Total Public Debt Outstanding Sits At Just Over $19 Trillion

United States national debt reaches $19 trillion (T)Another day, another debt milestone for the United States.

In a week where the race for the White House in 2016 officially moves to the next level, the United States revealed that it now has total public debt outstanding of over $19 trillion. The exact number is: $19,012,827,698,417.93. This figure means that every man, woman and child in the United States currently owes $62,503 for their share of the debt.

Of the $19 trillion that the United States owes, $13.66 trillion is in the form of "debt held by the public", while the rest is in the form of "intragovernmental holdings". "Debt held by the public" is money that is owed to foreign investors, pension funds, mutual funds and American investors, to name a few, while "intragovernmental holdings" is money that is owed to government-run programs such as Social Security.

Foreign ownership of US debt is in the trillions of dollars, as China and Japan both have trillion dollar plus positions. As of October 2015, China had a position in US debt that totalled over $1.25 trillion, while Japan owned roughly $1.15 billion.


The US debt has been surging in recent years.

At the end of Bill Clinton's presidency, the United States had roughly $5.6 trillion in total debt. By 2004, this number was up to roughly $7.4 trillion. In 2008, the wheels fell off of the global economy thanks to the "Great Recession" and the United States was forced to post numerous trillion dollar plus deficits in order to maintain its operations. By 2010, the US debt total was up over $13 trillion, and it won't be long until the country tops the $20 trillion mark.

While the country has been able to pare down its deficits somewhat in recent years, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the nation will see its deficit spending expand once again over the coming decade, provided that major changes aren't made to the way that the country manages its financial affairs.


With the race to the White House in 2016 currently in full gallop, the subject of the nation's rapidly increasing debt load will surely be a big talking point going forward.

Filed under: General Knowledge

Related Articles