The current Total Public Debt Outstanding is over $19 Trillion or $19,428,079,384,183.27 to be more precise according to the Treasury Department, Out of this debt mountain, the debt held by the public is over $14 Trillion.
The total US debt held by foreign holders stood at $6,281 billion as of June, 2016 according to Treasury data. Foreign holders account for about 32.5% of the total outstanding US debt. China is the largest holder of US with holdings of over $1.2 Trillion followed by Japan.
The ten largest foreign holders of US debt are shown in the chart below:
Click to enlarge
Note: Chart data as of April, 2016
Source: The Heritage Foundation
The British Overseas Territory of Cayman Islands in the Caribbean holds over $258 billion of US debt. The tiny island country with a population of less than 60,000 holds such high quantity of debt because it is basically a tax haven that is used by wealthy individuals and companies to legally avoid or reduce paying taxes. Thousands of institutions are registered in the country that use as a form of Post Office (PO) Box to channel funds into US debt from other countries.
- MAJOR FOREIGN HOLDERS OF TREASURY SECURITIES, US Treasury