Debt to GDP Ratio by Country 2022

map placeholder

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%125,584,838
Greece177.00%10,316,637
Lebanon151.00%6,684,849
Italy135.00%60,262,770
Singapore126.00%5,943,546
Cape Verde125.00%567,678
Portugal117.00%10,140,570
Angola111.00%35,027,343
Bhutan110.00%787,941
Mozambique109.00%33,089,461
United States107.00%334,805,269
Djibouti104.00%1,016,097
Jamaica103.00%2,985,094
Belgium98.60%11,668,278
France98.10%65,584,518
Spain95.50%46,719,142
Cyprus95.50%1,223,387
Bahrain93.40%1,783,983
Jordan92.40%10,300,869
Egypt90.00%106,156,692
Canada89.70%38,388,419
Argentina89.40%46,010,234
Sri Lanka86.80%21,575,842
Pakistan84.80%229,488,994
Gambia81.80%2,558,482
Suriname81.40%596,831
United Kingdom80.70%68,497,907
Mauritania79.00%4,901,981
Costa Rica77.47%5,182,354
Tunisia76.70%12,046,656
Brazil75.79%215,353,593
El Salvador73.30%6,550,389
Croatia73.20%4,059,286
Sao Tome And Principe73.10%227,679
Austria70.40%9,066,710
Belize69.90%412,190
India69.62%1,406,631,776
Bahamas66.80%400,516
Hungary66.30%9,606,259
Morocco66.10%37,772,756
Slovenia66.10%2,078,034
Albania65.90%2,866,374
Qatar65.80%2,979,915
Mauritius64.60%1,274,727
Yemen63.20%31,154,867
Trinidad And Tobago63.20%1,406,585
Sierra Leone63.00%8,306,436
Montenegro62.27%627,950
South Africa62.20%60,756,135
Sudan62.00%45,992,020
Malawi62.00%20,180,839
Uruguay61.30%3,496,016
Israel59.90%8,922,892
Germany59.80%83,883,596
Finland59.40%5,554,960
Ghana59.30%32,395,450
Zambia59.00%19,470,234
Ireland58.80%5,020,199
Bolivia57.70%11,992,656
Vietnam57.50%98,953,541
Ethiopia57.00%120,812,698
Kenya57.00%56,215,221
Gabon56.40%2,331,533
Mongolia55.00%3,378,078
Seychelles55.00%99,426
Kyrgyzstan54.10%6,728,271
Zimbabwe53.40%15,331,428
Laos53.34%7,481,023
Namibia53.30%2,633,874
Guyana52.90%794,045
Malaysia52.50%33,181,072
Nicaragua52.50%6,779,100
Serbia52.00%8,653,016
Dominican Republic50.53%11,056,370
China50.50%1,448,471,400
Ukraine50.30%43,192,122
Myanmar49.41%55,227,143
Iraq49.40%42,164,965
Ecuador49.40%18,113,361
Netherlands48.60%17,211,447
Central African Republic48.50%5,016,678
Colombia48.40%51,512,762
Azerbaijan48.40%10,300,205
Slovakia48.00%5,460,193
Fiji48.00%909,466
Tajikistan47.90%9,957,464
Senegal47.70%17,653,671
Oman47.50%5,323,993
Chad46.60%17,413,580
Algeria46.10%45,350,148
Poland46.00%37,739,785
Armenia45.60%2,971,966
Mexico45.50%131,562,772
Australia45.10%26,068,792
Honduras44.05%10,221,247
Equatorial Guinea43.30%1,496,662
Malta43.10%444,033
Georgia43.00%3,968,738
Thailand41.80%70,078,203
Philippines41.50%112,508,994
Rwanda41.10%13,600,464
Switzerland41.00%8,773,637
Lesotho40.90%2,175,699
North Macedonia40.70%2,081,304
Norway40.60%5,511,370
Uganda40.00%48,432,863
Papua New Guinea39.80%9,292,169
Panama39.48%4,446,964
Hong Kong38.40%7,604,299
Iran37.90%86,022,837
Tanzania37.80%63,298,550
South Korea37.70%51,329,899
Iceland37.00%345,393
Latvia36.90%1,848,837
Guinea Bissau36.50%2,063,367
Lithuania36.30%2,661,708
Romania35.20%19,031,335
Sweden35.10%10,218,971
Niger34.70%26,083,660
Cameroon34.00%27,911,548
Denmark33.20%5,834,950
Turkey33.10%85,561,976
Haiti33.00%11,680,283
Liberia32.00%5,305,117
Ivory Coast31.90%27,742,298
Czech Republic30.80%10,736,784
Nepal30.20%30,225,582
Madagascar30.10%29,178,077
Indonesia29.80%279,134,505
Togo29.50%8,680,837
Cambodia29.40%17,168,639
Bangladesh29.30%167,885,689
Turkmenistan29.30%6,201,943
Taiwan28.20%23,888,595
Chile27.90%19,250,195
Guatemala27.88%18,584,039
Peru27.50%33,684,208
Moldova27.40%4,013,171
Belarus26.50%9,432,800
Bosnia And Herzegovina24.80%3,249,317
Maldives24.80%540,985
Bulgaria24.50%6,844,597
Uzbekistan23.60%34,382,084
Comoros23.60%907,419
Venezuela23.00%29,266,991
Botswana23.00%2,441,162
Paraguay22.90%7,305,843
Saudi Arabia22.80%35,844,909
Burkina Faso22.60%22,102,838
Luxembourg22.10%642,371
Kazakhstan21.90%19,205,043
Benin21.60%12,784,726
Eritrea20.10%3,662,244
New Zealand19.00%4,898,203
United Arab Emirates18.60%10,081,785
Cuba18.20%11,305,652
Nigeria17.50%216,746,934
Libya16.50%7,040,745
Palestine16.40%5,345,541
Republic of the Congo15.70%5,797,805
Burundi15.20%12,624,840
Kuwait14.80%4,380,326
Russia12.20%145,805,947
Estonia8.40%1,321,910
Afghanistan7.10%40,754,388
Cayman Islands5.70%67,277
Brunei2.40%445,431

Debt to GDP Ratio by Country 2022

Sources