$60 Trillion of World Debt

I saw this chart posted by visualcapitalist.com and had to forward it along. While it has little to do with investing, it is an obsession of mine. I am a firm believer that one day we will have to face the piper and have our day of reckoning.  While debt isn’t evil, the level of debt we (the US) have almost fits that description. But the interesting thing is, and maybe provides some solace, is looking across the global landscape it appears as if there are a few countries/regions that may have to face the piper before we do. Ultimately though, our day will come.

As you can see the chart breaks down $59.7 trillion of world debt by country, as well as highlights each country’s debt-to-GDP ratio using color. The data comes from the IMF and only covers public government debt. It excludes the debt of country’s citizens and businesses, as well as unfunded liabilities which are not yet technically incurred yet. All figures are based in USDollars.

The numbers that stand out the most, especially when comparing to the previous world economy graphic:

  • The United States constitutes 23.3% of the world economy but 29.1% of world debt. It’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 103.4% using IMF figures.
  • Japan makes up only 6.18% of total economic production, but has amounted 19.99% of global debt.
  • China, the world’s second largest economy (and largest by other measures), accounts for 13.9% of production. They only have 6.25% of world debt and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 39.4%.
  • 7 of the 15 countries with the most total debt are European. Together, excluding Russia, the European continent holds over 26% of total world debt.
  • Combining the debt of the United States, Japan, and Europe together accounts for 75% of total global debt.  Yet, combining their population they account for less than 25% of the world’s total humans