Japan, the world’s most indebted nation, is struggling to emerge from over two decades of stagnation. Greece, second in the list, is suffering a critical economic crisis. According to the IMF.

Since the early 1990’s Japan has experienced continuous stagnation. Recently, policies put in place by the Government to tackle the crisis have tended to push debt levels even higher. Currently, the Japanese Government is spending almost half of its total tax revenue on tackling the enormous debt. In spite of this, the yield on 10-year Japanese bonds remains at a surprisingly low level, under 1%.

On the African continent, Eritrea is the  indebted and is struggling to service the national debt. Thousands of refugees from the young African nation are reportedly fleeing for greener pastures in Europe and elsewhere.

Greece has also accumulated a massive debt. On 14 July 2015, the IMF released a report addressing Greece’s debt sustainability. The introduction in the report gives an accurate image of the country’s situation:

Greece’s public debt has become highly unsustainable. This is due to the easing of policies during the last year, with the recent deterioration in the domestic macroeconomic and financial environment because of the closure of the banking system adding significantly to the adverse dynamics.

The financing need through end-2018 is now estimated at €85bn and debt is expected to peak at close to 200 percent of GDP in the next two years, provided that there is an early agreement on a program. Greece’s debt can now only be made sustainable through debt relief measures that go far beyond what Europe has been willing to consider so far.

Here are the 20 countries with the highest public debt:



-World Economic Forum