Canada’s Debt Clock: What is the Canadian Federal Debt?

Canada’s Debt Clock: What is the Canadian Federal Debt?

Written by Kale Havervold
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated March 9, 2018

While many Canadians struggle with debt from time to time, our debts pale in comparison to Canada’s Federal Debt. That’s right, even our country isn’t immune to debt problems.

Want to know if the federal government provides debt relief? Find out here.  

If you are interested in what the current federal debt in Canada is, one of the simplest ways to find out is by looking at the Canadian “debt clock”. In an effort to help you understand the debt clock, as well as the federal debt itself, we’ve decided to craft this article.  

What is the Canadian Debt Clock?

The Canadian debt clock is a running total display of the country’s debt level, which updates automatically. In addition to showing the total debt, the clock shows “your share” of the debt, as well as how much the debt grows each day. Anyone can access the debt clock. You can also use a search function to see what the federal debt level was at on any particular day throughout history.

To learn about the rise of household debt in Canada, check out our infographic.

What is the Debt Clock in Canada?

Currently, the federal debt in Canada sits at over $650-billion and is climbing every day. This means every person has a share of about $17,000 of this total debt.

Much of this might be due to consumer debt.  

How Quickly is The Debt Clock in Canada Rising?

The Canadian federal debt is growing by a staggering $57-million every single day, which is almost $2.4 million per hour. This shows no signs of slowing down.

One reason for this is because the Canadian national debt varies based on who the current Prime Minister is. Some statistics show that Justin Trudeau has high per-capita federal spending, which could potentially be one of the reasons why the Canadian debt clock is rising so quickly.  

How Does the Federal Debt Affect Citizens?

While you yourself are not responsible for the federal debt in Canada, it will definitely still affect your lives in a couple of ways.

First of all, a high federal debt can slow economic growth, which can make it tough to secure a job. Also, higher taxes and interest rates can generally be expected as a result. So, as you can see, if the federal debt keeps rising at such a high rate, it can and will affect all Canadians.

Click here to find out how to deal with rising interest rates in Canada.

What Does This Rise Mean For Future Generations?

If Canadian debt continues to grow in the future as it is doing now, it could have a huge effect on future generations. The reasons for this are similar to how the federal debt is affecting citizens today, only worse. There could be huge tax increases to try cover the debt and economic growth could stagnate in a big way. The more the debt continues to rise, the more it could hurt the future generations in Canada.

Looking for some loans and programs to help you get out of debt? Read this.

If you’re interested in Federal spending and national debt, take a look at Canada’s debt clock. It’s a great way to learn about what the federal debt means to you and what it can mean for future generations.


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In his over six-year career as a professional writer, Kale has focused on writing about finance, technology, cryptocurrency, entertainment, and sports. Kale's work has been published on Yahoo, RentHop, the Regina Leader-Post, LoansCanada.ca, and ReboundFinance.com. Kale loves to create a wide variety of personal finance-related content. Including everything from how-to guides to featured articles, to advice pieces and everything in between. Whether he’s writing about the newest piece of technology or providing tips to help people with their finances, Kale is passionate about educating Canadian consumers and making sure they have the information they need to make the best decisions.

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