We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is the Debt of the United States?

L. S. Wynn
By L. S. Wynn
Updated: May 17, 2024

The United States government's debt is very high. The interest on the debt has become a significant component of the US budget. The chart below illustrates the growth in the public debt over the years. The figures represent the official historical figures of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Please note that the dollar amounts are in billions of US Dollars and are not adjusted for inflation. The term "deficit" refers to the annual increase to the overall debt figures illustrated below. The figures in the table represent the end-of-year figures.

By way of example, the total deficit on in 2010 was just over $9,000 billion US Dollars (USD), or $9 trillion USD. When you divide this figure by 309 million, which is approximately the entire population of the United States that year, you are left with over $29,000 USD for every man, woman and child.

Debt in Billions of USD
1962 $248.0 u.s. debt in 1962
1963 $254.0 u.s. debt in 1963
1964 $256.8 u.s. debt in 1964
1965 $260.8 u.s. debt in 1965
1966 $263.7 u.s. debt in 1966
1967 $266.6 u.s. debt in 1967
1968 $289.5 u.s. debt in 1968
1969 $278.1 u.s. debt in 1969
1970 $283.2 united states debt in 1970
1971 $303.0 united states debt in 1971
1972 $322.4 united states debt in 1972
1973 $340.9 united states debt in 1973
1974 $343.7 united states debt in 1974
1975 $394.7 united states debt in 1975
1976 $477.4 united states debt in 1976
1977 $549.1 united states debt in 1977
1978 $607.1 united states debt in 1978
1979 $640.3 united states debt in 1979
1980 $711.9 united states debt in 1980
1981 $789.4 united states debt in 1981
1982 $924.6 united states debt in 1982
1983 $1,137.3 united states debt in 1983
1984 $1,307.0 united states debt in 1984
1985 $1,507.3 united states debt in 1985
1986 $1,740.6 united states debt in 1986
1987 $1,889.8 united states debt in 1987
1988 $2,051.6 united states debt in 1988
1989 $2,190.7 united states debt in 1989
1990 $2,411.6 united states debt in 1990
1991 $2,689.0 united states debt in 1991
1992 $2,999.7 united states debt in 1992
1993 $3,248.4 united states debt in 1993
1994 $3,433.1 united states debt in 1994
1995 $3,604.4 united states debt in 1995
1996 $3,734.1 united states debt in 1996
1997 $3,772.3 united states debt in 1997
1998 $3,721.1 united states debt in 1998
1999 $3,632.4 united states debt in 1999
2000 $3,409.8 united states debt in 2000
2001 $3,319.6 united states debt in 2001
2002 $3,540.4 united states debt in 2002
2003 $3,913.4 united states debt in 2003
2004 $4,295.5 united states debt in 2003
2005 $4,592.2 united states debt in 2003
2006 $4,828.9 united states debt in 2003
2007 $5,035.1 united states debt in 2003
2008 $5,803.1 united states debt in 2003
2009 $7,544 united states debt in 2003
2010 $9,023 united states debt in 2003
America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Millers — On Sep 13, 2013

The debt degree of young American adults -- those under the age of 35 -- has taken a steep dive in the last ten years or so, according to a brand new study. Normally, that would sound like great news for the economy. In fact, however, it indicates a very troubling craze. The reason that debt has fallen so sharply is because today's young adults have too few assets to consider taking on new loans.

By anon143529 — On Jan 16, 2011

You fail to take into account debt held by agencies and trust.

By anon136408 — On Dec 22, 2010

he means for a fiscal year I think.

By anon69874 — On Mar 10, 2010

The national debt is currently at over 12.5 trillion. When you adjust it for CPI, the chart shows debt has increased dramatically in last few years. Debt to GDP stands to be 100% in 2012, higher than the debt to GDP when Truman was president.

By anon60595 — On Jan 14, 2010

What a load of crap. When inflation is considered and when the debt is compared to GDP, the graph will look very different.

By anon36704 — On Jul 14, 2009

Why is associated press writer, Martin Crutsinger, stating today that deficit has topped trillion dollars for FIRST time?

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.