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  Length of State of the Union Messages and Addresses (in words)
  
Washington - Obama

President
Date Format Words
George Washington average 2080
January 8, 1790 spoken 1089
December 8, 1790 spoken 1401
October 25, 1791 spoken 2302
November 6, 1792 spoken 2101
December 3, 1793 spoken 1968
November 19, 1794 spoken 2918
December 8, 1795 spoken 1989
December 7, 1796 spoken 2871
John Adams

average

1790
November 22, 1797 spoken 2063
  December 8, 1798 spoken 2218
  December 3, 1799 spoken 1505
November 22, 1800 spoken 1372
Thomas Jefferson average 2578
December 8, 1801 written 3224
December 15, 1802 written 2197
October 17, 1803 written 2263
November 8, 1804 written 2096
December 3, 1805 written 2927
December 2, 1806 written 2860
October 27, 1807 written 2384
November 8, 1808 written 2675
James Madison

average

2709
November 29, 1809 written 1831
December 5, 1810 written 2446
November 5, 1811 written 2273
November 4, 1812 written 3242
  December 7, 1813 written 3257
  September 20, 1814 written 2111
  December 5, 1815 written 3146
  December 3, 1816 written 3364
James Monroe average 5280
December 12, 1817 written 4418
November 16, 1818 written 4376
December 7, 1819 written 4702
November 14, 1820 written 3446
December 3, 1821 written 5814
December 3, 1822 written 4723
December 2, 1823 written 6358
December 7, 1824 written 8400
John Quincy Adams

average

7722
  December 6, 1825 written 8985
December 5, 1826 written 7705
  December 4, 1827 written 6917
December 2, 1828 written 7282
Andrew Jackson average 10645
December 8, 1829 written 10525
December 6, 1830 written 15114
  December 6, 1831 written 7178
  December 4, 1832 written 7863
  December 3, 1833 written 7877
  December 1, 1834 written 13411
December 7, 1835 written 10825
December 5, 1836 written 12367
Martin van Buren

average

11340
  December 5, 1837 written 11449
  December 3, 1838 written 11488
December 2, 1839 written 13431
December 5, 1840 written 8991
William Henry Harrison no annual messages
John Tyler

average

8503
  December 7, 1841 written 8241
  December 6, 1842 written 8417
December ?, 1843 written 8036
December 3, 1844 written 9318
James K. Polk average 18014
  December 2, 1845 written 16111
  December 8, 1846 written 18222
December 7, 1847 written 16414
December 5, 1848 written 21309
Zachary Taylor average 7617
  December 4, 1849 written 7617
Millard Fillmore average 10498
  December 2, 1850 written 8322
December 2, 1851 written 13244
December 6, 1852 written 9929
Franklin Pierce

average

10457
  December 5, 1853 written 9590
  December 4, 1854 written 10139
December 31, 1855 written 11612
December 2, 1856 written 10486
James Buchanan average 14097
  December 8, 1857 written 13655
  December 6, 1858 written 16349
December 19, 1859 written 12336
December 3, 1860 written 14049
Abraham Lincoln

average

6838
  December 3, 1861 written 6987
December 1, 1862 written 8385
December 8, 1863 written 6114
December 6, 1864 written 5865
Andrew Johnson average 9551
  December 4, 1865 written 9232
  December 3, 1866 written 7134
December 3, 1867 written 12002
December 9, 1868 written 9834
Ulysses S. Grant

average

8983
December 6, 1869 written 7706
December 5, 1870 written 8743
  December 4, 1871 written 6459
  December 2, 1872 written 10102
  December 1, 1873 written 10026
  December 7, 1874 written 9819
December 7, 1875 written 12211
December 5, 1876 written 6799
Rutherford B. Hayes average 10896
  December 3, 1877 written 10724
  December 2, 1878 written 7879
December 1, 1879 written 11635
December 6, 1880 written 13347
James Garfield no annual messages
Chester Arthur average 10219
  December 6, 1881 written 13321
  December 4, 1882 written 10274
December 4, 1883 written 8363
December 1, 1884 written 8917
Grover Cleveland - I

average

13440
  December 8, 1885 written 19960
  December 6, 1886 written 15285
December 6, 1887 written 5290
December 3, 1888 written 13226
Benjamin Harrison average 13628
  December 1, 1889 written 13004
  December 1, 1890 written 11522
December 9, 1891 written 16306
December 6, 1892 written 13680
Grover Cleveland - II

average

14574
  December 4, 1893 written 12282
  December 3, 1894 written 15892
December 2, 1895 written 14670
December 7, 1896 written 15453
William McKinley average 18578
  December 6, 1897 written 12113
  December 5, 1898 written 20224
December 5, 1899 written 22831
December 3, 1900 written 19142
Theodore Roosevelt

average

19656
December 3, 1901 written 19616
  December 5, 1902 written 9782
  December 7, 1903 written 14943
  December 6, 1904 written 17415
  December 5, 1905 written 25071
December 3, 1906 written 23609
December 3, 1907 written 27397
December 8, 1908 written 19411
William Howard Taft average 22614
  December 7, 1909 written 13901
  December 6, 1910 written 27651
December 5, 1911 written 23744
December 3, 1912 written 25161
Woodrow Wilson

