Who Owns America's Debt? An Dynamic Perspective on the Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities [2002- Present]

Three Things to Notice

(1) China Passes Japan —  This dynamic visual demonstrates how in the fall of 2008 China surpassed Japan as the top foreign holder of U.S. Debt.

(2) The Rise of Russia —  Notice how Russia becomes a significant holder of U.S. Debt between late-2006 and mid-2007.

(3) The Increasing Amount of U.S. Debt Held Abroad — The pie chart is sized by the total debt held by the current top ten debt holders. As a function of U.S. expenditures over the relevant time period, this pie grows in nearly every time period. In the bottom right corner, we track the total debts held by the current top debt holders. Of course, this alone does not represent the complete picture as there is additional U.S. debt held by a variety of other other countries. Therefore, we also track the grand total of all debts held abroad in the bottom right corner of the visual.

Dynamic Perspective on the Increasing Amount of American Debt Held Abroad

Focusing upon the  “Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities,” we were interested in considering how today’s major debt holders acquired their top position. The data used the generate the visual above is drawn from United States Department of Treasury. For those interested in replicating our results, the current data is located here and the historical data is located here.

4 thoughts on “Who Owns America's Debt? An Dynamic Perspective on the Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities [2002- Present]”

  1. How fortunate that people in so many countries want to buy our debt. This is the sign of a strong economy. Look at it this way, would you want to buy Burundi’s debt?

  2. @John: Not a sign of a strong economy. It’s a sign of likelihood (or un-likelihood in this case) of default. Just because no one thinks you’ll completely completely collapse doesn’t make you strong.

  3. Most Americans are still so dumb they think this is a good thing. America is now owned, pretty much hook line and sinker, by China, with a few other countries kicked in for good measure. When will the “Rah rah America, we are the best” bunch realize, your country is done, over, kaput?

    Too funny.

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