For institutional investors in Norway

Global government debt soared in 2020 amid fight against COVID

The inaugural Janus Henderson Sovereign Debt Index is a long-term study into trends in government indebtedness around the world, including the investment opportunities this provides and the risks it presents. Global Bonds Portfolio Manager Bethany Payne provides an overview of the study’s findings and implications.

  Key takeaways:

  • Global government debt jumped by over one-sixth (17.4%) in 2020, rising by US$9.3 trillion to a record US$62.5 trillion.
  • The increase was equivalent to one-seventh (14.8%) of global gross domestic product (GDP).
  • In the US, government debt has increased almost twice as fast as the rest of the world since 1995, rising US$2.8 trillion in 2020 to a record US$19.6 trillion amid the fight against COVID‑19.
Bethany Payne, CFA

Bethany Payne, CFA

Portfolio Manager


22 Apr 2021
3 minute watch

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Bethany Payne, CFA

Bethany Payne, CFA

Portfolio Manager


22 Apr 2021
3 minute watch