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  • MAP Asia Pacific Ltd

America’s debt: what US$31 trillion looks like

The United States has the world’s largest economy, with a GDP of US$23.3 trillion in 2021. But it also faces a huge debt challenge. Its national debt has reached US$31.4 trillion, a historic level that keeps rising with interest. This staggering sum, the world’s largest national debt, reflects years of big spending that has been far greater than what the US government has earned. The US debt-to-GDP ratio, which compares the size of the debt to the economy, also ranks among the highest in the world. What does US$31.4 trillion look like? Here is a visual guide to help understand the size of this enormous debt.

What is the debt ceiling? The debt ceiling is the legal limit on the amount of money the US government can borrow. Since 1960, Congress has increased the debt ceiling 79 times - 49 times under Republican presidents and 30 times under Democratic presidents.

Year: 2330 Rich nations had promised at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 to channel US$100 billion a year to less wealthy nations by 2020 to help them adapt to climate change and reduce emissions. In 2022, US climate envoy John Kerry said the target would be met in 2023. In an ideal world, US$31.4 trillion could fund this climate fight until around 2330.



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