household debts in Germany

Gross debt in Germany

General government debt of Germany 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 1.13 trillion and 2.98 trillion USD. The highest level within the past 21 years was reached in 2011. However, the liabilities in 2021 have been only 3.0 trillion USD The budget deficit in the same year was 158.8 billion USD.

Based on the number of inhabitants, this is a debt of 35,659 USD per person. For comparison, the average debt per person in the same year in the European Union was 35,341 USD.

Back to overview: Germany

Gross debt of the last 21 years in billion USD

This is how much debt Germany can afford

In accordance with the Maastricht Treaty, government debt in Germany 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, Germany exceeded the 60% ceiling 18 times. The budget deficit exceeded the 3 percent limit 8 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.

YearGermany total% of GDPper capitaEU per capita
20001,155.93 bn USD59.34%14,060 USD10,328 USD
20011,132.31 bn USD58.19%13,750 USD10,404 USD
20021,245.96 bn USD59.95%15,105 USD11,368 USD
20031,589.50 bn USD63.54%19,259 USD14,148 USD
20041,834.98 bn USD65.20%22,238 USD16,162 USD
20051,922.95 bn USD67.55%23,317 USD16,918 USD
20062,003.07 bn USD66.89%24,316 USD17,549 USD
20072,197.79 bn USD64.16%26,716 USD19,574 USD
20082,459.95 bn USD65.68%29,959 USD22,721 USD
20092,495.56 bn USD73.16%30,470 USD23,701 USD
20102,787.55 bn USD81.99%34,087 USD25,145 USD
20112,977.60 bn USD79.42%37,093 USD28,417 USD
20122,848.00 bn USD80.75%35,411 USD27,784 USD
20132,924.41 bn USD78.32%36,262 USD30,021 USD
20142,927.68 bn USD75.28%36,152 USD30,832 USD
20152,415.67 bn USD71.95%29,572 USD26,170 USD
20162,392.62 bn USD68.95%29,055 USD26,655 USD
20172,385.16 bn USD64.62%28,856 USD27,535 USD
20182,435.87 bn USD61.29%29,381 USD29,172 USD
20192,290.16 bn USD58.90%27,561 USD27,927 USD
20202,643.14 bn USD67.95%31,784 USD32,227 USD
20212,966.72 bn USD69.64%35,659 USD35,341 USD

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

      Germany       European Union

Budget deficit in Germany

household debts in GermanyThe 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 Germany in the period between 1998 and 2022 varied between -168.54 billion euros and +77.50 billion euros. In 2022, Germany reached a balance of -106.70 billion euros.

In ratio to population, this equals a new indebtedness of 1,282 euros per capita in Germany 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

YearGermany total% of GDPper capitaEU per capita
1998-47.16 bn USD-2.11%-575 USD-398 USD
1999-31.23 bn USD-1.42%-380 USD-204 USD
200021.50 bn USD1.10%262 USD112 USD
2001-57.90 bn USD-2.98%-703 USD-299 USD
2002-77.55 bn USD-3.73%-940 USD-565 USD
2003-100.85 bn USD-4.03%-1,222 USD-840 USD
2004-105.66 bn USD-3.75%-1,280 USD-920 USD
2005-97.81 bn USD-3.44%-1,186 USD-822 USD
2006-51.73 bn USD-1.73%-628 USD-568 USD
20076.45 bn USD0.19%78 USD-360 USD
2008-4.36 bn USD-0.12%-53 USD-1,085 USD
2009-107.47 bn USD-3.15%-1,312 USD-2,021 USD
2010-148.86 bn USD-4.38%-1,820 USD-1,970 USD
2011-33.05 bn USD-0.88%-412 USD-1,463 USD
20120.33 bn USD0.01%4 USD-1,220 USD
20131.49 bn USD0.04%19 USD-1,027 USD
201422.54 bn USD0.58%278 USD-851 USD
201532.25 bn USD0.96%395 USD-574 USD
201640.26 bn USD1.16%489 USD-421 USD
201749.31 bn USD1.34%597 USD-263 USD
201877.50 bn USD1.95%935 USD-134 USD
201959.53 bn USD1.53%716 USD-191 USD
2020-168.54 bn USD-4.33%-2,027 USD-2,317 USD
2021-158.78 bn USD-3.73%-1,909 USD-1,852 USD
2022-106.70 bn USD-1,282 USD-1,254 USD

(negative numbers = deficit)
Comparison: average incomeAverage income around the worldA comparison of the average income per capita over 69 countries worldwide
The richest countries in the worldThe richest countries in the worldThese are the 50 wealthiest countries in a global comparison: tax havens, gambling, and oil ensure prosperity.
Japan: Public HolidaysPublic holidays in Japan 2023-2027Statutory and inofficial holidays in Japan for 2023 to 2027