You are here

U.S. Debt Interest Payments Reach $1 Trillion

See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

U.S. Debt Interest Payments Reach $1 Trillion

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The cost of paying for America’s national debt crossed the $1 trillion dollar mark in 2023, driven by high interest rates and a record $34 trillion mountain of debt.

Over the last decade, U.S. debt interest payments have more than doubled amid vast government spending during the pandemic crisis. As debt payments continue to soar, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that debt servicing costs surpassed defense spending for the first time ever this year.

This graphic shows the sharp rise in U.S. debt payments, based on data from the Federal Reserve.

A $1 Trillion Interest Bill, and Growing

Below, we show how U.S. debt interest payments have risen at a faster pace than at another time in modern history:

Date Interest Payments U.S. National Debt
2023 $1.0T $34.0T
2022 $830B $31.4T
2021 $612B $29.6T
2020 $518B $27.7T
2019 $564B $23.2T
2018 $571B $22.0T
2017 $493B $20.5T
2016 $460B $20.0T
2015 $435B $18.9T
2014 $442B $18.1T
2013 $425B $17.2T
2012 $417B $16.4T
2011 $433B $15.2T
2010 $400B $14.0T
2009 $354B $12.3T
2008 $380B $10.7T
2007 $414B $9.2T
2006 $387B $8.7T
2005 $355B $8.2T
2004 $318B $7.6T
2003 $294B $7.0T
2002 $298B $6.4T
2001 $318B $5.9T
2000 $353B $5.7T
1999 $353B $5.8T
1998 $360B $5.6T
1997 $368B $5.5T
1996 $362B $5.3T
1995 $357B $5.0T
1994 $334B $4.8T
1993 $311B $4.5T
1992 $306B $4.2T
1991 $308B $3.8T
1990 $298B $3.4T
1989 $275B $3.0T
1988 $254B $2.7T
1987 $240B $2.4T
1986 $225B $2.2T
1985 $219B $1.9T
1984 $205B $1.7T
1983 $176B $1.4T
1982 $157B $1.2T
1981 $142B $1.0T
1980 $113B $930.2B
1979 $96B $845.1B
1978 $84B $789.2B
1977 $69B $718.9B
1976 $61B $653.5B
1975 $55B $576.6B
1974 $50B $492.7B
1973 $45B $469.1B
1972 $39B $448.5B
1971 $36B $424.1B
1970 $35B $389.2B
1969 $30B $368.2B
1968 $25B $358.0B
1967 $23B $344.7B
1966 $21B $329.3B

Interest payments represent seasonally adjusted annual rate at the end of Q4.

At current rates, the U.S. national debt is growing by a remarkable $1 trillion about every 100 days, equal to roughly $3.6 trillion per year.

As the national debt has ballooned, debt payments even exceeded Medicaid outlays in 2023—one of the government’s largest expenditures. On average, the U.S. spent more than $2 billion per day on interest costs last year. Going further, the U.S. government is projected to spend a historic $12.4 trillion on interest payments over the next decade, averaging about $37,100 per American.

Exacerbating matters is that the U.S. is running a steep deficit, which stood at $1.1 trillion for the first six months of fiscal 2024. This has accelerated due to the 43% increase in debt servicing costs along with a $31 billion dollar increase in defense spending from a year earlier. Additionally, a $30 billion increase in funding for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in light of the regional banking crisis last year was a major contributor to the deficit increase.

Overall, the CBO forecasts that roughly 75% of the federal deficit’s increase will be due to interest costs by 2034.

The post U.S. Debt Interest Payments Reach $1 Trillion appeared first on Visual Capitalist.