Smithsonian Fiscal Year 2021 Federal Budget Totals $1 Billion

December 30, 2020
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The final appropriation for the Smithsonian for fiscal year 2021, which began Oct. 1, 2020, is $1.033 billion, a slight decrease over last fiscal year’s appropriation of $1.047 billion. The Smithsonian’s Salaries and Expenses (S&E) account—its operating budget—is $818.2 million, and the Facilities Capital account—for major renovations and new construction—is $214.5 million. This appropriation does not include funding for the two new museums, the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, which were established by legislation Dec. 27. Funding for these museums will be included in future budgets.

Salaries and Expenses

The S&E appropriation for FY 2021 was increased by $24.5 million to support collections and education staffing, facilities maintenance, animal welfare at the National Zoo and funds to enhance Latino and women’s history initiatives across the Institution (an increase of $1 million for each). Congress provided additional funding to cover the 2020 pay raise of 3.5 percent.

Facilities Capital

The Facilities Capital appropriation for renovations and repairs of some of the oldest and most visited museums is $214.5 million, including $55 million for the extensive revitalization of the National Air and Space Museum and $48 million to begin the multi-year renovation of the Castle and Arts and Industries Building.

The appropriation for the Facilities Capital account was lower this year ($214.5 million down from $253.7 million) because Congress had already allocated funds in recent fiscal years for the National Air and Space Museum project.

The Planning and Design allocation of $33 million will go toward major revitalization projects such as the Castle and the Arts and Industries Building; storage facilities at the Museum Support Center campus in Suitland, Maryland; the National Zoo; and three older museums on the National Mall (Natural History, American History and the Hirshhorn).

A budget summary for the FY 2020 and FY 2021 appropriations follows:


Fiscal Year 2020 Enacted

Fiscal Year 2021

Salaries and Expenses (S&E)



Facilities Capital


Planning and Design for future projects










Total Accounts




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Linda St. Thomas

(202) 633-5188

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