Statutory limits on Federal debt of the United States from 1940 to 2017 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Federal debt limit of the United States 1940-2017 This graph shows the statutory debt limit on federal debt of the United States of America from 1940 to 2017. On September 8, 2017 the debt limit was raised to 20.46 trillion U.S. dollars.
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YearDebt limit in billion U.S. dollars
1940 (June)49
1945 (April)300
1954 (August)281
1960 (June)293
1965 (June)328
1970 (June)395
1975 (November)595
1980 (December)935.1
1985 (December)2,078.7
1990 (November)4,145
1996 (March)5,500
2002 (June)6,400
2006 (March)8,965
2010 (February)14,294
2011 (August)*16,394
2013 (February) - Suspended**16,699.4
2015 (November) - Suspended***18,113
2017 (March) - Suspended***19,808.8
2017 (September)20,456
YearDebt limit in billion U.S. dollars
1940 (June)49
1945 (April)300
1954 (August)281
1960 (June)293
1965 (June)328
1970 (June)395
1975 (November)595
1980 (December)935.1
1985 (December)2,078.7
1990 (November)4,145
1996 (March)5,500
2002 (June)6,400
2006 (March)8,965
2010 (February)14,294
2011 (August)*16,394
2013 (February) - Suspended**16,699.4
2015 (November) - Suspended***18,113
2017 (March) - Suspended***19,808.8
2017 (September)20,456
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Description Source More information
This graph shows the statutory debt limit on federal debt of the United States of America from 1940 to 2017. On September 8, 2017 the debt limit was raised to 20.46 trillion U.S. dollars.
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Release date
May 2018
Region
United States
Survey time period
1940 to 2017
Supplementary notes
The fiscal year for the U.S. Government starts in Oct. 1. The annual amount of public debt outstanding is therefore drawn on September 30 each year.

Not all changes in debt limit could be covered in this statistic. Only selected years are shown to provide a general understanding.

* Effective after January 27, 2012.
**Suspended the existing debt limit from February 4, 2013, through May 18, 2013, and prospectively increased the limit to accommodate the increase in such debt outstanding as of May 19, 2013. Effective after May 19, 2013.
***Suspended the existing debt limit from October 17, 2013, through February 7, 2014, and prospectively increased the limit to accommodate the increase in such debt outstanding as of February 8, 2014. Effective after February 8, 2014.

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