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$63 Trillion of World Debt in One Visualization

In today’s infographic, we look at two major measures: (1) Share of global debt as a percentage, and (2) Debt-to-GDP.

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How much debt world countries have

If you add up all the money that national governments have borrowed, it tallies to a hefty $63 trillion, wrote VisualCapitalist.

In an ideal situation, governments are just borrowing this money to cover short-term budget deficits or to finance mission critical projects. However, around the globe, countries have taken to the idea of running constant deficits as the normal course of business, and too much accumulation of debt is not healthy for countries or the global economy as a whole.

World total debt visualization 2017

The U.S. is a prime example of “debt creep” – the country hasn’t posted an annual budget surplus since 2001, when the federal debt was only $6.9 trillion (54% of GDP). Fast forward to today, and the debt has ballooned to roughly $20 trillion (107% of GDP), which is equal to 31.8% of the world’s sovereign debt nominally.

The world debt leaderboard

In today’s infographic, we look at two major measures: (1) Share of global debt as a percentage, and (2) Debt-to-GDP.

Let’s look at the top five “leaders” in each category, starting with share of global debt on a nominal basis:

Rank Countries Debt ($B) % of Global Debt Debt-to-GDP
#1 United States $19,947 31.8% 107.1%
#2 Japan $11,813 18.8% 239.3%
#3 China $4,976 7.9% 44.3%
#4 Italy $2,454 3.9% 132.6%
#5 France $2,375 3.8% 96.3%

 

Together, just these five countries together hold 66% of the world’s debt in nominal terms – good for a total of $41.6 trillion.

Next, here’s the top five for Debt-to-GDP:

Rank Country Debt ($B) % of Global Debt Debt-to-GDP
#1 Japan $11,813 18.8% 239.3%
#2 Greece $353 0.6% 181.6%
#3 Lebanon $75 0.1% 148.7%
#4 Italy $2,454 3.9% 132.6%
#5 Portugal $267 0.4% 130.3%

 

While only Italy and Japan here are considered major economies on a global scale, the high debt levels of countries like Greece or Portugal are also important to monitor.

Read the full story here.

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