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

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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 33.0% of the United States’ total debt load as of November 2013. At that time, non-U.S. investors held $5.72 trillion of the country’s $17.29 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 1316.7 +11.3%
  • Japan 1186.4 +6.1%
  • Caribbean Banking Centers (4) 290.9 +9.2%
  • Brazil 246.9 -3.5%
  • Oil Exporters (3) 236.2 -8.8%
  • Belgium 200.6 +44.8%
  • Taiwan 183.7 -7.7%
  • Switzerland 176.6 -8.4%
  • United Kingdom (2) 161.5 +21.0%
  • Hong Kong 141.7 +0.4%
  • Russia 139.9 -15.8%
  • Luxembourg 130.4 -11.9%
  • Ireland 116.9 +20.0%
  • Singapore 87.2 -8.9%
  • Norway 82.3 +8.9%
  • Germany 64.3 -1.5%
  • India 63.9 +8.7%
  • Mexico 59.5 -1.7%
  • Canada 57.0 -4.7%
  • Turkey 53.4 -4.0%
  • France 51.6 -12.5%
  • Thailand 49.8 -12.5%
  • South Korea 46.4 +3.1%
  • Philippines 40.0 +8.7%
  • Colombia 34.0 +12.6%
  • Australia 33.7 +16.2%
  • Sweden 33.6 +17.9%
  • Poland 31.4 +1.9%
  • Italy 30.2 +6.7%
  • Netherlands 29.9 +0.0%
  • Chile 25.9 -19.3%
  • Spain 22.8 -11.6%
  • Israel 20.0 -23.7%
  • Peru 14.2 +3.6%
  • Denmark 12.6 -14.3%
  • Malaysia 11.8 -39.5%
  • South Africa 11.7 -10.0%
  • All Other 221.1 -11.0%
  • Grand Total 5716.9 +3.2%

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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