How could the 5 countries with the biggest debt pay it all off

22 Jul 2019 @ 4.53 pm
| Business

National debt might be a phrase that gets stated regularly, but often the numbers are on such a large scale that it can be difficult to comprehend just how vast they are. Here’s how each country’s real-world assets compare to what they owe according to research from Compare The Market.


The USA has the world’s highest amount of national debt, owing $22,115,526,000,000 ($22.1 trillion), which exceeds the combined debt of all of the top five countries in this list.

The market value of Apple is $926,900,000,000 ($926.9 billion), meaning Apple would need to be sold 24 times over to clear the national debt. Their most valuable football player is Christian Pulisic, valued at just $70.2 million, making him the least valuable player of all five countries. They also have the least amount of gold reserves, valued at $11 billion, and foreign currency reserves of just $131 billion.


The country with the second-highest national debt is the United Kingdom, with a figure of $8,652,300,000,000 ($8.7 trillion). The third most valuable company in this list is HSBC which is valued at $200,300,000,000 or $200.3 billion – selling this company 43 times over would pay off the UKs debt.

The UK fares well in terms of their other assets too, with the second-most expensive football player – Harry Kane, valued at an estimated $175,500,000 ($175.5 million) – who would need to be sold 50,000 times over to clear the debt. They also have the highest foreign currency reserve, valued at $178,043,000,000 ($178 billion), with $14,255,583,701 ($14.3 billion) in gold reserves.


The Netherlands has the third-largest national debt of $4,586,963,000,000 or $4.6 trillion. They do, however, have the most valuable business in this list – Royal Dutch Shell would only need to be sold 15 times over, with a market value of $306,500,000,000 ($306.5 billion). They also have the current Premier League player of the year – Virgil van Dijk who is valued at $87,750,000.

The Netherlands sits on an impressive $28,111,478,149 ($28.1 billion) in gold reserves, which would need to be sold 163 times over to pay off the national debt. But they only have $13,063,000,000 in foreign currency reserves.


Italy owes $2,642,949,350,000 ($2.6trillion) in national debt, earning them a number four spot on this list. In terms of valuable companies, Eni is valued at $70,700,000,000 ($70.7 billion) and would need to be sold 37 times over to pay off Italy’s debt.

Valued at $87,750,000 ($87.8 million), their most valuable football player is Marco Verratti – but Italy would require 30,119 players of this value to clear their debt. Italy does well in terms of gold reserves, sitting on $112,534,732,451 ($112.5 billion) but has the fourth-lowest foreign currency reserves – just $52,301,860,000 ($52.3 billion).


In fifth place, France’s national debt sits at $2,602,930,000,000 ($2.6 trillion). Selling their most valuable company 15 times over – Total, which is valued at $168,000,000,000 – would pay off their national debt. The market value of football star Kylian Mbappe is $234,000,000 ($234 million) but he would need to be sold 11,124 times over to match the debt.

France has $111,824,173,762 ($111.8 billion) in gold reserves and the third-highest foreign currency reserves at $65,315,780,000 (65.3 billion) which would need to be sold 40 times to clear the $2.6 trillion debt.