10 Countries With the Most Debt

With the debt of the U.S. continuing to climb upward, The Motley Fool takes a look at the countries with the most debt.

Jan 19, 2014 at 2:20PM

The 10 countries with the most debt in the world have more than $51.4 trillion of debt outstanding, and the ones on top of the list may surprise you.

The World Bank notes that 66 of the largest countries have a total of $69.4 trillion in debt, and the top 10 of those countries make up almost three-quarters of that amount. While the countries with the most debt are also some of the most powerful economically, it is also vitally important to monitor how that debt is trending through the years.

By Eurocrisisexplainedcouk
Source: EuroCrisisExplained.co.uk.

The appropriate management of debt is one of the key ways to ensure a country's economy functions in a smooth and stable way, while also protecting the reputation of a government. Last year's government shutdown in America and continual disagreements over what to do with the debt in the United States provide an example of that reality.

Knowing what countries have the most debt is helpful in framing the discussion about it in the United States and beyond. Check out our slideshow below.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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