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National Debt by Presidential Term

GMAT-4Y2UO1

The following table gives the amount of the U.S. national debt (in billions of dollars) at the end of most presidential terms of office. The current value of 2015 was recorded as of March 26, 2015, and is not yet the final debt level for the presidential term of office for President Obama.

In the sortable table below, click on the column title to organize the table by that column's values.

Year President at End of Term National Debt in Billions
1797 Washington 0.082
1801 J. Adams 0.071
1809 Jefferson 0.057
1817 Madison 0.104
1825 Monroe 0.084
1829 J.Q. Adams 0.079
1837 Jackson 0.0003
1841 Van Buren 0.005
1841 W.H. Harrison 0.005
1845 Tyler 0.016
1849 Polk 0.063
1850 Taylor 0.063
1853 Fillmore 0.06
1857 Pierce 0.029
1861 Buchanan 0.091
1865 Lincoln 2.681
1869 A. Johnson 2.588
1877 Grant 2.205
1881 Hayes 2.069
1881 Garfield 2.069
1885 Arthur 1.864
1889 Cleveland 1.758
1893 B. Harrison 1.546
1897 Cleveland 1.818
1901 McKinley 2.143
1909 T. Roosevelt 2.64
1913 Taft 2.916
1921 Wilson 23.977
1923 Harding 22.35
1929 Coolidge 16.931
1933 Hoover 22.539
1945 F. Roosevelt 252.682
1953 Truman 275.168
1961 Eisenhower 296.169
1963 Kennedy 309.347
1969 L. Johnson 368.226
1974 Nixon 492.665
1977 Ford 718.943
1981 Carter 1028.73
1989 Reagan 2857.43
1993 G.H.W. Bush 4411.49
2001 Clinton 5674.18
2009 G.W. Bush 10626.88
2015 Obama 18152.37

(as of 3-26-15)

The national debt often increases in times of war as government debt increases significantly to pay for war efforts, and bond issues are common. During which of the wars listed below did the U.S. national debt have the greatest percentage increase between the war time president and the preceeding peace time president?

The most recent presidential term of office in which there was a net decrease in the national debt was that of Calvin Coolidge. During which of the presidential terms listed below did the U.S. national debt decrease at the greatest rate, as measured in billions of dollars per year?

War during which percentage increase was greatest

Term during which debt decreased at the greatest rate

War during which percentage increase was greatest

Term during which debt decreased at the greatest rate

Civil War

War during which percentage increase was greatest

Term during which debt decreased at the greatest rate

World War I

War during which percentage increase was greatest

Term during which debt decreased at the greatest rate

World War II

War during which percentage increase was greatest

Term during which debt decreased at the greatest rate

Iraq (2003)

War during which percentage increase was greatest

Term during which debt decreased at the greatest rate

Jackson

War during which percentage increase was greatest

Term during which debt decreased at the greatest rate

Pierce

War during which percentage increase was greatest

Term during which debt decreased at the greatest rate

Arthur

War during which percentage increase was greatest

Term during which debt decreased at the greatest rate

Coolidge