The National Debt Is Now More than $34 Trillion. What Does That Mean?

Jan 2, 2024

The gross federal debt of the United States has surpassed $34,000,000,000,000. Although the debt affects each of us, it may be difficult to put such a large number into perspective and fully understand its implications. The infographic below offers different ways of looking at the debt and its relationship to the economy, the budget, and American families.

The $34 trillion gross federal debt includes debt held by the public as well as debt held by federal trust funds and other government accounts. In very basic terms, this can be thought of as debt that the government owes to others plus debt that it owes to itself.

America’s high and rising debt matters because it threatens our economic future. The coronavirus pandemic rapidly accelerated our fiscal challenges, but we were already on an unsustainable path, with structural drivers that existed long before the pandemic. Putting our nation on a better fiscal path will help ensure a stronger and more resilient economy for the future.

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The National Debt Is Now More Than $34 Trillion. What Does That Mean?

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Tweet: America’s $34 trillion in #NationalDebt is roughly the value of the economies of China + Germany + Japan + India + United Kingdom combined.

Tweet: Now at $34 trillion, our growing #NationalDebt is an issue for families across the US.

Tweet: At $34 trillion and rising, the #NationalDebt threatens our economic future.

Tweet: With $34 trillion in #NationalDebt, building a sustainable economic future becomes more challenging.

Tweet: The interest that we pay on the #NationalDebt is now the fastest growing part of the budget.

Expert Views: Fiscal Commission

We asked experts with diverse views from across the political spectrum to share their perspectives.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.