The US national debt is more than $17 trillion US Dollars (USD), or roughly equal to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and China owns about 7.6% of it, or more than $1.2 trillion USD. China is the largest overseas creditor of the US. Japan is the next-largest overseas creditor, and it owns about $1.1 trillion USD of the US national debt. More than one-fourth of the US debt is actually owed to its own federal government, such as the Social Security trust funds and the Federal Reserve.
More about the US national debt:
- The US was created with a national debt; a 1790 analysis estimated that the new country had a debt of $75 million USD, or about 30% of its GDP.
- As of 2014, Andrew Jackson is the only US president to get the US national debt completely paid off during his presidency — the country was debt-free from 1835 to 1836.
- The US national debt has not been below $1 billion USD since 1866.