The 50 countries with the lowest national debt in the world

By | October 7, 2021

In recent years, markets have paid little attention to emerging debt concerns. If economic conditions change, however, national debt could quickly become an important issue again. But which countries currently have the lowest national debt?

Ranking of the 50 countries with the lowest national debt

Rank Country National debt (%)
1 Hong Kong (Asia) 1.70
2 Estonia (Europe) 4.40
3 Botswana (Africa) 6.80
4 Chile (South America) 7.20
5 Oman (Asia) 7.30
6 Libya (Africa) 7.60
7 Nigeria (Africa) 8.80
8 Kazakhstan (Asia) 9.30
9 Latvia (Europe) 9.30
10 Azerbaijan (Asia) 9.60
11 Russia (Europe) 10.20
12 Kuwait (Asia) 10.30
13 Australia (Australia-Oceania) 15.60
14 Mexico (North America) 15.60
15 Ukraine (Europe) 16.20
16 United Arab Emirates (Asia) 17.10
17 Korea, Republic of (Asia) 18.60
18 Romania (Europe) 18.70
19 Lithuania (Europe) 20.20
20 New Zealand (Australia-Oceania) 20.60
21 China, People’s Republic (Asia) 26.20
22 Algeria (Africa) 26.80
23 Slovenia (Europe) 26.90
24 Guatemala (North America) 27.20
25 Ireland (Europe) 27.30
26 Czech Republic (Europe) 27.40
27 Iceland (Europe) 28.80
28 Qatar (Asia) 29.80
29 Iran (Asia) 30.80
30 Venezuela (South America) 31.70
31 Gabon (Africa) 32.70
32 Uzbekistan (Asia) 32.70
33 Paraguay (South America) 32.80
34 Peru (South America) 32.90
35 Bulgaria (Europe) 33.50
36 Namibia (Africa) 34.40
37 Taiwan (Asia) 35.40
38 Denmark (Europe) 35.80
39 Bahrain (Asia) 36.70
40 Finland (Europe) 37.10
41 Macedonia (Europe) 37.20
42 South Africa (Africa) 37.20
43 Papua New Guinea (Australia-Oceania) 37.60
44 Yemen (Asia) 38.20
45 Ecuador (South America) 38.40
46 Slovakia (Europe) 38.70
47 Spain (Europe) 39.40
48 Saudi Arabia (Asia) 41.60
49 Syria, Arab Republic (Asia) 43.60
50 Great Britain (Europe) 45.60
The national debt describes the total claims accepted by the state of the lending creditors on the state as a percentage of GDP .

This country comparison takes 110 countries into account. See for the world 10 largest countries by area.

National debt (%) statistics

feature value
Number of countries covered 110
average 51.97
Median 48.10
minimum 1.70
maximum 192.20
Standard deviation 35.20

The current situation

Since 2012, it has been relatively uncomplicated to service existing national debts due to low interest rates and economic growth. The effect is obvious. The mountain of global debt has long since passed the US $ 63 trillion mark. However, it cannot be ruled out that changes in the global economy could occur soon. Then it would be a logical consequence that the debt would increase again significantly if interest rates rise significantly or in the event of a recession. However, not all states are affected by the high national debt, as the following list shows.

Japan is the country with the highest national debt

The most indebted state is Japan, for example. With a gross domestic product of around 237 percent, the country eclipses the competition. However, a look at our top 50 shows that there are also many nations with significantly lower national debt. Among these states there are even countries that have absolutely no national debt.

Brunei is the country with the low national debt

The world’s lowest indebted state is Brunei. This country’s mountain of debt is zero. With a debt ratio of 2.8 percent, Brunei is currently known as the country with the lowest debt. A debt ratio of around 7 percent places Afghanistan in second place among the countries with the lowest national debt. Afghanistan is closely followed by Estonia. This country’s debt ratio is also remarkably low with a share of 9 percent. Botswana takes fourth place with a rate of 14 percent. This is followed by Russia with 15.5 percent.

Consequences of a high national debt

Excessive government debt in the affected countries could lead to domestic or foreign investors losing confidence in the respective government concepts. If interest rates rise for citizens and businesses, private loan providers could lose out to potential customers. Risks like these are of course very limited in countries with low national debt.

national debt