While looking at debt to GDP ratio of various countries, I had difficulty with different figures on different websites. Look at this which shows China's debt to GDP ratio as 43.9%: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/china/government-debt-to-gdp

Then there are many other links which show China's debt as 250% of GDP. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/16/chinas-debt-is-250-of-gdp-and-could-be-fatal-says-government-expert

What am I missing here?

  • $\begingroup$ Avnish, if you ever want to get an accurate read on a nation's debt-to-GDP ratio, first learn the formula. So you would take debt, let's say $22 Trillion. Divide that by GDP, let's say $60 Trillion (22 ÷ 60 = 0.37), that would be a debt-to-GDP ratio of 37%, about where it was in the United States in 1789 and 1981 by the way. Assuming the debt and GDP numbers you obtain are accurate, all you need is the formula and you will know how accurate it is from any source you read. By the way, United States current debt-to-GDP is 105% (22 ÷ 21 = 1.05), way over the risky threshold that most economists a $\endgroup$ – Daniel Sep 7 '19 at 4:28

The answer is in the the first line and title of the articles. Not all debt is government debt. One calculation also includes household and corporate debt.

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