About This Statistic
The statistic shows the 20 countries with the lowest national debt in 2016 in relation to the gross domestic product (GDP). The data refer to the debts of the entire state, including the central government, the provinces, municipalities, local authorities and social insurance. In 2016, Russia's estimated level of national debt reached about 17.1 percent of the GDP, ranking 13th of the countries with the lowest national debt.
National debt and GDP
The debt-to-GDP ratio is an indicator of a country’s ability to produce and sell goods in order to pay back any present debts, however these countries should not retain newer debts in the process. Many economists believe that if a country is able to produce more without impairing its own economical growth, it can be considered more stable, particularly for the future. However, the listed countries, with the exception of Russia and Saudi Arabia, are not necessarily economic first-world powers. Additionally, economically powerful countries such as the United States and France maintain one of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios, signifying that occurring debt does not necessarily damage the state of the economy and is sometimes necessary in order to help develop it.
Saudi Arabia has maintained one of the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios due to its high export rates, which primarily consist of petroleum and petroleum goods. Given the significance of oil in today’s world, Saudi Arabia produces enough oil and earns enough revenue to maintain a high GDP and additionally refrain from incurring debt.