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30 Countries with Highest Debt-to-GDP: 2024 Rankings

In this article, we will take a look at the 30 countries with highest debt-to-GDP ratio. You can skip our detailed analysis and go directly to the 10 Countries with Highest Debt-to-GDP: 2024 Rankings.

Global Debt Distress

The global debt distress is a complicated thing for policymakers as they continue to work on preserving debt sustainability. In 2021, the advanced and global economies grew by 5.3% and 5.9%, respectively. Despite 2021 being a recovery year for the global economy, the growth bubble was short-lived. According to the IMF Global Debt Database, the global public debt fell from 10% of GDP in 2022 for the second consecutive year to 238% of GDP. The drop in global debt was mainly driven by the withdrawal of fiscal support measures related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other factors that played an important role were the rebound in economic activity, inflation surprises, and interest rate hikes. In advanced economies and several emerging economies, private debt declined. While countries including China and some low-income developing countries followed the opposite trend with an increase in debt. After three years of sustainability, the global debt point seems to be returning to its long-term increasing trend. China is in the driver's seat in the journey to rise in global debt.  

The global debt-to-GDP ratios were on a decades-long rising trend before the pandemic. Global public debt tripled since the mid-1970s, reaching 92% of GDP or $91 trillion by the end of 2022. Private debt also tripled to 146% of GDP, reaching $144 trillion between 1960 and 2022. China has been a central figure in the increase of global debt in recent decades. Similarly, the US has contributed to the rise in debt share of GDP. China’s total debt is around $47.5 trillion, still on a lower side than the US which is close to $70 trillion. Whereas, China’s non-financial corporate debt share is 28%, the largest in the world. China and the US remain two of the leading countries with the highest debt-to-GDP ratios.

Emerging economies and low-income economies are the most affected by debt vulnerabilities. Among the emerging economies, 25% are at a high risk of facing “default-like” spreads on their sovereign debt. Among low-income economies, around 15% are in debt distress, in addition to another 45% at high risk of debt distress. As reported by the IMF, emerging and low-income economies would need approximately $440 billion in additional financing between 2022 to 2026 to speed up the convergence of their incomes with those of advanced economies. The IMF policymakers believe that the rising debt trend is emerging once again as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 25, Reuters reported that the IMF is still focusing on a case-by-case approach to manage sovereign debt issues. At the same time, the policymakers at the IMF are closely observing the developments to be ready for a more systemic approach if needed. Strategy Chief at the IMF, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu said the 20 common frameworks for debt restructuring assisted countries that needed debt relief. However, Pazarbasioglu also highlighted that there is much more that needs to be done, such as quicker and more predictable relief reaching a broader set of countries.

Banks in Countries with the Most Debt 

Banks have a big role to play in economies where a lot of borrowing is going on in the markets. At the government level, the central bank remains a key player that defines everything and sets the tone of the economy. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:MUFG), DBS Group Holdings Ltd (OTC:DBSDY), and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (BIT:ISP) are the biggest banking companies based out of some of the high-debt countries. 

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:MUFG) is a leading Japanese bank holding and financial services company. On October 27, 2023, the company announced that its consolidated subsidiaries MUFG Bank, Ltd. (MUFG Bank) and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB) had created a debt fund framework. The debt fund ecosystem will allow Japanese institutional investors to be part of providing loans to overseas startups. To execute the debt fund framework, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:MUFG) has a comprehensive insurance underwriting framework agreement with Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and The Hachijuni Bank, Ltd., among others. On January 22, the company’s subsidiary MUFG Bank (China), Ltd. received a lead underwriting license for corporate panda bonds from the Chinese regulatory body to operate in the Chinese Interbank Bond Market. 

DBS Group Holdings Ltd (OTC:DBSDY) is a leading multinational banking and financial services corporation based out of Singapore. On December 20, 2023, DBS Group Holdings Ltd (OTC:DBSDY) announced that its Indonesian subsidiary bank has collaborated with Kredivo, a financial technology startup. With the help of Kredivo, DBS Indonesia will disburse loans to more than one million accounts under a joint financing arrangement. Almost 48% of Indonesians have no adequate access to financial services, as per the Bank Indonesia 2023 data. The loans provided by DBS Indonesia will aim to enhance the country’s financial inclusion index for people who are below banking standards.

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (BIT:ISP) is an international banking group based out of Italy. On January 8, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (BIT:ISP) announced that it is renewing its collaboration with SACE. In partnership with SACE, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (BIT:ISP) will provide access financing against strategic investments for companies in Italy. The deal has occurred following a new agreement concerning Garanzia Futuro. So far, in partnership with SACE, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (BIT:ISP) has supported loans of over €21.2 billion through the Garanzia Italia, Garanzia SupportItalia, and Garanzia Green programs.

