Global Debt Maps: The Economist

Two more images that bring a topic of interest to global investors into a bright light. The Economist has created a series of fascinating interactive maps which capture debt information by country.

Here is 2010 public debt per capita:

Highest public debt per capita is dark olive green, lightening to brown, then beige, pale green and eventually blue. The bright blue you see in a number of African countries is the lowest debt per capita. White means the data wasn’t available. Japan tops the list by a wide margin with public debt of $83,444.57 per citizen. Chile’s rate is among the lowest with just $672.

The interactive map has country-specific information from 1999 through 2011.

Total global debt at this moment: $39.9 trillion.$8.5 trillion of that is US debt.

Below is another map based on the yearly rate of change of national debt.

Again, dark green is highest, with countries like the US up 21.6% in 2010, and Russia up 22.6%. Bright blue is the lowest. Norway’s debt fell 6.8% this year. Saudi Arabia’s is down 19%.

What do these maps say to you? Please add your reaction and insights.

2 thoughts on “Global Debt Maps: The Economist

  1. Michael A. Gayed, CFA

    It will be interesting to see how the country debt extremes (U.S. highly levered, Chile lowest) affect country equity performance during periods of deflation and inflation. Chile’s markets have had an incredible run up so far this year as the world’s developed economies have been struggling due to deflationary expectations. Whenever the time comes for inflationary expectations to return, it could very well be the developed markets which perform better.

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