This Week in Ridiculous Regulations – Year-End 2022

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Happy new year, everyone. Year-end totals for 2022’s new regulations are in. The 2022 Federal Register weighs in at 80,756 pages. It includes 3,168 final regulations and 2,044 proposed regulations. The numbers may change slightly, since the National Archives often revises numbers at months after the fact. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from security bars to insider trading.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 60 final regulations last week, after 82 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 48 minutes.
  • Agencies issued 3,168 final regulations in 2022.
  • For comparison, there were 3,257 new final regulations in 2021, President Biden’s first year, and 3,218 in 2020, President Trump’s final year.
  • Agencies issued 25 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 40 the previous week.
  • Agencies issued 2,044 proposed regulations in 2022.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021 and 2,094 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 320 notices last week, after 505 notices the previous week.
  • Agencies issued 22,505 notices in 2022.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,584.
  • Last week, 1,542 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,702 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contained 323 pages.
  • The 2022 Federal Register contains 80,756 pages.
  • For comparison, the 2021 Federal Register totals 74,352 pages; 2020’s is 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There were 43 such rules so far in 2021, none from the past week.
  • For comparison, there were 26 economically significant rules in 2021 and five in 2020.
  • The total cost of 2022’s economically significant regulations ranged from net costs of $45.28 billion to $78.05 billion, according to numbers provided by the agencies themselves. However, that figure is incomplete. Three economically significant rules issued this year do not give the required cost estimates.
  • For comparison, the running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules is for net costs of $13.54 billion to $19.36 billion. The 2020 figure is for net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • There are 255 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2022.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021 and 69 in 2020.
  • In 2022, 906 new regulations affect small businesses. Seventy of them are classified as significant.
  • For comparison, in 2021 there were 912 rules affecting small businesses, with 101 of them classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

The size of For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.