US Debt Per Citizen Grows 10% Faster Than the Population Since 2008

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Financial analysts have looked at the growth rate in the share of the national debt per citizen and found that it grew 10% faster than the population.

Data covering the latest 15 years that accounted for common projections for 2024 demonstrates that the per capita US debt has been growing at an annual rate of 7.40% with the burden on Americans growing from approximately $35,000 in 2008 to about $101,000 in 2023.

The large increase can be explained both by the rate of borrowing and by the fact that the debt has been rising approximately faster than the US population has been growing.

The biggest uptick within the analyzed period came in 2020—perhaps as expected given it was a major crisis year. It saw the debt placed on Americans rise 18.45% from $70,000 per capita to $83,000.

The Biden administration has also been overseeing a trend of high debt-taking, with each American’s burden growing 6.5% in 2021, 5.78% in 2022, and 7.69% in 2023. Additionally, it is projected it will have grown by approximately 7.38% in the final year of the current Democratic administration.

A particularly concerning result of the analysis is that the debt issue is likely both to persist and grow larger, no matter the result of the November elections. As Andreja Stojanovic, one of the authors of the research, pointed out.

“The issue of ever-growing debt is bound to be sticky no matter the administration, given that the Republican persistent failure to match tax cuts with sufficient expenditure reductions is paired with the Democratic tendency to increase spending in certain areas,” said Stojanovic.

While Democrats are frequently lambasted for their apparent fiscal irresponsibility, it is hard to miss that in 2017, the final year before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was implemented, the per-capita debt rose 1.9% compared to the previous year, while the increase in 2018 amounted to 6.67%. Though outside the scope of the report, this rate also rose during the George W. Bush Jr. Republican administration that between 2001 and 2005 enjoyed Republican majorities in both the House and Senate as well.

US Treasury data shows that the growth in debt from 2008 to present day was helped along by a continual increase in foreign-held liabilities, peaking in March of this year over $8 trillion despite large and continual outflows from China.

Of the many ways that the debt is affecting US consumers, one is inflation of the money supply that’s returning to US shores from overseas lenders.

Collecting yield on US Treasuries in US dollars, foreign investors then go out into the market to spend US dollars on goods and services, competing with dollars spent at home for the same products, bidding up prices in a way that escapes the common metrics of recording price inflation.

Finbold’s data also predicts that 2024 will end as one of the worst, non-crisis years for debt accumulation over the surveyed period, with the fiscal year predicted to end with a national debt of $38 trillion, spiking the debt per capita to $109,000. WaL

 

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PICTURED ABOVE: Illustration of the US Debt per capita ratio. PC: rc.xyz NFT gallery, Unsplash

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