Debt is becoming more of a hot topic these days with the rise in inflation and a renewed emphasis on the sustainability of the global economy. Here is a visualization of the countries with the highest government debt.
The metric used to assess countries in this visualization is the debt to GDP ratio. GDP stands for gross domestic product and is the measure of all value created through the production of goods and services in a country. When a countries debt exceeds it’s GDP by a significant amount that can be a problem sign. Think of it as if a company, or an individual had debt that far exceeded their ability to earn income. It would be hard to pay off that debt.
The country with the highest debt to GDP ratio is Japan. Japan has had huge levels of debt since the Japanese stock market and real estate bubble burst in the late 1980’s. They have had the most debt ever since their financial crisis over 30 years ago.
Other countries with huge amounts of debt are also those that have had recent economic problems. Italy and Greece are well known for their recent debt crisis, with Greece having to completely rethink it’s economy.
The United States has continued to grow their debt in recent years and currently has 133% debt to GDP. This is alarming because the USA has grown GDP at an extremely high rate for many decades, and still the debt is at quite high levels.
Hong Kong has the least debt of any country, with just 2.1% debt to GDP. Many small countries have very little debt as well.