National debt, a growing global problem that’s driving up the cost of living and threatening to cripple America’s ability to pay for critical services, is expected to top $10 trillion by 2027, according to a new study by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The study, based on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, forecasts that the national debt will reach $10,100 for a household with $100,000 in annual income in 2027.
That’s up from $9,400 for a family of the same income.
In the first 10 years of the study, the total national debt has risen from $3.2 trillion in 2011 to $10.4 trillion in 2023.
The projected number of Americans who will be paying off their national debt in the coming decades is now around 1.6 million, the Census Bureau said.
For the past decade, the cost to Americans of their government debt has fallen as the economy has recovered from the Great Recession, with total household debt falling to $3,000 from $7,500.
But in 2021, the Bureau projected that the debt would be at $10 billion in 2026, down from $12.7 billion in 2021.
The projection is based on the median annual income for a single household of $59,900, which is still higher than the median household income of $48,400 in 2020.
A number of factors are contributing to the shrinking of the national budget deficit, including a shrinking federal budget deficit and a reduction in the use of federal borrowing to finance programs, the report said.
The economic downturn and rising inflation, along with the impact of the sequester on federal spending, have led to an increase in the national deficit, with the national surplus dropping to $9.6 trillion from $16.5 trillion in 2020, the study said.
While the projected national debt would not necessarily be the biggest burden for American households, it is expected that the costs would be rising over time, especially as states and local governments are able to use their savings to pay down their debts, the analysis said.
The report also predicts that the federal government’s ability of spending will be strained by the rising cost of health care and other government services, which have not been subject to the sequestration cuts that were imposed in 2013 and are expected to take effect in 2019.
The report said the national economic recovery from the recession was likely to remain sluggish for several years and that the economic recovery will require the federal budget to balance itself.
It said the budget deficit could be more than $6 trillion by 2024, an increase from the $3 trillion projected in 2021 but less than the $11.3 trillion projection in 2021.
The bureau also said that the nation’s debt burden would rise in 2025 due to inflation, which it said is unlikely to decline, due to a slowing rate of economic growth.
The Census Bureau, which did not make any predictions for 2026 or beyond, said the growth in debt has been driven largely by the rise in interest rates and the increase in credit demand for residential mortgage-backed securities.
It said that in 2020 there were 6.2 million Americans whose debt was more than 90 days delinquent.
By 2025, that number will be higher, reaching 9.6.
The bureau projects that by 2029, the number of people who have more than 30 days overdue will increase from 8.4 million to 13.9 million.