The magnitude of our (U.S.) debt, visualized.

It’s always easier to understand just how massive something is when it’s explained using familiar visuals. For example, take this map below. It’s something we’ve all seen. Some of us even colored it during geography class! And it’s always on the back of airline magazines. So here’s U.S., India, and Argentina in red:

Black_and_white_political_map_of_the_world

Why is it in red? Well, we know that these three countries are not small, but when zoomed out and looked at from a birds eye view it looks fairly trivial. In other words, because the world’s surface area is 196.9 million sq miles, it only makes sense that U.S., India, and Argentina combined look small; in fact, they make up only three percent of the world’s surface area. Now let’s take a look at the net worth of the top-10 billionaires.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.08.55 PM

Their combined net worth is over $550 billion dollars. $550,000,000,000. And the U.S. debt as of May 11th, 2015 was at $18,223,205,151,242. This means (if you remember SATs!)

COMBINED SURFACE AREA OF U.S., INDIA, ARGENTINA : SURFACE AREA OF THE WORLD ::COMBINED NET WORTH OF THE TOP-10 BILLIONAIRES : U.S. DEBT

When visualized:

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.38.22 PM

Wow. To repeat what I said above, the combined surface area of the United States, India, and Argentina is to the world what the combined net worth of the ten richest people in the world is to the U.S. debt. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

disclaimer: This post isn’t to say that debt is always bad. It helps fund infrastructure. It promotes spending. And the list goes on, however our (U.S.) debt is something that we should pay close attention to.