World Bank's International Debt Statistics 2021

The International Debt Statistics 2021 report features external debt statistics and analysis for the 120 low- and middle-income countries that report to the World Bank Debt Reporting System (DRS). 

Read more about it on the World Bank website

The report presents, for the first time, an expanded data set that provides detailed information on lending by creditor countries and multilateral institutions to low- and middle-income countries, in addition to the disaggregation of countries’ external debt by type of creditor – a long-standing element of the external debt data disseminated by the World Bank.

According to the new report, the total external debt of the 120 low- and middle-income countries rose by 5.4% in 2019 to $8.1 trillion, equivalent to 26% of their gross national income (GNI). Country-specific indicators vary widely, but a number of low- and middle-income countries have seen a marked increase in the ratio of external debt stocks to GNI. This ratio has increased over the past decade in many low- and middle-income countries. Almost one third of low- and middle-income countries had external debt-to-GNI ratios above 60% at end-2019, compared with 23% in 2010, and in 9% of countries the ratio exceeded 100%, one-third more than the share of countries with a comparable ratio in 2010.

The external debt stock of countries eligible for the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) endorsed in April by the G20 climbed to $744 billion, nearly twice the rate of other low- and middle-income countries, equivalent on average to 33% of their combined GNI. The rise in public and publicly guaranteed long-term external debt of this group of countries over the past decade has doubled (to $523 billion in 2019). Official creditors accounted for the largest share of this debt stock at the end of 2019 (81%). G20 countries accounted for 91% of the bilateral debt of DSSI-eligible countries. China is by far the largest creditor for this group (63% at end-year 2019). In addition, there is fast-growing financing from private creditors (nearly a five-fold increase since end-2010).

Net long-term debt inflows ($353 billion) recorded in 2019 were 13% higher than the previous year, mostly sustained by net bond issuance of $234 billion. Inflows from bondholders rose 30% in 2019. The increase in overall bond issuance in 2019 was accompanied by a shift in borrower composition, with a 5% drop in new issues by sovereigns and public sector borrowers more than offset by a 42% rise in issuance by private sector entities. Inflows from official creditors slowed 17% in 2019. The World Bank (IBRD and IDA) was the mainstay of inflows from official creditors.

The report comes with the IDS-DSSI database, which supplements the International Debt Statistics database, and provides further disaggregation of projected debt service payments for 2020 -2022 presented on an annual and monthly basis. This new set of data sets a standard for greater debt data transparency that will better assist policymakers and analysts in assessing the potential impact of debt service suspension from the DSSI.


Download the International Debt Statistics Report 2021

International Debt Statistics (IDS) is a longstanding annual publication of the World Bank featuring external debt statistics and analysis for the 120 low- and middle-income countries that report to the World Bank Debt Reporting System (DRS). The content coverage of IDS 2021 includes:

1) a user guide describing the IDS tables and content, definitions and rationale for country and income groupings, data notes, and description of the additional resources and comprehensive datasets available to users online,

2) a brief overview analyzing global trends in debt stocks and debt flows to low- and middle-income countries within the framework of aggregate capital flows (debt and equity),

3) a feature story on the World Bank and IMF Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic,

4) tables and charts detailing debtor and creditor composition of debt stock and flows, terms volume and terms of new commitments, maturity structure of future debt service payments and debt burdens, measured in relation to GNI and export earnings for each country, and

5) one-page summaries per country, plus global, regional and income-group aggregates showing debt stocks and flows, relevant debt indicators and metadata for 5 years (2015-2019).

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