Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

How Could the Countries with the Most Debt Pay It Off?

The major economies of the world have debts so large that the figures are difficult to grasp.

Here’s how those figures compare with the most valuable assets each country, from gold and foreign currency reserves to their top valued company and most expensive football player. If like these countries you’re also in the red, compare the market are there to help.


Topping the list of countries with the highest debt is the USA, with a debt of $22,115,526,000,000 ($22.1 trillion), but what would it take to clear it? The most valuable company in the U.S is Apple, with a market value of $926,900,000,000 ($926.9 billion), meaning it would need to be sold 24 times over to clear the debt. Alternatively, they would need to sell their most valuable football player – Christian Pulisic, valued at $70.2 million – 315,036 times. The USA has the least amount of gold reserves and foreign currency reserves, at $11 billion and $131 billion respectively.


The economy with the second highest national debt is the UK, owing $8,652,300,000,000 ($8.7 trillion). If the UK were to sell its most valuable company – HSBC, with a market value of $200,300,000,000 or $200.3 billion – 43 times, it would pay off the debt. Its most valuable football player is Harry Kane, worth an estimated $175,500,000 ($175.5 million), who would need to be sold 50,000 times over to get rid of the national debt. In order to use foreign currency reserves, the UK would need to sell the total of $178,043,000,000 ($178 billion) 49 times over or rely on gold reserves, totalling $14,255,583,701 ($14.3 billion).


The country with the third-highest debt is the Netherlands, with a figure of $4,586,963,000,000 or $4.6 trillion. The Netherlands has the most valuable business in this list – Royal Dutch Shell is worth $306,500,000,000 ($306.5 billion) and would only need to be sold 15 times to clear the debt. Their highest-valued football star is Virgil van Dijk who is valued at $87,750,000, meaning he would need to be sold 52,273 times. In terms of gold reserves, the Netherlands fares well, sitting on $28,111,478,149 ($28.1 billion) which would need to be sold 163 times over, compared to $13,063,000,000 in foreign currency reserves which would need to be sold 351 times over.


Italy has a national debt of $2,642,949,350,000 ($2.6trillion). Its most valuable company Eni, valued at $70,700,000,000 ($70.7 billion), would need to be sold just 37 times to pay off this figure. The country’s most valuable football player is Marco Verratti who has a market value of $87,750,000 ($87.8 million) but he would need to be sold 30,119 times over to get them out of the red. Italy has $112,534,732,451 ($112.5 billion) in gold reserves, but just $52,301,860,000 ($52.3 billion) in foreign currency reserves, meaning these would need to be sold 23 and 51 times over respectively.


Last in the list, France has the fifth-highest national debt with $2,602,930,000,000 ($2.6 trillion). Their most valuable company is Total, with a market value of $168,000,000,000, which would need to be sold just 15 times to pay off the debt. However, its most valuable football star Kylian Mbappe, who is valued at $234,000,000 ($234 million), would need to be sold 11,124 times. France sits on $111,824,173,762 ($111.8 billion) in gold reserves and has the third-highest foreign currency reserves at $65,315,780,000 (65.3 billion).