The World Map of Debt

Collateral world


Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

The World Map of Debt

Every country is scaled based on its debt-to-gdp

What if we were to redraw the world map based on the sustainability of national debt levels?

Countries that are smaller in size, but that have big debt loads, would stand out more. If we used debt-to-GDP as scaling criteria, Japan would become the largest country on our new map. Japan holds 19.99% of all global debt despite only having about 6% of the world’s economic production. The country’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 230%.

Greece and Italy, two medium-sized European countries, would be bigger than North America as a whole. That said, the United States does hold an extreme amount of debt itself, equal to an astounding 29.05% of global debt. It is just masked more because of the country’s significant GDP. We have also looked at the United States another way in the past, and by the measure of debt-to-revenue, the US has the 2nd largest debt burden in the world.

On the opposite side of the question, there are large countries that have less debt – they disappear from the map almost completely. Australia, a giant land mass, is reduced to a tiny island with its load of 29% debt-to-GDP. Nigeria shrinks to a tiny speck on the map with an 11% ratio.

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2 thoughts on “The World Map of Debt

  1. Rename it the Map of Corruption.

    Published on Oct 12, 2015
    After exposing scams of Bank of Baroda, Vijay Mallya, Ashok Singhwi and many more in the list. Is PM Modi’s government fighting corruption? If yes, will it stop corruption in India? Watch Big Story Big Debate on ‘Public Money’ Action Against Corruption.

    Zee Business, India’s first 24-hour Hindi business channel, was conceived to offer ‘information’ and ‘insight’ and bring business and economy coverage to you in your own language.


  2. “The World Map of Debt”

    Singapore at 99%…

    Just to share this…

    Unique Feature about Singapore…!

    National Debt (Domestic…!) USD – $ 290,900,488,567
    GDP – $285,802,000,000
    Debt as % of GDP – 101.78%
    Interest per Year – $6,230,483,600 (to the Government…!)
    Population – 5,399,494
    Debt per Citizen – $53,876
    2015 –

    Note – Source: Singapore Government Data.
    NOTE this is Domestic Debt, NOT external Debt.
    She is in fact “a net creditor country”,
    NOT a net debtor.
    We are always asked, why does she borrow?
    She can borrow cheap and re invest the funds.

    FYI – You could wrap $1 bills around the Earth 1,132 times with the debt amount!

    If you lay $1 bills on top of each other they would make a pile 31,769 km, or 19,740 miles high!

    That’s equivalent to 0.08 trips to the Moon!

    National Debt of Malaysia (External debt) USD – $ 164,032,175,383
    GDP – $306,280,000,000
    Debt as % of GDP – 53.56%
    Interest per Year – $6,065,446,000 ( to the Creditors)
    Population – 30,300,000
    Debt per Citizen – $5,414

    You could wrap $1 bills around the Earth 639 times with the debt amount!

    If you lay $1 bills on top of each other they would make a pile 17,914 km, or 11,131 miles high!

    That’s equivalent to 0.05 trips to the Moon!

    You be the judge.


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