15 countries with the highest debt to GDP ratio

Last Modified: Sun Oct 18 2015 21:00:58 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • 243.2%
    Japan - The country is in a troubling spot. Its economy is growing slowly. S&P, one of the world's biggest credit-ratings agencies, cut Japan's rating in September and changed its outlook from stable to negative.
  • 173.8%
    Greece - the country has taken over 320 billion euros' worth of bailout cash and it's looking increasingly impossible to pay it all back — especially since it has had to implement painful austerity measures to get its loans. But it's surprisingly not the worse country in the world for government debt.
  • 139.7%
    Lebanon - the country used to be a tourist destination, but war against Syria and domestic political turmoil has led to a lack of an official budget for months.
  • 138.9%
    Jamaica - the services industry accounts for 80% of GDP, but high crime, corruption, and large-scale unemployment drag the country's growth down. The International Monetary Fund said Jamaica has to reform its tax system, among other things.
  • 132.5%
    Italy - the country's proportion of debt to GDP is the second highest in the Eurozone. It spiked earlier this year because the Treasury increased its available liquidity.
  • 128.8%
    Portugal - exited its own bailout program in the middle of 2014, but GDP was still 7.8% lower than it was at the end of 2007.
  • 122.8%
    Ireland - the country exited its bailout program two years ago, but still faces a huge debt pile. But it's on the right track. Ireland has already had success in refinancing a large amount of banking-related debt.
  • 112%
    Cyprus - the country's excessive exposure to Greece hit it hard when the European sovereign-debt crisis rippled across the world in 2010. Like Greece, it had to be bailed out by international creditors and enforce capital controls and austerity measures to get funding.
  • 110.7%
    Bhutan - the small Asian economy is closely linked to India and depends heavily on it for financial assistance and foreign laborers for infrastructure.
  • 104.5%
    United States - is on the cusp of raising interest rates for the first time in seven years. But some analysts warn that this could trigger another financial crisis due to the hike in repayments people will face in paying back debt.
  • 103.8%
    Singapore - it's one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but the island nation suffers from high debt. The government is now trying to find new ways to grow the economy and raise productivity.
  • 99.8%
    Belgium - the country is known as "the sick man of Europe," and although the government managed to reduce the budget deficit from a peak of 6% of GDP in 2009 to 3.2%, its debt is still high.
  • 95%
    Cape Verde - the island nation is a service-orientated economy and suffers from a poor natural-resource base. This means it has to import 82% of its food, leading to vulnerability to market fluctuations.
  • 93.9%
    Spain - Standard & Poor's is confident that Spain's buoyant growth prospects and labor market reforms will boost its outlook. In the second quarter, Spain's economy grew 3.1% year-on-year.
  • 93.9%
    France - the eurozone's second-biggest economy has been recovering "in fits and starts," says the country's statistical agency. But this month it put out some good news: PMI services came in better than expected and retail sales are rising.