Debt to GDP Ratio by Country 2022

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Debt-to-GDP ratio is an economic metric that compares a country's government debt to its gross domestic product (GDP) (which represents the value of all goods and services produced by the country). Typically used to determine the stability and health of a nation's economy, debt-to-GDP ratio is expressed as a percentage and offers an at-a-glance estimate of a country's ability to pay back its current debts. Nations with a low debt-to-GDP ratio are more likely to be able to repay their debts with relative ease. Nations whose economies struggle to produce income or which have an oversized debt tend to have a high debt-to-GDP ratio. Debt-to-GDP ratios above 77% can hinder economic growth and (in some cases) place a country at risk of defaulting on its debts, which could wreak havoc on its economy and financial markets.

Top 12 Countries with the Highest Debt-to-GDP Ratios (%)

  1. Venezuela — 350%
  2. Japan — 266%
  3. Sudan — 259%
  4. Greece — 206%
  5. Lebanon — 172%
  6. Cabo Verde — 157%
  7. Italy — 156%
  8. Libya — 155%
  9. Portugal — 134%
  10. Singapore — 131%
  11. Bahrain — 128%
  12. United States — 128%

As of December 2020, the nation with the highest debt-to-GDP ratio is Venezuela, and by a considerable margin. The South American country has what may be the world's largest reserves of oil, but the state-owned oil company is said to be poorly managed, and Venezuela's GDP has plummeted in recent years. At the same time, Venezuela has taken out massive loans, adding to its debt burden, and president Nicolas Maduro has made questionable moves to slow the country's rampant inflation.

Japan occupies the second slot with a ratio of 266%. In 1992, Japan's Nikkei (stock market) crashed. The government bailed out banks and insurance companies, providing them with low-interest credit. Banks were consolidated and nationalized, and other stimulus initiatives were used to help the struggling economy. However, these actions caused Japan's debt to increase dramatically.

Another interesting entry on this list is the United States, whose debt-to-GDP ratio ranks 12th out of all the world's countries. While the U.S. boasts the highest GDP in the world,, it nonetheless spends more than it earns. Major contributors to the national debt include the world's largest military budget, tax cuts (which reduce government income and rarely result in a corresponding increase in economic growth), COVID-19 relief efforts, and mandatory-but-underfunded programs such as Medicare.

Top 12 Countries with the Lowest Debt-to-GDP Ratios (%)

  1. Brunei — 3.2%
  2. Afghanistan — 7.8%
  3. Kuwait — 11.5%
  4. Congo (Dem. Rep.) — 15.2%
  5. Eswatini — 15.5%
  6. Burundi — 15.9%
  7. Palestine — 16.4%
  8. Russia — 17.8%
  9. Botswana — 18.2%
  10. Estonia — 18.2%

While a low debt-to-GDP ratio is generally desirable, it does not necessarily indicate a healthy economy. Many stagnant or developing economies have a low debt-to-income ratio because both their level of debt and their GDP are low. In fact, in some cases, a country's economy could be healthier in the long run if the country were to borrow from another country and invest heavily in economic growth. This would increase the borrowing country's debt-to-GDP ratio temporarily, but could also grow the economy (and GDP) enough to pay off the debt and continue earning increased profits in the future. However, because economic growth is not guaranteed, such borrowing could also backfire (as it arguably has for Venezuela).

