Look at how out of control U.S. ‘debt creep’ is compared to the rest of the world
Nobody touches America when it comes to racking up debt. But you already knew that. Jeff Desjardins of the Visual Capitalist blog, however, offered up some fresh perspective on just how much of the world’s $63 trillion in borrowed money can be pinned to the United States government and its spendy ways.
“In an ideal situation, governments are just borrowing this money to cover short-term budget deficits or to finance mission-critical projects,” he wrote in a recent blog post. “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.”
Does this look healthy to you?
As you can see, the U.S. has more debt than the next three countries combined, thanks to its “debt creep” problem. As Desjardins points out, the U.S. hasn’t posted an annual budget surplus since 2001, when the federal debt was only $6.9 trillion (54% of GDP). Nowadays, U.S. debt has exploded to about $20 trillion (107% of GDP) — almost a third of the world’s sovereign debt nominally.
To be fair, the U.S. is in much better shape when it comes to the debt-to-GDP ratio, which is a better metric for measuring the health of a country.
Here are the top five by that measure:
“While only Italy and Japan here are considered major economies on a global scale,” Desjardins said, “the high debt levels of countries like Greece or Portugal are also important to monitor.”