In 1914, shortly after the Federal Reserve was created, the US national debt was $2.9 billion. Today, it’s more than 5,000 times that.

Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual 1900 – 1949

The first fiscal year for the U.S. Government started Jan. 1, 1789. Congress changed the beginning of the fiscal year from Jan. 1 to Jul. 1 in 1842, and finally from Jul. 1 to Oct. 1 in 1977 where it remains today.

To find more historical information, visit The Public Debt Historical Information archives.

Date Dollar Amount
06/30/1949 252,770,359,860.33
06/30/1948 252,292,246,512.99
06/30/1947 258,286,383,108.67
06/28/1946 269,422,099,173.26
06/30/1945 258,682,187,409.93
06/30/1944 201,003,387,221.13
06/30/1943 136,696,090,329.90
06/30/1942  72,422,445,116.22
06/30/1941  48,961,443,535.71
06/29/1940  42,967,531,037.68
06/30/1939  40,439,532,411.11
06/30/1938  37,164,740,315.45
06/30/1937  36,424,613,732.29
06/30/1936  33,778,543,493.73
06/29/1935  28,700,892,624.53
06/30/1934  27,053,141,414.48
06/30/1933  22,538,672,560.15
06/30/1932  19,487,002,444.13
06/30/1931  16,801,281,491.71
06/30/1930  16,185,309,831.43
06/29/1929  16,931,088,484.10
06/30/1928  17,604,293,201.43
06/30/1927  18,511,906,931.85
06/30/1926  19,643,216,315.19
06/30/1925  20,516,193,887.90
06/30/1924  21,250,812,989.49
06/30/1923  22,349,707,365.36
06/30/1922  22,963,381,708.31
06/30/1921  23,977,450,552.54
07/01/1920  25,952,456,406.16
07/01/1919  27,390,970,113.12
07/01/1918  14,592,161,414.00
07/01/1917   5,717,770,279.52
07/01/1916   3,609,244,262.16
07/01/1915   3,058,136,873.16
07/01/1914   2,912,499,269.16
07/01/1913   2,916,204,913.66
07/01/1912   2,868,373,874.16
07/01/1911   2,765,600,606.69
07/01/1910   2,652,665,838.04
07/01/1909   2,639,546,241.04
07/01/1908   2,626,806,271.54
07/01/1907   2,457,188,061.54
07/01/1906   2,337,161,839.04
07/01/1905   2,274,615,063.84
07/01/1904   2,264,003,585.14
07/01/1903   2,202,464,781.89
07/01/1902   2,158,610,445.89
07/01/1901   2,143,326,933.89
07/01/1900   2,136,961,091.67
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“The national debt is now $20.1 trillion. That’s larger than the size of the entire US economy… but, the real story isn’t the number or the size of the debt itself. It’s the trend. And it’s not good.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-12/real-story-behind-americas-new-20-trillion-debt

What matters is debt compared to income. Here’s a graph of federal debt as % of GDP.

 

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