United States - public debt by month 2019/20

In January 2020, the public debt of the United States was around 23.2 trillion U.S. dollars, over 1.2 trillion more than a year earlier, when it was around 21.9 trillion U.S. dollars. The U.S. public debt has become one of the most prominent political issues in the States in recent years, with debate over how to handle it causing political turmoil between Democrats and Republicans.

The public debt

The public debt of the United States has risen quickly since 2000, almost quadrupling until 2018. The public debt is the total outstanding debt that is owed by the federal government. This figure is comprised of debt owed to the public (for example, through bonds) and intragovernmental debt (debt owed to various governmental departments), such as Social Security.

Debt in Politics

The debt issue has become a highly contentious topic within the U.S. government. Measures such as stimulus packages and tax cuts add to the public debt, although they can be used to curb large events, such as the Great Depression or the 2008 financial crisis, which are detrimental to the U.S. economy.

Debate on raising the debt ceiling, or the amount of debt the federal government is allowed to have at any one time, was a leading topic in the government shutdown in October 2013. Despite plans from both Democrats and Republicans on how to lower the national debt, it is only expected to increase over the next decade.

Public debt of the United States of America from January 2019 to January 2020, by month

YearNational debt in billion U.S. dollars
Jan '2023,223.81
Dec '1923,201.38
Nov '1923,076.2
Oct '1923,008.41
Sep '1922,719.4
Aug '1922,460.47
Jul '1922,022.37
Jun '1922,023.28
May '1922,026.42
Apr '1922,027.67
Mar '1922,027.88
Feb '1922,115.53
Jan '1921,982.42
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

Release date

February 2020


United States

Survey time period

January 2019 to January 2020

Supplementary notes

The fiscal year for the U.S. Government starts on Oct. 1.

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.