Barbados Public Debt as a Percentage of GDP 1980 to 2012

The objective of today’s post is to locate, explore and compare/contrast historical data re: Public debt as a percentage of GDP for several Caribbean countries.

First, we have to find the data: The Google query “debt to gdp imf” brings us – ironically – to the IMF (Barbadians take note). In particular, the query leads us to this page: “A Historical Public Debt Database.” The IMF’s data set contains data for 170+ countries going back as far as 1692 all the way up to 2012. The second step is to extract Caribbean countries that are of interest to me (including Barbados) and a time period of interest to me (1980 to 2012). The third step is to pull the data into Excel and build a few charts.

Here is what 32 years of public debt expressed as a percentage of GDP looks like for Barbados:


Here’s the same chart but with red and blue lines added in at specific years. I will leave it to the reader’s imagination to infer what these lines represent (remember: Correlation does not imply Causation).

My next post will look at similar data for several other Caribbean countries.


Feel free to use the information in this post, but please remember to cite or Amit Uttamchandani as the source.