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Compare the Federal Debt of the United States to Other Countries

This chart outlines the total federal debt of the United States compared to 169 different countries in 2017. In this section, figures are presented using financial data from 2017, allowing us to provide you with the most recent debt data for the greatest number of countries. In 2017, the United States' federal debt was $20.2 trillion. That $20.2 trillion in debt was equivalent to 103% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017. Because the U.S. government has more money coming in and going out than any other country, it helps to compare the debt of the U.S. government to other countries relative to the size of their economies. For instance, while the U.S. federal debt was greater than that of China and Japan combined, it ranked 19th in debt to gross domestic product.

How does the United States compare to countries of similar size and gross domestic product? Explore the chart. You can compare total debt and debt as a percent of gross domestic product. Find a country of interest and see for yourself.

Please note that the countries depicted in this chart have different forms of government, and these differences may impact the scope of finances reported by each country.

Country Comparison

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This visualization was created using the Monthly Statement of the Public Debt (MSPD) as the data source for federal government debt of the United States. Gross domestic product (GDP) figures come from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook Database (WEOD). Debt figures for countries other than the United States also come from the IMF WEOD. Since debt figures were provided in the national currency for the selected countries, the numbers were subsequently converted to U.S. dollars. Currency conversion rates were pulled from XE.com for September 30, 2017; the last day of the U.S. federal government's fiscal year.

The conversion of debt figures to U.S. dollars makes comparisons among countries more convenient. However, the implied burden of debt may be misrepresented for a given country if the majority of that nation's debt was denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars, and the currency in which the debt was held had an abnormal valuation relative to the U.S. dollar on the date of currency conversion.

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