Analysis of All US Presidential Inaugurations

For over 230 years the United States has gathered every four years to hear the words of the newest inaugurated President.  I was curious.  Were there patterns from all of these speeches?  Which President was the most long-winded?   What are some common talking points?  Are all speeches unicorns and rainbows?

Don't want to read?  Watch my analysis here

Youtube logo with words analysis video

19th Century Tops For Average Words

William Henry Harrison's 8,000+ word address in 1841 certainly drove up the average word count for the 19th century.  Presidents are using much fewer words since with big declines the past two centuries

Word counts of Presidential Inaugural address by century

The Whigs Sure Liked To Talk

You guessed right, William Henry Harrison was a Whig party member.  The Free Soil Party?  Only two Presidents were from this party (Martin Van Buren and Rutherford B Hayes)  but they packed in the words.  Republicans are slightly more long winded than Democrats.

chart showing trend of average word count by political party
Average words by political party

2,300 Words is the Average Length of a Presidential Address

graph howing word counts by each president at their inaugural address
Word counts of inaugural address by President

Reagan Had A Lot To Say, Carter Well Below Average

The recent Republican Presidents are starting a trend of using fewer words per address while Democrats are trending to use more words.

graph showing trend of number of words used in recent presidential inaugural addresses
Word counts of recent Presidential Inaugural addresses

United States, Government and Congress Tops in Word Choices

The top phrases used across all past Presidential inaugurations are shown.  Most are not too surprising.

The Long Tail of Other References - Europe is Tops

The log tail showing many phrases referenced in Presidential inaugural addresses

Republicans Offer Slightly More Positive Sentiments

I loaded every sentence given at every inaugural address into a database.  I then fed this to a service from Microsoft to append sentiment analysis.  You can read more about sentiment analysis from a previous blog post.  The results at the political party showed a very even split between Republicans and Democrats.

Sentiment Analysis Comparison of Republicans and Democrats

Madison and Lincoln Tops For Most Negative Sentiments

chart showing the most positive and negative presidents based on sentiment analysis
Most negative and positive Presidents of all time

What Did Abe Say That Was So Negative?

Lincoln was president during a very turbulent time. His sentiments delivered at his inaugural addresses were definitely not all happy and jubilant.    Here is a list of the top ones from his first inaugural address.

list of negative sentences delivered by Abe Lincoln in his first inaugural address
Details of negative remarks given by Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration

Jimmy Carter Spreads Cheer Like No Other

President Carter has the 2nd highest percentage of positive sentiments uttered during his inaugural address - second only to Andrew Jackson.  Here are some of the positive things he had to say.

list showing some of the positve statements delivered by President Carter in his address
Positive remarks given by Jimmy Carter as his inaugural address

Recent Presidents Ranked By Positive Sentiments

Jimmy Carter leads the pack again with highest percentage of positive statements for recent Presidents.

chart showing the recent US presidents with the most positive sentiments
Recent US Presidents Ranked By Most Positve Inaugural Addresses

Try it Out Yourself - Interact With Dashboard

Kick the tires and have fun filtering and exploring on your own.  You can also read all of the inaugural addresses right here.

Direct Link to Dashboard - Tableau


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