Australia takes bronze in global household debt

By Leith van Onselen

After pinching gold last quarter and taking the mantle of the world’s most indebted households, Australia has slipped back to third place according to the latest data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), courtesy of data revisions.

The next table shows the ratios of household debt to GDP as at the June quarter of 2016. As you can see, Switzerland (128%) and Denmark (124%) has taken gold and silver, with Australia taking bronze (123%). The Netherlands (111%) and Canada (100%) round out the top five:

ScreenHunter_16670 Dec. 13 07.13

The below chart tracks these ratios across the Anglosphere, with Australia way out in front with a ratio that is also well above Ireland’s at its peak (117.5%):

ScreenHunter_16671 Dec. 13 07.23

Now get back to paying-off that mega-mortgage!

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Unconventional Economist


  1. Pardon my pig ignorance, but why are die schweiz and danemark so indebted? They got housing bubbles with beautiful Reusas too?

  2. Clearly we need a Royal Commission into the performance of our National Institutes of Debt (RBA and APRA) and find out why our Debt athletes are starting to under perform.

    When former National Coach – Glenn “stuff it till they choke” retired, everything was sweet and we were champions of the world.

    There is no time to waste.

    This kind of slipping in the international rankings can quickly lead to kids not wanting to become debt serfs and do something else with their lives.

    • well looks like someone picked on this already. RE clearance rates are booming again – shooting for gold this time around.

      • June quarter data? lol old news
        The RBA cut in May and Aug
        No FIRB prosecutions
        No AML/CTF legislation
        No NG reform
        In the last 14 days, the median Sydney house price has risen by $20,300 to a new all-time record high of $1,213,700
        Clearance rates up 20% yoy
        Mortgage debt to the moon
        We are off to the races….. again

  3. This will get even better as GDP slows and insatiable Aussie bubble buyers with debt continue do their thing. Back at number 1 soon, surely!

  4. armchair economist

    The moral of 2008 seems to be lost on you all: He who gorges on borrowing shall be rewarded hansomly and he who is stupid enough to save shall be made destitute. It doesnt matter if you’re in iceland: if yo uhad a mortgage, you got to keep your house and the debt was wiped clean or if you’re in EU, th emore you borrowed the less you gotto pay and higher your capital gain was on your assets…..debt loaders are winners and savers are schmucks!!!

  5. Is anyone else getting to the point of surrender? I am questioning more and more how long I can support the ‘return to mean’ narrative in my mind. Capitulation sentiments are getting stronger…