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Who are the Largest Foreign Owners of U.S. Debt?

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Foreign ownership of U.S. bonds
Getty Images / Hanquan Chen

The Largest Foreign Investors in U.S. Treasuries

According to U.S. Treasury data, the percentage of U.S. debt held by foreign investors was about 34.0% of the United States’ total debt load as of April, 2014. At that time, non-U.S. investors held $5.96 trillion of the country’s $17.51 trillion debt. The percentage of foreign holdings compares to the the 31.1% level registered at the end of 2011.

Below, find out what countries are the largest owners of U.S. Treasury securities, and how their holdings have changed in the prior 12 months. All amounts are in billions of U.S. dollars.

Learn more: China is the largest holder of U.S. debt. Does it matter?

  • China, Mainland 1263.2  -2.1%
  • Japan 1209.7  8.7%
  • Belgium 366.4  97.5% 
  • Caribbean Banking Centers (4) 308.4  8.2%
  • Oil Exporters (3) 255.5  -6.0%
  • Brazil 245.8 -2.9%
  • United Kingdom (2) 185.5  15.8%
  • Switzerland 177.6  -4.4%
  • Taiwan 175.7  -5.4%
  • Hong Kong 155.1  9.8%
  • Luxembourg 141.3  -5.6%
  • Russia 116.5  -22.1%
  • Ireland 112.1  -7.0%
  • Singapore 93.1  0.9%
  • Norway 85.6  14.3%
  • Mexico 70.6  23.9%
  • India 68.7  23.1%
  • Germany 63.0  1.3%
  • France 62.3  23.1%
  • Canada 60.5  -8.6%
  • Korea 55.3  4.1%
  • Turkey 50.5  -16.4%
  • Thailand 46.9  -20.9%
  • Netherlands 36.2  32.6%
  • Sweden 35.0  9.0%
  • Philippines 33.9  -13.7%
  • Colombia 32.9  6.5%
  • Kazakhstan 32.7  41.6%
  • Italy 32.0  13.9%
  • Australia 31.2  -12.8%
  • Poland 30.5  -3.5%
  • Chile 26.4  -17.8%
  • Israel 26.1  6.5%
  • Spain 22.3  -3.0%
  • Denmark 15.3  11.7%
  • Vietnam 14.3  47.4%
  • South Africa 14.2  4.4
  • Peru 13.0  -18.2%
  • All Other 195.9  -4.9%
  • Grand Total 5960.9  4.4%

Source: Department of the Treasury/Federal Reserve Board report, December 17, 2012. Estimated foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury marketable and non-marketable bills, bonds, and notes reported under the Treasury International Capital (TIC) reporting system are based on annual Surveys of Foreign Holdings of U.S. Securities and on monthly data.

(2) United Kingdom includes Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

(3) Oil exporters include Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria.

(4) Caribbean Banking Centers include Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, and British Virgin Islands.

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