The total amount of funds that the federal government has borrowed over the years and not yet repaid.
SOURCE: Federal Reserve Bank of New York
See also: FAQ: Is there a limit on the national debt?; FAQ: What practical impact does the national debt have?
National Debt Glossary
Looks up the key terms for understanding America's financial crisis
Frequently Asked Questions: National Debt
- How did the national debt get to be so big?
- What's the difference between the debt and the deficit?
- Why can't the government just print more money to get out of debt?
- How much U.S. debt is owned by foreign countries?