U.S. markets open in 1 hour 38 minutes
  • S&P Futures

    4,134.50
    +27.50 (+0.67%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    34,108.00
    +170.00 (+0.50%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    13,240.00
    +139.75 (+1.07%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    2,187.20
    +18.60 (+0.86%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    64.67
    +0.85 (+1.33%)
     
  • Gold

    1,836.50
    +12.50 (+0.69%)
     
  • Silver

    27.35
    +0.31 (+1.13%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2127
    +0.0042 (+0.35%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.6680
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • Vix

    21.43
    -6.16 (-22.33%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.4083
    +0.0031 (+0.22%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    109.3070
    -0.1270 (-0.12%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    50,545.98
    +866.55 (+1.74%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,404.66
    +16.76 (+1.21%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,013.26
    +49.93 (+0.72%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,084.47
    +636.46 (+2.32%)
     

17 Countries Drowning in Debt

Jordan Rosenfeld
·7 min read
JaCZhou / Getty Images
JaCZhou / Getty Images

Though countries may appear to be well-to-do or economically thriving, many countries are actually drowning in significant amounts of debt. That includes the United States, which ranks fifth on this list, and Japan.

Read: The 50 Richest Countries in the World

In order to find the top 17 countries facing chunks of debt so big they nearly run out of zeroes, GOBankingRates drew from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) “Gross Debt Position: % of GDP” data for every country from its Fiscal Monitor. The data reveals which countries had debt greater than their GDP, and looked at their approximate gross debt in U.S. dollars.

Last updated: March 15, 2021

Copacabana Beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain,Rio de Janeiro.
Copacabana Beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain,Rio de Janeiro.

17. Brazil

The biggest chunk of Brazil’s debt is comprised of private debt, about 120.75% of its GDP, and private debt, loans and securities, 74.33% of its GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 102.76%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $1,431,624,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $1,471,199,622,230

See: Global Catastrophes Jeff Bezos Could Fix and Still Be the Richest Man in the World

16. Angola

While little data is available on the source of Angola’s debt, its overall balance of lending and borrowing is at -0.13%.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 107.53%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $68,072,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $73,195,047,444

Find Out: What Are the World’s Best Tax Havens?

LONDON, UK - April 11th 2020: Queen Elizabeth II of England, Thank you NHS, COVID-19 corona virus pandemic, Stay Home, Save Lives, screen sign information panel message, Piccadilly circus, London.
LONDON, UK - April 11th 2020: Queen Elizabeth II of England, Thank you NHS, COVID-19 corona virus pandemic, Stay Home, Save Lives, screen sign information panel message, Piccadilly circus, London.

15. United Kingdom

The largest part of the United Kingdom’s debt is in private debt, comprising 189.14% of its GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 111.52%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $2,855,671,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $3,184,502,643,989

More: How Rich Are Queen Elizabeth and the Rest of the British Royal Family?

Cyprus
Cyprus

14. Cyprus

Cyprus’ biggest portion of debt is private debt at 355.01% of its GDP followed by private debt, loans and securities at 264.57% of GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 112.42%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $26,599,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $29,902,147,714

Read: The 50 Cheapest Countries To Retire To

People meander at the junction of Rue Saint-Paul and Rue Saint-Vincent in the Old Montreal section of Montreal.
People meander at the junction of Rue Saint-Paul and Rue Saint-Vincent in the Old Montreal section of Montreal.

13. Canada

Canada’s largest share of debt is in private debt, at 265.13% of GDP followed by private debt, loans and securities, at 216.43% of GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 114.97%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $1,763,046,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $2,027,009,439,448

See: US Workers Rank Last in Benefits

A pedestrian wearing a mask walks in central city following Belgium's government imposes a coronavirus lockdown in Brussels, Belgium on May 8, 2020.
A pedestrian wearing a mask walks in central city following Belgium's government imposes a coronavirus lockdown in Brussels, Belgium on May 8, 2020.

12. Belgium

Belgium’s largest debt is in private debt, at 251.68% of GDP and private debt, loans and securities are at 208.03% of GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 117.07%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $576,768,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $675,210,136,488

Find Out: The World’s Most Expensive Countries To Live In

empty Paris Eiffel Tower
empty Paris Eiffel Tower

11. France

France’s largest debt is private debt, at 267.07% of its GDP. Other debts include nonfinancial corporate debts, at 150.18% of GDP and household debt, loans and securities, at 61.74% of GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 118.57%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $2,917,668,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $3,459,558,841,511

More: The World Economy Will Be ‘Back to Normal’ By End of Next Year

Mwinilunga, Zambia
Mwinilunga, Zambia

10. Zambia

What data is available only reveals that Zambia’s private debt, loans and securities is 12% of its GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 119.57%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $19,564,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $23,392,152,228

Read: UN Report: Job Losses Four Times Greater Than in 2009 Financial Crisis

Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona, Spain.

