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Visualizing The (Massive) Size Of The US National Debt

When numbers get into the billions or trillions, they start to lose context. As Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, the U.S. national debt is one of those numbers. It currently sits at $19.5 trillion, which is actually such a large number that it is truly difficult for the average person to comprehend.

How big is the U.S. National Debt?

The best way to understand these large numbers? We believe it is to represent them visually, by plotting the data with comparable numbers that are easier to grasp.

Courtesy of: The Money Project


Today’s data visualization plots the U.S. National Debt against everything from the assets managed by the world’s largest money managers, to the annual value of gold production.

1. The U.S. national debt is larger than the 500 largest public companies in America.
The S&P 500 is a stock market index that tracks the value of the 500 largest U.S. companies by market capitalization. It includes giant companies like Apple, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Alphabet, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, and many others. In summer of 2016, the value of all of these 500 companies together added to $19.1 trillion – just short of the debt total.


2. The U.S. national debt is larger than all assets managed by the world’s top seven money managers.
The world’s largest money managers – companies like Blackrock, Vanguard, or Fidelity – manage trillions of investor assets in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and more. However, if we take the top seven of these companies and add all of their assets under management (AUM) together, it adds up to only $18.9 trillion.


3. The U.S. national debt is 25x larger than all global oil exports in 2015.
Yes, countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Russia make a killing off of selling their oil around the world. However, the numbers behind these exports are paltry in comparison to the debt. For example, you’d need the Saudis to donate the next 146 years of revenue from their oil exports to fully pay down the debt.


4. The U.S. national debt is 155x larger than all gold mined globally in a year.
Gold has symbolized money and wealth for a long time – but even the world’s annual production of roughly 3,000 tonnes (96 million oz) of the yellow metal barely puts a dent in the debt total. At market prices today, you’d need to somehow mine 155 years worth of gold at today’s rate to equal the debt.


5. In fact, the national debt is larger than all of the world’s physical currency, gold, silver, and bitcoin combined.
That’s right, if you rounded up every single dollar, euro, yen, pound, yuan, and any other global physical currency note or coin in existence, it only amounts to a measly $5 trillion. Adding the world’s physical gold ($7.7 trillion), silver ($20 billion), and cryptocurrencies ($11 billion) on top of that, you get to a total of $12.73 trillion. That’s equal to about 65% of the U.S. national debt.

  • Daisy8

    very informative.

  • olde reb

    Every dollar of deficit spending is a dollar of profit for Wall Street bankers via the FRBNY.

    “How does the Federal Reserve steal billions daily from the U.S. government ?”
    you may ask.

    Let me make it simply. The FRBNY has exclusive control
    of the $8-10 trillion annually received from the auctions of Treasury
    securities. Ref. 31 CFR 375.3.

    The accounts are client accounts–not operating accounts. There are no reports or audits of the accounts given to Congress or the public. The profit of the Fed
    legally belongs to the government. Concealing and taking what
    belongs to the government is embezzling. Details below.



    Federal Reserve system is used by the Wall Street bankers to conceal
    the theft of $6 billion daily using the FRBNY’s exclusive control of
    the accounts of auction funds of Treasury securities.
    have successfully operated
    the scheme for 100 years.

    FRBNY has
    exclusive control of disbursements of the auction accounts. Ref.
    31 CFR 375.3.


    evidence that the Federal
    Reserve is diverting
    the money from the government
    the above accounting
    in plain sight for those who wish to see it:

    The FRBNY will only establish a line of credit for the government
    entry money)
    they receive a Treasury security in the amount of the line
    of credit.

    The deficit
    is sold as a small percentage on
    the auctioned roll-over
    FRBNY handles all of the accounts and disbursements. Ref. 31 CFR
    375.3. The accounts are client accounts (not operational accounts)
    and have never been audited. Audits
    the FR are conducted according to guidelines established by the BOG.

    Funds from auctioning the deficit security issues (currently $2
    trillion annually, $6 billion daily) cannot go to the government. If
    they did, they would have to buy the securities just issued since no
    other securities have been purchased. Under those circumstances,
    there would be no increase in the money in circulation (inflation)
    nor would there be any increase in the national debt. The
    money from the auction must go somewhere but it cannot
    go to the government.

    The only feasible destination for the funds is to members of the
    Primary Dealers who are tasked with collecting called and redeemed
    Treasury securities. As hidden owners of the corporate Board of
    Governors (privately owned corporations are not required to file
    records with the SEC), they can receive deficit spending profit along
    with funds for the roll-over security work. The owners have put up
    no consideration for receiving $6 billion daily, even thou it is
    touted as a loan. (If the non-existing loan was being paid off by
    the hidden money, it would then result is eliminating any increase in
    the National Debt. In addition, who, or what,is the source of the
    putative loan. The Fed does not have it.) (The operation of the BOG
    readily lends itself to a corporate structure; the FR System does

    Profit of the Federal Reserve legally belongs to the government.

    is assumed the same profitable scam has been set up with the Euro
    each nation pledging to guarantee payment on the securities sold by
    the ECB. The money from the sale of the securities is theorized,
    based upon the Federal Reserve documented scheme, to go to the
    of the ECB. Money
    from the above operations are
    theorized to
    fund the New World Order scheme.


    any of this information of interest ?