household debts in the Netherlands

Gross debt in the Netherlands

General government debt of the Netherlands 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 207.9 billion and 606.8 billion USD. The highest level within the past 21 years was reached in 2014. However, the liabilities in 2021 have been only 530 billion USD The budget deficit in the same year was 24.0 billion USD.

Based on the number of inhabitants, this is a debt of 30,229 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 the Netherlands can afford

In accordance with the Maastricht Treaty, government debt in the Netherlands 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, the Netherlands exceeded the 60% ceiling 6 times. The budget deficit exceeded the 3 percent limit 5 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.

YearNetherlands total% of GDPper capitaEU per capita
2000212.50 bn USD50.90%13,344 USD10,328 USD
2001207.85 bn USD48.16%12,953 USD10,404 USD
2002225.25 bn USD47.53%13,948 USD11,368 USD
2003282.59 bn USD48.72%17,416 USD14,148 USD
2004323.35 bn USD49.11%19,860 USD16,162 USD
2005332.22 bn USD48.47%20,357 USD16,918 USD
2006323.44 bn USD44.07%19,787 USD17,549 USD
2007356.17 bn USD41.97%21,742 USD19,574 USD
2008512.02 bn USD53.79%31,134 USD22,721 USD
2009486.59 bn USD55.83%29,436 USD23,701 USD
2010503.35 bn USD59.40%30,294 USD25,145 USD
2011559.74 bn USD61.83%33,531 USD28,417 USD
2012557.29 bn USD66.43%33,261 USD27,784 USD
2013595.02 bn USD67.83%35,409 USD30,021 USD
2014606.79 bn USD68.01%35,979 USD30,832 USD
2015494.81 bn USD64.63%29,209 USD26,170 USD
2016485.24 bn USD61.89%28,492 USD26,655 USD
2017474.81 bn USD56.94%27,716 USD27,535 USD
2018479.15 bn USD52.42%27,806 USD29,172 USD
2019441.71 bn USD48.53%25,466 USD27,927 USD
2020496.62 bn USD54.59%28,474 USD32,227 USD
2021530.00 bn USD52.33%30,229 USD35,341 USD

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

      Netherlands       European Union

Budget deficit in the Netherlands

household debts in the NetherlandsThe 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 the Netherlands in the period between 1998 and 2022 varied between -45.07 billion euros and +16.38 billion euros. In 2022, the Netherlands reached a balance of 92.66 million euros.

In ratio to population, this equals a new indebtedness of five euros per capita in the Netherlands 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

YearNetherlands total% of GDPper capitaEU per capita
1998-3.49 bn USD-0.80%-222 USD-398 USD
19991.71 bn USD0.38%108 USD-204 USD
20007.61 bn USD1.82%478 USD112 USD
2001-0.97 bn USD-0.22%-60 USD-299 USD
2002-9.18 bn USD-1.94%-569 USD-565 USD
2003-16.85 bn USD-2.91%-1,039 USD-840 USD
2004-11.23 bn USD-1.71%-690 USD-920 USD
2005-1.74 bn USD-0.25%-106 USD-822 USD
20061.53 bn USD0.21%94 USD-568 USD
2007-0.78 bn USD-0.09%-48 USD-360 USD
20081.92 bn USD0.20%117 USD-1,085 USD
2009-45.03 bn USD-5.17%-2,724 USD-2,021 USD
2010-45.07 bn USD-5.32%-2,712 USD-1,970 USD
2011-40.21 bn USD-4.44%-2,409 USD-1,463 USD
2012-32.98 bn USD-3.93%-1,969 USD-1,220 USD
2013-25.94 bn USD-2.96%-1,543 USD-1,027 USD
2014-20.11 bn USD-2.25%-1,192 USD-851 USD
2015-14.88 bn USD-1.94%-878 USD-574 USD
20161.00 bn USD0.13%58 USD-421 USD
201711.43 bn USD1.37%667 USD-263 USD
201813.73 bn USD1.50%797 USD-134 USD
201916.38 bn USD1.80%944 USD-191 USD
2020-33.80 bn USD-3.71%-1,938 USD-2,317 USD
2021-23.96 bn USD-2.37%-1,367 USD-1,852 USD
20220.09 bn USD5 USD-1,254 USD

(negative numbers = deficit)
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