The Top 10 Foreign Holders of U.S. Debt

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:

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Foreign Holders of US Debt

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.

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