Graph of the day: The State of the Union keeps getting longer

February 12, 2013

It's not just your imagination: For the past three decades, the State of the Union address has gotten longer and longer. The average minutes spent on the address has grown from a mere 36:53 under President Jimmy Carter up to 1 hour and 5 minutes under the current president.

State of the union addresses tended to stay under one hour and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the president that crossed that threshold was none other than William J. Clinton. He still holds the record for the longest State of the Union address ever delivered on television: 1 hour, 28 minutes and 49 seconds. That's nearly twice the length of the 48-minute address that Clinton delivered at last year's Democratic National Convention.

Barack Obama's addresses have hovered just around one hour, with his longest clocking in at 1 hour and 9 minutes in 2010.

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Evan Soltas · February 12, 2013