US Debt Clock Passes $16 Trillion For The First Time

16 Trillion - IllustrationEarlier today, the United States debt clock passed the $16 trillion mark for the first time ever.

This means that every man, woman and child in the United States currently owes over $52,500 as their share of the national debt.

Of this $16 trillion in debt, over $11.2 trillion is in the form of public debt, while the rest is in the form of intragovernmental holdings. Public debt is held by mutual funds, pension funds, foreign governments, individual investors, etc., while "intragovernmental holdings" is money that the US government owes to itself (money owed to Social Security, etc).

Of the $16 trillion in total outstanding debt, roughly $1.17 trillion is owed to China, while about $1.1 trillion is owed to Japan. Roughly $5.1 trillion of US public debt is owned by foreign governments.


It wasn't that long ago when the country passed the $15 trillion mark for the first time - as a matter of fact, it was November of 2011.

$14 trillion? That was January of 2011.

$13 trillion? May of 2010.

$12 trillion? November of 2009.

$10 trillion? October of 2008.


On President Obama's first day of office in early 2009, the United States had roughly $10.62 trillion in total debt.

Four trillion dollar plus deficits later (2012 fiscal year is expected to produce a trillion dollar plus deficit) and the country now owes more than $16 trillion.


The rising US national debt load is going to be a key issue in the upcoming US Presidential election. Which candidate has the better plan to tame the national debt and get the economy going once again? The answer to that question will decide the election.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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