household debts in Estonia

Gross debt in Estonia

General government debt of Estonia refers to the debts of the state, their states and municipalities, and also of public sector institutions such as social security funds.

The government debt in the period from 2000 to 2021 was between 290.8 million and 6.5 billion USD. The highest level of the last years at seven billion US Dollar was reached in 2021. The budget deficit in the same year was 901.8 million USD.

Based on the number of inhabitants, this is a debt of 4,919 USD per person. For comparison, the average debt per person in the same year in the European Union was 35,341 USD.

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Gross debt of the last 21 years in billion USD

This is how much debt Estonia can afford

In accordance with the Maastricht Treaty, government debt in Estonia is aggregated for the federal, state and local governments as well as state institutions, and therefore includes the debt of all public budgets. As it is gross debt, the government's assets are not deducted. According to the EU convergence criteria, each EU country must meet certain requirements. For the debt budget, these two conditions in particular are decisive:
  • Consolidated gross debt may not exceed 60% of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The budget deficit, i.e. new annual debt, may not exceed 3% of GDP.
Between 2000 and 2021, Estonia never exceeded the 60% ceiling. The budget deficit was above the 3 percent limit only 2 times. If a country repeatedly fails to comply with these limits, infringement proceedings can be initiated on the part of the EU. During the COVID years in particular, aid programs were launched in most countries to offset the consequences of the economic downturn. Around half of all EU countries were therefore unable to comply with these limits.

At the end of 2021, the debt of all EU countries averaged 92 percent.

YearEstonia total% of GDPper capitaEU per capita
20000.29 bn USD5.11%208 USD10,328 USD
20010.30 bn USD4.77%215 USD10,404 USD
20020.42 bn USD5.66%302 USD11,368 USD
20030.55 bn USD5.60%403 USD14,148 USD
20040.62 bn USD5.11%456 USD16,162 USD
20050.66 bn USD4.70%489 USD16,918 USD
20060.79 bn USD4.63%585 USD17,549 USD
20070.85 bn USD3.76%630 USD19,574 USD
20081.10 bn USD4.51%821 USD22,721 USD
20091.42 bn USD7.24%1,065 USD23,701 USD
20101.30 bn USD6.66%977 USD25,145 USD
20111.43 bn USD6.16%1,077 USD28,417 USD
20122.26 bn USD9.84%1,712 USD27,784 USD
20132.57 bn USD10.23%1,949 USD30,021 USD
20142.83 bn USD10.62%2,153 USD30,832 USD
20152.30 bn USD10.07%1,752 USD26,170 USD
20162.41 bn USD10.00%1,829 USD26,655 USD
20172.46 bn USD9.12%1,864 USD27,535 USD
20182.51 bn USD8.20%1,900 USD29,172 USD
20192.66 bn USD8.55%2,002 USD27,927 USD
20205.82 bn USD18.56%4,379 USD32,227 USD
20216.55 bn USD17.60%4,919 USD35,341 USD

Comparison of gross debt per capita with the European Union in U.S. dollars

      Estonia       European Union

Budget deficit in Estonia

household debts in EstoniaThe budget deficit of a country is the result of all its claims and liabilities. This includes incomes and expenses, repayments and building of new debts in other countries, but also domestic positions of the government, such as social insurance, local authorities and communities. It is the financial balance of the economic accounts. In simple terms: If a country at the end of the year has more money than at at the beginning, it is a surplus. If it is less, it is called a deficit.

The budget balance in Estonia in the period between 1998 and 2022 varied between -1.72 billion euros and +604.94 million euros. In 2022, Estonia reached a balance of -353.18 million euros.

In ratio to population, this equals a new indebtedness of 265 euros per capita in Estonia in 2022. For comparison, the average debt per capita in the European Union in the same year was 1,254 euros.

Budget deficit and surplus in the last 24 years

YearEstonia total% of GDPper capitaEU per capita
1998-38.24 M USD-0.67%-28 USD-398 USD
1999-197.71 M USD-3.43%-142 USD-204 USD
2000-13.02 M USD-0.23%-9 USD112 USD
2001-3.94 M USD-0.06%-3 USD-299 USD
200219.86 M USD0.27%14 USD-565 USD
2003164.93 M USD1.67%120 USD-840 USD
2004288.46 M USD2.37%212 USD-920 USD
2005157.38 M USD1.12%116 USD-822 USD
2006493.45 M USD2.90%366 USD-568 USD
2007604.94 M USD2.69%451 USD-360 USD
2008-647.15 M USD-2.66%-484 USD-1,085 USD
2009-431.69 M USD-2.20%-323 USD-2,021 USD
201037.12 M USD0.19%28 USD-1,970 USD
2011251.95 M USD1.09%190 USD-1,463 USD
2012-66.17 M USD-0.29%-50 USD-1,220 USD
201345.42 M USD0.18%34 USD-1,027 USD
2014188.51 M USD0.71%143 USD-851 USD
201525.96 M USD0.11%20 USD-574 USD
2016-99.18 M USD-0.41%-75 USD-421 USD
2017-128.00 M USD-0.48%-97 USD-263 USD
2018-169.36 M USD-0.55%-128 USD-134 USD
201937.50 M USD0.12%28 USD-191 USD
2020-1,715.58 M USD-5.47%-1,290 USD-2,317 USD
2021-901.81 M USD-2.42%-678 USD-1,852 USD
2022-353.18 M USD-265 USD-1,254 USD

(negative numbers = deficit)
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