HomeCryptoSingapore, US Top in Public Debt per Capita; China Leads BRICS: Study

Singapore, US Top in Public Debt per Capita; China Leads BRICS: Study

Singapore, US Top in Public Debt per Capita; China Leads BRICS: Study

In a world where economies are constantly evolving, one crucial aspect that governments and citizens alike closely monitor is sovereign debt per capita. Understanding the magnitude of a nation’s debt burden is essential for financial planning, policymaking, and economic stability. Recent research based on data from the United Nations has revealed fascinating insights into sovereign debt per capita across the globe. According to the study, Singapore, the United States, and Japan have emerged as the top-ranking countries in this aspect.

Singapore: A Surprising Leader in Sovereign Debt per Capita

Surpassing all other nations, Singapore stands tall as the leader in sovereign debt per capita as of 2022. The data compiled by the United Nations highlights that the average debt burden on each citizen of this thriving city-state amounts to a staggering $117,400. This finding might come as a surprise to many, given Singapore’s reputation as a financial powerhouse and its robust economic growth. However, it also underscores the complexities of modern financial systems, even in countries with robust economies.

United States: The Second in Line

Claiming the second spot on the global sovereign debt rankings is the United States, with each American carrying an average debt of $93,000. While this may raise concerns, it is essential to put this number into context. The U.S. is a major economic player with vast social welfare programs, military expenditures, and infrastructure development. These factors contribute to the country’s debt accumulation. In June of the same year, the nation’s total debt surpassed a staggering $32 trillion, signaling the need for prudent fiscal management.

The increase in debt occurred after President Joe Biden’s administration, in conjunction with House Republicans, reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. As a consequence, the debt per citizen rose significantly, sparking discussions about the necessity of balancing economic growth with responsible financial management.

Japan: A Strong Contender for Sovereign Debt

Japan, renowned for its technological innovations and cultural heritage, ranks third in the global sovereign debt per capita chart. With an average debt of $88,400 per citizen, the nation faces a unique set of economic challenges. Japan’s aging population, coupled with prolonged deflationary pressures, poses significant hurdles for its policymakers. Nonetheless, the Japanese economy continues to demonstrate resilience and adaptability, bolstered by its strong work ethic and commitment to technological advancements.

The Global Debt Landscape: Other Key Players

Beyond the top three, several other nations feature prominently in the global sovereign debt rankings. Canada secures the fourth position with an average debt of $58,900 per citizen, showcasing the financial stability of the nation. Belgium follows closely in fifth place, with each citizen burdened by an average debt of $52,600.

The top 10 list also includes Iceland ($51,200), Italy ($49,200), France ($47,100), Ireland ($47,100), and the U.K. ($46,600). These nations demonstrate diverse economic profiles, each with its unique approach to managing public debt and economic growth.

Developed Nations and Sovereign Debt

As expected, developed nations showcase higher sovereign debt levels, primarily due to their advanced social systems and infrastructure investments. Norway ranks within the top 30 with an average debt of $42,100, while Australia and Switzerland stand strong with debts per capita of $36,500 and $36,200, respectively.

Germany, the European Union’s economic powerhouse, is another notable contender with an average debt of $32,600 per citizen. These developed economies continually face the challenge of balancing debt management with sustainable growth, all while striving to ensure the well-being of their citizens.

Developing Economies and the Sovereign Debt Dilemma

The study also sheds light on the sovereign debt situation in developing economies. Among the members of the BRICS bloc, the People’s Republic of China emerges as a key player, ranking 47th in the world with an average public debt of $9,900 per capita. Brazil, India, and South Africa follow suit, with debts per capita amounting to $7,700, $2,000, and $4,700, respectively.

Members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) also demonstrate varying degrees of debt burden. Armenia, with an average debt of $3,200 per citizen, takes the 90th position. Belarus ranks 91st with $3,100, Kazakhstan secures the 99th position with $2,700, and Kyrgyzstan lies at the 139th spot with a per capita sovereign debt of $871.

Understanding Debt Per Capita: A Crucial Metric

Sovereign debt per capita serves as a vital metric for assessing a nation’s economic health and its citizens’ financial well-being. While high debt levels can signify strong investments in crucial sectors such as infrastructure and social welfare, they also bring forth challenges related to repayment and fiscal discipline.

Governments worldwide face the pressing task of balancing economic growth, public welfare, and debt management. The study’s findings underscore the need for responsible fiscal policies, efficient debt management, and sustainable economic growth strategies. Additionally, these findings can help policymakers identify areas that require targeted intervention to achieve better financial stability and long-term prosperity.


In conclusion, the recent research based on U.N. data has shed light on the global landscape of sovereign debt per capita. Singapore, the United States, and Japan have emerged as the leading contenders in this area, each with its unique economic context and challenges. Developed economies, as expected, feature prominently in the rankings, while developing economies grapple with their own set of considerations.

Understanding sovereign debt and its implications is crucial for nations to make informed financial decisions that benefit both their economies and citizens. Responsible debt management, coupled with prudent fiscal policies, remains paramount in navigating the complexities of modern financial systems.




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