Tuesday, May 24, 2011

National Debt by Country

Public Gross Debt as Percent of GDP by Country – 1992-2011


This table uses data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and measures gross debt as a percent of GDP. Most major statistical organizations measure debt with fairly consistent results, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Eurostat.

The 2007-2009 financial crisis led to a dramatic increase in the public debt of many advanced economies, with many of them experiencing their highest levels of debt since World War II. This was in large part due to the huge stimulus programs in countries around the world, in addition to government bailouts, recapitalizations and takeovers of banks and other financial institutions. Another contributing factor to the increased debt was the decrease in tax revenues.

Public debt as a percent of GDP in OECD countries as a whole went from hovering around 70% throughout the 1990s to more than 90% in 2009 and is projected to grow to almost 100% of GDP by 2011, possibly rising even higher in the following years. It could already be higher, as potential costs of aging populations may not be entirely reflected in the budget projections of some countries.

The rise in public debt has been seen not only in countries with a history of debt problems - such as Japan, Italy, Belgium and Greece - but also in countries where it was relatively low before the crisis - such as the US, UK, France, Portugal and Ireland. _gfmag

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