Industrialized countries with the most foreign debt in 2019

The problem – or privilege – of having a lot of foreign debt is one shared mainly among industrialized nations. Topping the ranking of the countries that borrowed most from others is the United States, which is 20.41 trillion U.S. dollars in debt, according to latest numbers available in the World Bank. Next in line is the United Kingdom, which has racked up 8.77 trillion in foreign debt, followed by France, which owes 6.25 trillion.

Even small countries, like Luxembourg or the Netherlands appear towards the top of the list which has to do with the banking sectors in these countries buying up foreign debt liabilities as well as the countries’ social systems spending a lot on their citizens.

Other small countries, especially tiny island nations, and many African countries have the least foreign debt, according to the ranking. Other outliers include closed-off nations or dictatorships like Brunei, Turkmenistan and Bhutan.


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