average spoken

4545
December 2, 1913 spoken 3553
  December 8, 1914 spoken 4537
  December 7, 1915 spoken 7687
  December 5, 1916 spoken 2118
  December 4, 1917 spoken 3913
December 2, 1918 spoken 5463
December 2, 1919 written 4756
December 7, 1920 written 2706
Warren G. Harding average 5677
  December 6, 1921 spoken 5606
  December 8, 1922 spoken 5748
Calvin Coolidge

average written

8992
December 6, 1923 spoken 6706
  December 3, 1924 written 6968
  December 8, 1925 written 10848
  December 7, 1926 written 10305
December 6, 1927 written 8777
December 4, 1928 written 8061
Herbert Hoover average 6353
  December 3, 1929 written 10994
  December 5, 1930 written 4536
December 8, 1931 written 5682
December 6, 1932 written 4201
Franklin D. Roosevelt

average spoken

3563
January 3, 1934 spoken 2230
January 4, 1935 spoken 3525
January 3, 1936 spoken 3826
January 6, 1937 spoken 2732
January 3, 1938 spoken 4697
January 4, 1939 spoken 3768
January 3, 1940 spoken 3196
  January 6, 1941 spoken 3312
  January 6, 1942 spoken 3511
  January 7, 1943 spoken 4588
  January 11, 1944 spoken 3805
  January 6, 1945 written 8211
Harry S. Truman average spoken 4836
January 21, 1946 written 27465
  January 6, 1947 spoken 6028
  January 7, 1948 spoken 5094
  January 5, 1949 spoken 3401
  January 4, 1950 spoken 5130
January 8, 1951 spoken 3994
January 9, 1952 spoken 5369
January 7, 1953 written 9683
Dwight D. Eisenhower

average spoken

5689
February 2, 1953 spoken 6973
  January 7, 1954 spoken 5985
  January 6, 1955 spoken 7250
  January 5, 1956 written 8265
  January 10, 1957 spoken 4137
  January 9, 1958 spoken 4915
January 9, 1959 spoken 4933
January 7, 1960 spoken 5633
January 12, 1961 written 6210
John F. Kennedy average 5771
  January 30, 1961 spoken 5274
January 11, 1962 spoken 6569
January 14, 1963 spoken 5470
Lyndon B. Johnson

average

4889
  January 8, 1964 spoken 3168
  January 4, 1965 spoken 4399
  January 12, 1966 spoken 5542
January 10, 1967 spoken 7195
January 17, 1968 spoken 4914
January 14, 1969 spoken 4115
Richard Nixon average spoken 4521
January 22, 1970 spoken 4457
  January 22, 1971 spoken 4508
  January 20, 1972 spoken 3976
February 2, 1973 written 27147
January 30, 1974 spoken 5144
Gerald R. Ford

average

4600
  January 15, 1975 spoken 4126
January 19, 1976 spoken 4948
January 12, 1977 spoken 4727
Jimmy Carter average spoken 3750
  January 19, 1978 spoken 4580
  January 25, 1979 spoken 3257
January 21, 1980 spoken 3412
January 16, 1981 written 33667
Ronald Reagan

average (ex. 1981)

4596
1981 NOT a "State of the Union" February 18, 1981 spoken 4446
January 26, 1982 spoken 5154
January 25, 1983 spoken 5554
January 25, 1984 spoken 4931
  February 6, 1985 spoken 4214
  February 4, 1986 spoken 3514
  January 27, 1987 spoken 3847
January 25, 1988 spoken 4955
George Bush average (ex. 1989) 4204
1989 NOT a "State of the Union" February 9, 1989 spoken 4811
  January 31, 1990 spoken 3777
January 29, 1991 spoken 3823
January 28, 1992 spoken 5012
William J. Clinton

average (ex. 1993)

7426
1993 NOT a "State of the Union" February 17, 1993 spoken 7003
  January 25, 1994 spoken 7432
  January 24, 1995 spoken 9190
  January 23, 1996 spoken 6317
  February 4, 1997 spoken 6774
January 27, 1998 spoken 7303
January 19, 1999 spoken 7514
January 27, 2000 spoken 7452
George W. Bush average (ex. 2001) 5184
2001 NOT a "State of the Union" February 27, 2001 spoken 4362
  January 29, 2002 spoken 3878
  January 28, 2003 spoken 5413
  January 20, 2004 spoken 5229
  February 2, 2005 spoken 5096
January 31, 2006 spoken 5323
January 23, 2007 spoken 5590
January 28, 2008 spoken 5760
Barack Obama

average (ex. 2009)

7001
2009 NOT a "State of the Union" February 24, 2009 spoken 5902
  January 27, 2010 spoken 7304
  January 25, 2011 spoken 6878
  January 24, 2012 spoken 7059
  February 12, 2013 spoken 6775
  January 28, 2014 spoken 6989

Data by John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters

Citation: John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters. "Length of State of the Union Addresses in Words." The American Presidency Project. Ed. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters. Santa Barbara, CA: University of California. 1999-2014. Available from the World Wide Web: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/sou_words.php.

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