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Who owns the U.S. national debt?

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Quick Answer

As of 2014, the American national debt stands at $17.6 trillion, with much of this figure owed to the Social Security Trust Fund. The U.S. Treasury manages the debt through the Bureau of Public Debt, which has split the debt between intragovernmental holdings and debt held by the public.

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Full Answer

Debt owed to intragovernmental holdings is $5.06 trillion as of June 2014. This debt is owed to more than 230 federal agencies. Debt held by the public is mostly owed to foreign governments and investors. China holds $1.268 trillion of the total national debt, which makes China the largest holder of American debt.

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