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What is the Debt?


Also, see National Debt, State Debt, Local Debt and Federal Deficit. This page shows Local Government Debt.

State and Local Debt: That’s the outstanding debt issued by states, local government, and special districts.
Also, see National Debt and Federal Debt.

 

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Debt Clock

Today’s Federal Debt is about $18,393,465,133,000.

The amount is the gross outstanding federal debt issued by the United States Department of the Treasury since 1790. It doesn’t include state and local debt, and it doesn’t include the so-called unfunded liabilities of entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Federal Debt per person is about $56,370.

Debt Charts   also: Spending Charts  Revenue Charts  Deficit Charts  

 

Recent and Estimated US Local Debt

Chart D.11l: Local Government Debt in trillions

Chart D.12l: Local Government Debt as percent GDP

On the left is a chart of the debt in current dollars. On the right is a chart of the debt as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

US Local Government Debt Since 1900

Chart D.13l: Local Government Debt in 20th Century

Local government debt began the 20th century at nearly 7 percent of GDP and, with a blip during World War I, climbed steadily for the next three decades, reaching 13.7 percent in 1929. Local debt exploded in the crisis of the Great Depression, reaching over 28 percent of GDP in 1933. In the next decade, local governments reduced debt radically, bottoming out at about 5 percent of GDP at the end of World War II.

In the post-war period local government debt doubled, reaching 10 perent of GDP in 1960. In the next decade and a half local government debt plateaued at just under 10 percent and then in 1976-80 declined to 7.3 percent of GDP. In the early 1980s local government debt began to increase again, breaching 9 percent in 1986, and then slowly increased through the 1990s and the 2000s, reaching 10.8 percent of GDP in 2008.

Federal, State, Local Debt in 20th Century

Chart D.14t: Local Government Debt by Government Level


At the beginning of the 20th century debt was equally divided between federal and state and local debt, totaling less than 20 percent of GDP. After World War I, the total debt surged to 45% of GDP. But by the mid 1920s debt had declined to below 35 percent of GDP. Then came the Great Depression, boosting total public debt to 70 percent of GDP. World War II boosted federal debt to almost 122 percent of GDP in 1946, with state and local debt adding another 7 percent. For the next 35 years successive governments brought the debt below 50 percent of GDP, but President Reagan increased the federal debt up over 50 perent of GDP, and total debt towards 70 perent to win the Cold War. President Bush increased the debt to fight a war on terror and bail out the banks in the crisis of 2008.

State-by-State Comparison of State and Local Debt

Chart D.15c: State and Local Debt Comparison


The bubble chart shows total state and local debt for each state in dollars per capita compared against the Gross State Product (GSP) in dollars per capita. The chart shows that the overwhelming number of states show a correlation between state and local debt and GSP. Notable outliers are the natural resource states, Wyoming and North Dakota, on the low debt side and New York and Rhode Island, on the high debt side.

Top Debt Requests:

Find DEFICIT stats and history.

US BUDGET overview and pie chart.

Find NATIONAL DEBT today.

See FEDERAL BUDGET breakdown and estimated vs. actual.

See BAR CHARTS of debt.

See PIE CHARTS of total debt, federal debt.

Check STATE debt: CA NY TX FL and compare.

See DEBT HISTORY briefing.

Take a COURSE at Spending 101.

Make your own CUSTOM CHART.

Debt Data Sources

Debt data is from official government sources.
  Federal data since 1962 comes from the president’s budget.
  All other debt data comes from the US Census Bureau.

Gross Domestic Product data comes from US Bureau of Economic Analysis and measuringworth.com.

Detailed table of debt data sources here.

Federal debt data begins in 1792.

State and local debt data begins in 1890.

State and local debt data for individual states begins in 1957.

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Gross Federal Debt

Debt: $18,393,465,133,000

Data Sources for 2010_2020:

Sources for 2010:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported spending forward to future years

Sources for 2020:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported spending forward to future years

> data sources for other years
> data update schedule.

US GDP for 2014 Updated

On April 8, 2015, usgovernmentspending.com updated its GDP series with the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, including nominal GDP for calendar 2014 of $17.419 trillion and real GDP  for calendar 2014 of $16.086 trillion in 2009 dollars. GDP for some years previous to 2014 have been revised by BEA.

Usgovernmentspending.com uses the BEA GDP data series from 1929 to the present and measuringworth.com as its GDP source from 1790 to 1928..

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usgovernmentdebt.us was designed and executed by:

Christopher Chantrill.

Email here.


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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