Debt to GDP Ratio by Country 2022

Country Debt To GDP Ratio 2022 Population
Japan237.00%123,951,692
Greece177.00%10,384,971
Lebanon151.00%5,489,739
Italy135.00%59,037,474
Singapore126.00%5,975,689
Cape Verde125.00%593,149
Portugal117.00%10,270,865
Angola111.00%35,588,987
Bhutan110.00%782,455
Mozambique109.00%32,969,518
United States107.00%338,289,857
Djibouti104.00%1,120,849
Jamaica103.00%2,827,377
Belgium98.60%11,655,930
France98.10%64,626,628
Spain95.50%47,558,630
Cyprus95.50%1,251,488
Bahrain93.40%1,472,233
Jordan92.40%11,285,869
Egypt90.00%110,990,103
Canada89.70%38,454,327
Argentina89.40%45,510,318
Sri Lanka86.80%21,832,143
Pakistan84.80%235,824,862
Gambia81.80%2,705,992
Suriname81.40%618,040
United Kingdom80.70%67,508,936
Mauritania79.00%4,736,139
Costa Rica77.47%5,180,829
Tunisia76.70%12,356,117
Brazil75.79%215,313,498
El Salvador73.30%6,336,392
Croatia73.20%4,030,358
Sao Tome And Principe73.10%227,380
Austria70.40%8,939,617
Belize69.90%405,272
India69.62%1,417,173,173
Bahamas66.80%409,984
Hungary66.30%9,967,308
Morocco66.10%37,457,971
Slovenia66.10%2,119,844
Albania65.90%2,842,321
Qatar65.80%2,695,122
Mauritius64.60%1,299,469
Yemen63.20%33,696,614
Trinidad And Tobago63.20%1,531,044
Sierra Leone63.00%8,605,718
Montenegro62.27%627,082
South Africa62.20%59,893,885
Sudan62.00%46,874,204
Malawi62.00%20,405,317
Uruguay61.30%3,422,794
Israel59.90%9,038,309
Germany59.80%83,369,843
Finland59.40%5,540,745
Ghana59.30%33,475,870
Zambia59.00%20,017,675
Ireland58.80%5,023,109
Bolivia57.70%12,224,110
Vietnam57.50%98,186,856
Ethiopia57.00%123,379,924
Kenya57.00%54,027,487
Gabon56.40%2,388,992
Mongolia55.00%3,398,366
Seychelles55.00%107,118
Kyrgyzstan54.10%6,630,623
Zimbabwe53.40%16,320,537
Laos53.34%7,529,475
Namibia53.30%2,567,012
Guyana52.90%808,726
Malaysia52.50%33,938,221
Nicaragua52.50%6,948,392
Serbia52.00%7,221,365
Dominican Republic50.53%11,228,821
China50.50%1,425,887,337
Ukraine50.30%39,701,739
Myanmar49.41%54,179,306
Iraq49.40%44,496,122
Ecuador49.40%18,001,000
Netherlands48.60%17,564,014
Central African Republic48.50%5,579,144
Colombia48.40%51,874,024
Azerbaijan48.40%10,358,074
Slovakia48.00%5,643,453
Fiji48.00%929,766
Tajikistan47.90%9,952,787
Senegal47.70%17,316,449
Oman47.50%4,576,298
Chad46.60%17,723,315
Algeria46.10%44,903,225
Poland46.00%39,857,145
Armenia45.60%2,780,469
Mexico45.50%127,504,125
Australia45.10%26,177,413
Honduras44.05%10,432,860
Equatorial Guinea43.30%1,674,908
Malta43.10%533,286
Georgia43.00%3,744,385
Thailand41.80%71,697,030
Philippines41.50%115,559,009
Rwanda41.10%13,776,698
Switzerland41.00%8,740,472
Lesotho40.90%2,305,825
North Macedonia40.70%2,093,599
Norway40.60%5,434,319
Uganda40.00%47,249,585
Papua New Guinea39.80%10,142,619
Panama39.48%4,408,581
Hong Kong38.40%7,488,865
Iran37.90%88,550,570
Tanzania37.80%65,497,748
South Korea37.70%51,815,810
Iceland37.00%372,899
Latvia36.90%1,850,651
Guinea Bissau36.50%2,105,566
Lithuania36.30%2,750,055
Romania35.20%19,659,267
Sweden35.10%10,549,347
Niger34.70%26,207,977
Cameroon34.00%27,914,536
Denmark33.20%5,882,261
Turkey33.10%85,341,241
Haiti33.00%11,584,996
Liberia32.00%5,302,681
Ivory Coast31.90%28,160,542
Czech Republic30.80%10,493,986
Nepal30.20%30,547,580
Madagascar30.10%29,611,714
Indonesia29.80%275,501,339
Togo29.50%8,848,699
Cambodia29.40%16,767,842
Bangladesh29.30%171,186,372
Turkmenistan29.30%6,430,770
Taiwan28.20%23,893,394
Chile27.90%19,603,733
Guatemala27.88%17,843,908
Peru27.50%34,049,588
Moldova27.40%3,272,996
Belarus26.50%9,534,954
Bosnia And Herzegovina24.80%3,233,526
Maldives24.80%523,787
Bulgaria24.50%6,781,953
Uzbekistan23.60%34,627,652
Comoros23.60%836,774
Venezuela23.00%28,301,696
Botswana23.00%2,630,296
Paraguay22.90%6,780,744
Saudi Arabia22.80%36,408,820
Burkina Faso22.60%22,673,762
Luxembourg22.10%647,599
Kazakhstan21.90%19,397,998
Benin21.60%13,352,864
Eritrea20.10%3,684,032
New Zealand19.00%5,185,288
United Arab Emirates18.60%9,441,129
Cuba18.20%11,212,191
Nigeria17.50%218,541,212
Libya16.50%6,812,341
Palestine16.40%5,250,072
Republic of the Congo15.70%5,970,424
Burundi15.20%12,889,576
Kuwait14.80%4,268,873
Russia12.20%144,713,314
Estonia8.40%1,326,062
Afghanistan7.10%41,128,771
Cayman Islands5.70%68,706
Brunei2.40%449,002

Debt to GDP Ratio by Country 2022

Sources