Browse By

External Debt and Public Debt as % of GDP, by country

In the United States, a highly controversial issue right now is the debt ceiling limit.

The current debt ceiling of the US, set by law, is $14.3 trillion. According to the United States Treasury, this limit was reached in May 2011 and, if the limit is not raised, the US could fulfill all its obligations only until August 2, 2011 — less than a week from now.

Thus, the US government insists, the debt ceiling must be raised in order to avoid damaging repercussions to the US economy and, consequently, to the global economy. Not raising the limit would result to a drastic reduction in the country’s spending and a possible default on its loan obligations.

At $14.3 trillion debt as of May 2011, the United States has the biggest external debt among all countries worldwide. The United Kingdom is second with $8.98 trillion, while Germany follows next with $4.71 trillion.

External Debt refers to “the total public and private debt owed to nonresidents repayable in internationally accepted currencies, goods, or services.” Simply stated, external debt is the combined total debt or loan of the public (government) and private sector, payable in a foreign currency.

The list of selected countries with their total external debt is shown below.


Rank Country Total External Debt (in US Dollars) As of % of GDP
1 United States 14.3 trillion 16 May 2011 95%
2 United Kingdom 8.98 trillion 30 June 2010 400%
3 Germany 4.71 trillion 30 June 2010 142%
4 France 4.70 trillion 30 June 2010 182%
5 Netherlands 3.73 trillion 31 December 2009 471%
6 Japan 2.44 trillion 30 September 2010 45%
7 Ireland 2.25 trillion 30 September 2010 1,103%
8 Norway 2.23 trillion 30 June 2010 538%
9 Italy 2.22 trillion 30 June 2010 108%
10 Spain 2.17 trillion 30 June 2010 154%
11 Luxembourg 1.89 trillion 30 June 2010 3,443%
14 Australia 1.17 trillion 31 December 2010 95%
15 Canada 1.01 trillion 30 June 2010 64%
19 Greece 532.9 billion 30 June 2010 174%
22 China 406.6 billion 31 December 2010 7%
28 India 237.1 billion 31 December 2010 15%
30 Indonesia 196.1 billion 31 December 2010 28%
42 Thailand 82.5 billion 31 December 2010 26%
44 Malaysia 72.6 billion 31 December 2010 31%
47 Philippines 59.78 billion 30 September 2010 32%

Another debt statistic that is of utmost importance is the country’s level of public debt. Public debt is the “cumulative total of all government borrowings less repayments that are denominated in a country’s home currency.” In layman’s terms, public debt is the total loan amount of the sovereign state’s government.

Comparing the level of public debt with the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) produces the Debt-to-GDP ratio. A low debt-to-GDP ratio indicates that the county’s economy is generally healthy because it produces a large number of goods and services that are high enough to pay back its debts.

Below is a table showing the public debt-to-GDP percentage of selected countries.


Rank Country % of GDP As of
1 Japan 225.8% 2010
2 Saint Kitts and Nevis 185.0% 2010
3 Lebanon 150.7% 2010
4 Zimbabwe 149.0% 2010
5 Greece 144.0% 2010
6 Iceland 123.8% 2010
7 Jamaica 123.2% 2010
8 Italy 118.1% 2010
9 Singapore 102.4% 2010
10 Belgium 98.6% 2010
11 Ireland 94.2% 2010
14 France 83.5% 2010
19 Germany 78.8% 2010
23 United Kingdom 76.5% 2010
36 United States 58.9% 2010
41 Vietnam 56.7% 2010
42 Philippines 56.5% 2010
44 India 55.9% 2010
48 Malaysia 53.1% 2010
62 Thailand 42.3% 2010

Source: The World Factbook, US Central Intelligence Agency

Smile and rate this post! Thank you!
No votes yet.
Please wait...

View other Related Posts below

Ask a question or post a comment
About this post: public debt vs external debt, japan external debt, debt to gdp by country 2011, external debt vs public debt, gdp by country

6 thoughts on “External Debt and Public Debt as % of GDP, by country”

  1. Gel110791 says:

    how nice is this.

  2. Juandavidgd12 says:

    I’m sorry but there’s a lot of interpretation mistakes of the data in this article ….. very important mistakes, get the real information here:¬†

  3. Caleb Froid says:

    Awesome and really interesting publish. Your point of view is more or significantly less the same as main. Many thanks!

  4. chloe boots says:

    "Es ist so eine Erleichterung", sagte Zongker eine Versorgungsoffizier, der die Milit?rpolizei mit Uniformen, Wasser und Stiefel sortierten gehalten.

  5. chanel outlet says:

    Tattoos und Piercings. Ich hatte den Drang, ein Tattoo vor ein paar Jahren bekommen, also kaufte ich eine sehr teure gef?lschte, die f?r Wochen dauern w?rde. Nat?rlich nachdem ich es aufgetragen, ?nderte ich meine Meinung ?ber die Platzierung, und endete Schrubben Sie es mit etwas, das ein viel wie Stahlwolle zu sp?ren. Was macht ein dauerhaft t?towierte Frau tun, wenn sie ihre Meinung ?ndert? Ist es wirklich eine gute Idee, Ihren neuen Freund Snake Avatar auf Ihr Becken t?towiert? Meine ungarische Gro?mutter bestand darauf, die wir als Kinder haben unsere Ohren durchbohrt, weil es Tradition. Hatte sie schlug vor, wir durchstechen Zungen, w?re meine Mutter sie zur?ck nach New York verschifft haben. Durchbohrte Augenbrauen, Nase, Lippen, auch Bauch-Tasten sind harmlos und albern, aber durchbohrt Brustwarzen und Penis? Huch! Es ist ein Unfall passiert.

  6. test gscraper says:

    whole of the UK but of course most of our work is in London .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *