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Countries By National Debt

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Global National Debts

In the realm of economy and finance, understanding national debt offers a deep insight into a country's fiscal health and creditworthiness. The ratio of a country's national debt to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) offers an effective measure for economists and policymakers alike to draw comparisons between countries and steers strategic financial decisions. The United States, albeit being the world's largest economy, has a relatively high debt-to-GDP ratio, with countries varying widely in their respective positions. 

Key findings from the data include:

  • Japan tops the list with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 259.4%, the highest globally, followed by Sudan (200.4%) and Greece (194.5%).
  • Despite its economic prowess, the United States ranks 14th in the world, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 128.1%, highlighting the repercussions of significant expenditure on sectors such as healthcare and defense.
  • Interesting outliers are countries such as Singapore, known for its fiscal prudence, which is fifth on the list with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 159.9%, showing that higher national debt does not always indicate fiscal instability.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, countries such as Afghanistan (7.4%) and Brunei (2.5%) have some of the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios.

It's essential to note that a high national debt doesn't necessarily signify an adverse economic situation, just as a low national debt does not always equate to financial stability. Various factors, including how the debt is utilized, the country's credit rating, inflation, and the strength of its economy, play a significant role in understanding the implications of the national debt. This examination of national debt by countries offers a comprehensive perspective on different economic strategies and outcomes, and the balancing act between spending and over-indebtedness.

Countries With the Most Debt

The ten countries with the highest values of national debt in relation to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are Japan, Sudan, Greece, Eritrea, Singapore, Maldives, Lebanon, Italy, Cape Verde, and Barbados.

At the top of the list, Japan has the highest debt to GDP ratio in the world with a staggering 259.4%. This means Japan's national debt is over two and a half times the size of its entire annual economy. Sudan lands in the second spot with a debt to GDP ratio of 200.4%. Greece is third with its national debt amounting to 194.5% of its GDP.

Eritrea follows closely behind with a ratio of 179.7% while Singapore scores the fifth-highest with 159.9%. Maldives has a national debt equivalent to 154.4% of their GDP. Lebanon, experiencing economic crisis, has a debt to GDP ratio of 150.6%. Italy's debt to GDP ratio clocks in at 150.3%.

The final two on this list, Cape Verde and Barbados, post national debts of 145.1% and 135.4% respective to their GDP.

10 Countries with the Highest National Debt in Debt to GDP Ratio:

  1. Japan - 259.4% 
  2. Sudan - 200.4% 
  3. Greece - 194.5% 
  4. Eritrea - 179.7% 
  5. Singapore - 159.9% 
  6. Maldives - 154.4% 
  7. Lebanon - 150.6% 
  8. Italy - 150.3%
  9. Cape Verde - 145.1% 
  10. Barbados - 135.4% 

Countries With The Least Debt

Hong Kong perches at the top of this list with a Debt to GDP ratio of a mere 2.1%. Brunei takes the second least indebted spot with a Debt to GDP ratio of 2.5%. Afghanistan is not far behind with its Debt to GDP ratio calculated at 7.4%. Fourth on the list is Timor-Leste with a Debt to GDP ratio standing at 9.4%.

Turkmenistan and Tuvalu are also among the least indebted countries with a Debt to GDP ratio of 11.1% and 11.5%, respectively. Kuwait finds itself with a fairly low Debt to GDP ratio of 11.7%, whereas the Solomon Islands carries a Debt to GDP ratio of 13.7%. 

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) holds the ninth spot on the list with its 16.5% Debt to GDP ratio. Russia rounds out the top ten least indebted countries with a Debt to GDP ratio just edging in at 17.0%.

Countries With Lowest National Debt (Debt to GDP ratio):

  1. Hong Kong - 2.1%
  2. Brunei - 2.5%
  3. Afghanistan - 7.4%
  4. Timor-Leste - 9.4%
  5. Turkmenistan - 11.1%
  6. Tuvalu - 11.5%
  7. Kuwait - 11.7%
  8. Solomon Islands - 13.7%
  9. DR Congo - 16.5%
  10. Russia - 17.0%

By Country

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