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Federal debt limit of the United States 1940-2019

This graph shows the statutory debt limit on federal debt of the United States of America from 1940 to 2019. On August 2, 2019, the debt limit was raised to 21.9 trillion U.S. dollars.

Statutory limits on Federal debt of the United States from 1940 to 2019

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Source

Release date

February 2020

Region

United States

Survey time period

1940 to 2019

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.
******Suspended the existing debt limit from August 2, 2019, through July 31, 2021, and prospectively increased the limit to accommodate the increase in such debt outstanding as of July 31, 2021.

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