Federal debt limit of the United States 1940-2018

This graph shows the statutory debt limit on federal debt of the United States of America from 1940 to 2018. On September 8, 2017 the debt limit was raised to 20.46 trillion U.S. dollars.

Statutory limits on Federal debt of the United States from 1940 to 2018

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) - Suspended*****20,456
Loading statistic...
You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Source

Release date

March 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

1940 to 2018

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.
***Suspended the existing debt limit from November 2, 2015, through March 15, 2017, and prospectively increased the limit to accommodate the increase in such debt outstanding as of March 16, 2017.
**** Suspended the existing debt limit from September 8, 2017, through December 8, 2017, and prospectively increased the limit to accommodate the increase in such debt outstanding as of December 9, 2017.
***** Suspended the existing debt limit from February 9, 2018, through March 1, 2019, and prospectively increased the limit to accommodate the increase in such debt outstanding as of March 1, 2019.

Open this statistic in...
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$59 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "U.S. public debt"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.