The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

By the numbers: Government contractors and security clearances

One of the questions following Monday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard is how Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old gunman, was granted a security clearance. Here is a look, by the numbers, at some of the information about security clearances.

3.6 millionThe total number of people with confidential or secret-level security clearance.

1.4 million: The total number of people with top-security clearance.

More than 4.9 million: The number of federal government workers and contractors with security clearances in 2012.

More than $1 billion: The amount the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) received in 2011 to conduct more than 2 million background investigations.

$4,005: The base price for a top secret clearance investigation conducted by the OPM in 2012.

$260: The base price of a secret clearance conducted by the OPM.

18: The number of OPM and contract background investigators and record searchers who have been criminally convicted.

54: The number of defense department contractors criminally charged with fraud between 2001 and 2011.