9. Spain

Spain’s largest debt is private debt, at 190.26% of its GDP. Other debts include nonfinancial corporate debts, at 92.81% of GDP and household debt, loans and securities, at 56.9% of GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 121.31%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $1,450,882,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $1,760,068,282,124

See: The Richest Royals in the World

Beautiful Bilene beach and lagoon near Maputo in Mozambique.
Beautiful Bilene beach and lagoon near Maputo in Mozambique.

8. Mozambique

What data is available only reveals that Mozambique’s private debt, loans and securities is 20.66% of its GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 123.51%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $14,142,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $17,466,986,577

See: 20 Highest-Paying Jobs That Let You Travel the World

Azenhas do Mar, Portugal coastal town.
Azenhas do Mar, Portugal coastal town.

7. Portugal

Portugal’s largest debt is private debt, at 237.83% of its GDP. Other debts include nonfinancial corporate debts, at 96.64% of GDP and household debt, loans and securities, at 63.9% of GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 130.05%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $257,055,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $334,292,981,852

Find Out: 15 Luxurious Vacation Spots Beloved by the Rich and Famous

Singapore Mar2020 Social distancing rules in practice, alternate seating in local public food courts (restaurants, food outlets), to reduce risk of further transmission; safety measures.
Singapore Mar2020 Social distancing rules in practice, alternate seating in local public food courts (restaurants, food outlets), to reduce risk of further transmission; safety measures.

6. Singapore

Of the data available, Singapore’s largest debt is private debt, loans and securities, at 159.1% of its GDP. Other debts include nonfinancial corporate debts, at 107.32% of GDP and household debt, loans and securities, at 51.77% of GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 132.35%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $362,524,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $479,810,311,028

More: How Animal Conservation Can Save the World Money

5. United States

Of the data available, the United States’ largest debt is private debt, at 219.2% of GDP, followed by private debt loans and securities, at 150.26% of its GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 133.64%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $21,921,585,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $29,296,039,982,837

Read: Experts Predict What Will Happen To the Economy in 2020

Bergamo, Italy - 2nd April, 2020 - Meticulous disinfection and decontamination on the streets as a prevention against Coronavirus disease (SARS-Cov-2), COVID-19 outbreak.
Bergamo, Italy - 2nd April, 2020 - Meticulous disinfection and decontamination on the streets as a prevention against Coronavirus disease (SARS-Cov-2), COVID-19 outbreak.

4. Italy

Italy’s largest debt is private debt, at 161.8% of GDP, followed by private debt loans and securities, at 109.67% of its GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 158.31%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $2,111,649,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $3,342,850,880,550

See: 30 Beautiful Places To Visit Before They Disappear

Athens , Greece - July 20, 2018: Garbage bin full of plastic bottles at the Temple of Hephaestus, Greece, Athens.
Athens , Greece - July 20, 2018: Garbage bin full of plastic bottles at the Temple of Hephaestus, Greece, Athens.

3. Greece

Greece’s biggest chunk of debt is private debt, at 120.4% of GDP, followed by private debt loans and securities, at 107.6% of its GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 200.53%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $219,012,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $439,191,107,729

Find Out: Here Are the Most and Least Tax-Friendly Countries

2. Sudan

Of what little data is available, Sudan’s private debt consists of 8.8% of GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 250.71%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $32,476,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $81,421,486,905

See: The World’s 2,000 Billionaires Have More Wealth Than Almost 5 Billion People Combined

TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 2020 : Crowd of people walking at Shinagawa station in busy morning rush hour.
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 2020 : Crowd of people walking at Shinagawa station in busy morning rush hour.

1. Japan

Japan’s biggest chunk of debt is private debt, at 206.62% of GDP, followed by private debt loans and securities, at 164.1% of its GDP.

  • Gross debt as % of GDP: 263.97%

  • Gross Domestic Product: $5,103,175,000,000

  • Approximate Total Gross Debt: $13,470,740,001,135

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: In order to find the countries that are drowning in debt, GOBankingRates looked at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) “Gross Debt Position: % of GDP” data for every country from its Fiscal Monitor. From this dataset, GOBankingRates identified the 17 countries which had 2021 Gross Debt 100% or more of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), meaning they had a higher debt than GDP. For these 17 countries, GOBankingRates found: (1) gross debt as a percent of GDP; (2) GDP; and (3) total approximate gross debt in USD. The countries were ranked against each other with factor (1) being the only consideration. All data was collected on and up to date as of Feb. 17, 2021.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 17 Countries Drowning in Debt