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Canada vs the world…debt level comparison study.

debt Hey, here’s an interesting stat that should make us Canadians feel good…. Our Federal govt keeps telling us to slow our personal debt levels… maybe they should start balancing their own books…  I remember when, in 1997, the Feds actually balanced the budget and even made a surplus.   Remember that?    In fact, from 1997 to 2008, the Feds reduced our national debt from $563billion to $458billion.  We seemed to be heading in the right direction.

Then the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis hit and the Feds starting spending in an attempt to avoid a major recession.   So far, it’s worked.  Our economy has performed pretty well when compared with most other countries.   But our National Debt level has now surpassed the $600billion mark for the first time ever.   How concerned should we really be?   Is our national debt level really that high?    I decided to compare out debt with a handful of other countries to see how we stacked up….


I selected the G8 countries along with a few other ones ….

  • Let’s start with the U.S. debt clock  .   Total debt is $16trillion debt (wow!)…. that’s $52,000 per citizen.
  • The UK debt clock shows £1.1trillion.. that’s $CAD 1.78trillion… or $24,329 per citizen.
  • France’s debt clock shows €1.8trillion.. …that’s $CAD 2.4trillion… or $36,360 per citizen.
  • Germany’s debt clock shows €2.1trillion.. that’s $CAD 2.8trillion… or $36,807 per citizen.
  • Australia’s debt clock is among the best with A$255billion.. that’s $CAD 265billion… or $11,649 per citizen….good on ya.
  • Italy’s debt clock shows €1.9trillion…that’s $CAD 2.8trillion… or $44,234 per citizen.
  • Japan’s debt clock shows ¥996trillion… that’s $CAD 9.9trillion… or $77,689 per citizen.
  • China’s debt clock shows ¥14.6trillion… that’s $CAD 2.3trillion… or $1,749 per citizen.
  • Russia’s debt clock shows p.5.8trillion.. that’s $CAD 196billion… or $372 per citizen..
  • Mexico’s debt clock shows M$5.5trillion… that’s $CAD 433billion.. or $3,883 per citizen..
  • The Canadian debt clock shows a $600billion debt….that’s $17,000 per citizen.  Not bad…especially when you compare us with the U.S… they certainly have a lot of problems down there…

(clearly Russia, Mexico, China and Australia have the lowest debt level per citizen… with the exception of Australia, these countries don’t have the high standard of living that the rest of the countries on this list have…  hats off to Australia… they seem to have their financial house in order…. they also rank as the top country to live in … seems we can all learn some lessons from the Australians.).

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114

Steve Garganis View All

As an industry insider, Steve will share info that the BANKS don't want you to know. Steve has appeared on TV's Global Morning News, CBC's "Our Toronto" and The Real Life TV show. He's also been quoted in several newspapers such as the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Vancouver Sun, The Star Phoenix, etc.

13 thoughts on “Canada vs the world…debt level comparison study. Leave a comment

    • Greece and debt have been synonymous for the past few years. Greece’s total national debt is $353billion Euros.. that’s equal to $CAD 486bilion…. or $CAD 42,776 per person… certainly a high number….

      • Why do we hear so much about Greek debt, as compared to say, Japanese debt, which looks much worse according to your stats?

      • Good point… Greece is part of the EU.. and if one country sneezes, then all the countries get a cold… hard to believe a country of 11million can this much effect.. something has to change and will change…

  1. I believe that Canada’s position looks less good when comparing total public debt levels. So for Canada that would include federal and provincial debts.

    • Hi Alex, you bring up a good point, however, those world debt clocks just cover national debt, not municipal, provincial or state debts… so we are comparing apples to apples.. but, yes, if we add those in, it’s a bit scary to think how much govt debt we all have…. still, in comparison, we aren’t doing too badly…. have you seen the U.S. numbers? and now there is serious concerns that the city of Detroit may go bankrupt… who would have thought that to be possible?


  2. If all these national debts are to private banks(as I’ve been led to believe), then why don’t all of these countries that borrow from these private banks(at interest) just not pay it? We could forget the debts and prosper. Why is the whole world in debt to banks when we don’t have to be? Could the government print it’s own money rather than borrow at interest from private banks?

    Not sure how the whole world has to suffer financially so that the banks, who create money seemingly out of thin air, can take all of our wealth.

  3. US dollar based calculations can give a false reading. For example, $1749 dollars per citizen in China initially seems very low. Not correct! Why? Cause the living expense is very low in China. A citizen can live for few months with that kinda money decently in China. Based on living cost index, may be it is time to multiply the $1749 by a factor of 10 or 15 and reset the Chinese debt to $17490 or higher per citizen.
    JAnother instance- just saying ‘someone makes only 5 dollars a day’ doesn’t make the person poor if a decent living cost is only 3 dollars a day. Actually, that person would be richer than many of us if he/she is saving 40% at the end of the day. Just my two cents.

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