change” to “change in annual national debt as a percentage of GDP.” In addition, we analyzed each metric under the administration of each president who served between 1950 and 2015 to determine which president had the most positive impact on the economy.

Some highlights from the study include the following:

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Best vs. Worst:

  • Overall, the economy has performed best under the combination of a Democratic presidency and Republican Congress.
  • In the past 66 years, real GDP has grown fastest under Democratic control of both the executive and legislative branches of government, at an average of 4.21 percent per year, and most slowly under a Democratic presidency and divided Congress, at an average of 1.97 percent per year.
  • The stock market has performed best under a Democratic presidency and Republican Congress, with the S&P 500 producing an average annual return of 17.03 percent, and worst under a Republican presidency and divided Congress, with an average annual return of 3.28 percent.
  • The annual unemployment rate change has had the highest decrease (0.85 percent, on average) under a Democratic presidency and divided Congress and the highest increase (0.26 percent, on average) under a Republican presidency and Democratic Congress.
  • The annual poverty rate change has had the highest decrease (0.64 percent, on average) under Democratic presidency and Republican Congress and the highest increase (0.18 percent, on average) under a Republican presidency and divided Congress.
  • The annual uninsured rate change has had the highest decrease (1.23 percent, on average) under a Democratic presidency and divided Congress and the highest increase (0.34 percent, on average) under a Republican presidency and divided Congress.
  • The change in annual national debt as a percentage of GDP (adjusted for inflation) has had the highest decrease (1.52 percent, on average) under a Democratic presidency and Republican Congress and the highest increase (2.98 percent) under a Democratic presidency and divided Congress.

For the full report, please visit:

https://wallethub.com/edu/which-party-is-better-for-the-economy/24468/

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