Now, let’s take a look at the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

30 Countries with Highest Debt-to-GDP: 2024 Rankings
30 Countries with Highest Debt-to-GDP: 2024 Rankings

30 Countries with Highest Debt-to-GDP: 2024 Rankings

Our Methodology

To compile or list the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024, we took the debt-to-GDP ratio data from the IMF’s General Government Gross debt-to-GDP database. We also took the data on GDP (PPP) from the IMF database. The countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024 are ranked in ascending order of their debt-to-GDP ratios. For the countries with similar debt-to-GDP ratios, we have ranked them based on their GDP (PPP). 

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using different consensus approaches, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

Note: The data for Afghanistan, Cuba, Libya, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Venezuela, and Zambia was not available on the IMF database and therefore, we have not considered them in our rankings.

30 Countries with Highest Debt-to-GDP: 2024 Rankings

30. Sierra Leone

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 82.6

GDP (PPP): $19.05 Billion

Sierra Leone is located in West Africa having a GDP of $19.05 billion. With a debt-to-GDP ratio of 82.6, Sierra Leone ranks 30th among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

29. The Bahamas

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 83.7

GDP (PPP): $18.9 Billion

Officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has a GDP of $18.9 billion. The Caribbean country has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 83.7 and ranks among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

28. China

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 87.4

GDP (PPP): $35.04 Trillion

China is one of the largest economies in the world with a GDP of $35.04 trillion. China has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 87.4 and is placed 28th among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

27. Egypt

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 88.1

GDP (PPP): $1.92 Trillion

Egypt is one of the largest economies in Africa. The country has a GDP of $1.92 trillion and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 88.1. Egypt is one of the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

26. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 89.2

GDP (PPP): $2.13 Billion

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has a GDP of $2.13 billion and has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 89.2. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is placed 26th among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

25. Brazil

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 90.3

GDP (PPP): $4.26 Trillion

Brazil is one of the largest economies in South America with a GDP of $4.26 trillion. With a debt-to-GDP ratio of 90.3, Brazil ranks among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

24. Republic of Congo

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 91

GDP (PPP): $29.9 Billion

The Republic of Congo has a GDP of $29.9 billion and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 91. The Republic of Congo is one of the countries with highest debt-to-GDP.

23. Dominica

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 91

GDP (PPP): $1.14 Billion

Dominica has a similar debt-to-GDP ratio as the Republic of Congo. With a GDP of $1.14 billion, Dominica is placed 23rd among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

22. Jordan

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 91.9

GDP (PPP): $138.73 Billion

Jordan is one of the countries with highest debt-to-GDP, which is 91.9 as of 2024. Jordan has a GDP of $138.73 billion.

21. Mozambique

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 92.4

GDP (PPP): $57.65 Billion

Mozambique’s economy has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 92.4, with the country’s GDP at $57.65 billion. Mozambique ranks among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

20. Suriname

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 93.9

GDP (PPP): $12.04 Billion

Suriname has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 93.9 and a GDP of $12.04 billion. Suriname ranks 20th among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

19. Ukraine

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 98.6

GDP (PPP): $501.07 Billion

Ukraine’s economy is affected massively due to the war and the country has a 98.6 debt-to-GDP ratio. With a GDP of $501.07 billion, Ukraine ranks among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

18. Canada

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 103.3

GDP (PPP): $2.47 Trillion

Canada is one of the largest economies in the world and has one of the highest debt-to-GDPs. Canada has a GDP of $2.47 trillion and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 103.3.

17. Portugal

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 104

GDP (PPP): $482.85 Billion

Portugal is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and has a GDP of $482.85 billion. With a debt-to-GDP ratio of 104, Portugal is ranked 17th among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

16. Spain

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 104.7

GDP (PPP): $2.51 Trillion

Spain has a GDP of $2.51 trillion and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 104.7. Spain is one of the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

15. United Kingdom

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 105.9

GDP (PPP): $3.98 Trillion

The United Kingdom is one of the largest economies in the world and the country’s debt continues to increase. The United Kingdom has a GDP of $3.98 trillion and ranks 15th among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

14. Belgium

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 106.8

GDP (PPP): $793.83 Billion

Belgium has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 106.8 and a GDP of $793.83 billion. Belgium is one of the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

13. Barbados

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 107.5

GDP (PPP): $5.78 Billion

Barbados is relatively a small economy with a GDP of $5.78 billion. With a debt-to-GDP ratio of 107.5, Barbados ranks among the countries with highest debt-to-GDP in 2024.

12. Cabo Verde

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 109.7

GDP (PPP): $6.11 Billion

Cabo Verde is one of the smallest economies on our list with one of the highest debt-to-GDPs. Cabo Verde has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 109.7 and a GDP of $6.11 billion.

11. France

Debt-to-GDP Ratio (2024): 110.5

GDP (PPP): $4.01 Trillion

France is one of the largest economies in the world having a GDP of $4.01 trillion. The country has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 110.5.

Click to continue reading and see the 10 Countries with Highest Debt-to-GDP: 2024 Rankings.

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Disclosure: none. 30 Countries with Highest Debt-to-GDP: 2024 Rankings is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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