According to the Department of the Treasury, the current US national debt is $31.4 trillion, which is visualized below.
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Can you picture what $31.4 trillion looks like?
The enormity of U.S. government debt is hard for the average person to wrap their head around. For instance, compared to the median U.S. mortgage, the current level of federal debt is 230 million times larger.
In this graphic, Visual Capitalist’s Julie Peasley shows how many one-dollar bills it would take to stack up to the total U.S. debt of $31.4 trillion.
How Did U.S. Debt Get So High?
U.S. national debt is how much money the federal government owes to creditors. When the government spends more than it earns, it has a budget deficit and must issue debt in the form of Treasury securities.
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The U.S. has run a deficit for the last 20 years, substantially increasing the national debt. In fact, according to the Department of the Treasury, the current debt is $31.4 trillion.
Stacked up in one-dollar bills, the U.S. debt would be equivalent to almost eight of Chicago’s 110-story Willis Tower.
The US national debt will balloon by nearly $20 trillion over the next decade under the spending outlined in President Biden’s $6.9 trillion budget proposal.