United States Currently Has Over $13.8 Trillion in Debt

The infamous "US Debt Clock", which has never worked harder than it is right now, is now sitting within striking distance of the $14 trillion mark.

As of December 6th, 2010, the United States debt clock sat at:


Of this total, $9.27 trillion was public debt, while the remainder ($4.56 trillion or so) was made up of intragovernmental holdings.

Given the alarming rate at which the United States is currently adding debt, the $14 trillion mark will be topped shortly.

Given that the country is projected to have approximately $20 trillion in total debt by 2020, you can expect more articles such as this one over the coming years as the United States' debt load continues to set new high-water marks. At this point, it's not a matter of if the United States will hit the $20 trillion mark, but when.

As of last month, the three largest holders of US debt were:

1. The Federal Reserve, $891 billion
2. China, $884 billion
3. Japan, $864 billion


To give you an idea of how fast the nation's debt load has increased over the years, let me give you some numbers.

On September 30th, 1981, the United States had an official debt load of $997.8 billion (this works out to around $2.37 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars). This would be the last time that the United States would post an End-of-Year (fiscal) debt load of less than $1 trillion.

By September 30th, 1986, the US national debt load was over $2 trillion ($2.125 trillion).

By September 30th, 1993, the US national debt load had more than doubled to $4.4 trillion.

Over the next seven years, the United States added a "modest" (relatively speaking) $1.22 trillion. By September 30th, 2000, the US national debt load sat at $5.67 trillion.

From September 30th, 2001 to September 30th, 2010, the country added an incredible $7.7 trillion in total debt. That's right - the United States added more debt in just ten years than it had during its entire history as a country up until the end of the 2000 fiscal year.

As of September 30th, 2010, the United States had a total debt load of just over $13.5 trillion.

A few months later, and the country is close to smashing through the $14 trillion mark for the very first time.

Source: United States Debt Clock

Filed under: The Economic Meltdown

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