Total amount of debt owed to lenders by a government/state / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A country's gross government debt (also called public debt, or sovereign debt) is the financial liabilities of the government sector.: 81 Changes in government debt over time reflect primarily borrowing due to past government deficits. A deficit occurs when a government's expenditures exceed revenues. : 79–82 Government debt may be owed to domestic residents, as well as to foreign residents. If owed to foreign residents, that quantity is included in the country's external debt.
In 2020, the value of government debt worldwide was $87.4 US trillion, or 99% measured as a share of gross domestic product (GDP). Government debt accounted for almost 40% of all debt (which includes corporate and household debt), the highest share since the 1960s. The rise in government debt since 2007 is largely attributable to the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ability of government to issue debt has been central to state formation and to state building. Public debt has been linked to the rise of democracy, private financial markets, and modern economic growth.