UK debt statistics

Every April the Chancellor lays out the Government's spending plans in his budget, along with a forecast for how much we'll need to borrow in the coming year. Similarly, the Treasury releases a monthly report on the public finances, including the most recent UK debt statistics. The reading on the debt clock is calculated by taking the increase per second required to hit the Chancellor's borrowing forecast for 2010-11, then multiplying it by the number of seconds elapsed since the last Treasury update.

The debt clock is not an exact representation of government borrowing on a day-to-day basis, but it does accurately illustrate the rate at which our national debt is rising. There may be occasions where the debt clock appears to jump up or even go down. This is because it's periodically adjusted to incorporate the latest figures from the Treasury. Links to all the sources and statistics used on DebtBombshell can be found on the Sources page.

Debt clock calculations

The level of debt per person is calculated by dividing the reading on the debt clock by the population of the UK. The population figure used is based on official projections from the Office of National Statistics. The ONS estimates the population will reach 65 million in 2016 from a base level of 60.6 million in 2006. The rate of increase per day is calculated and used to estimate today's population.

The same method is used to calculate the debt per household figure. The ONS forecasts that there will be 24.1 million households in Britain by 2016, up from 21.5 million in 2006.

The quarterly National Labour Force Survey records the number of people currently working in Britain. The ONS also publishes regular employment stats, including the average median weekly wage. The average debt per employed person is calculated by dividing the total debt by the number of workers.

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