Here’s Some Perspective on the U.S. National Debt as it Approaches $20 Trillion

by Shawn Langlois
Market Watch

The U.S. national debt is closing in on $20 trillion. That’s $20-thousand billion. Or $20-million million. If you stacked up $20-trillion worth of thousand-dollar bills, it would supposedly reach something like 1,200 miles high. If you lived to be 80 years old, you’d have to spend about $700 million a day to run out of money.

Still having a hard time wrapping your brain around a figure that ridiculous? Well, Jeff Desjardins of the Visual Capitalist blog is here to help.

“The best way to understand these large numbers,” he said, “is to represent them visually, by plotting the data with comparable numbers that are easier to grasp.”

And that’s exactly what Desjardins did when he used the following five of visual comparisons and explanations to create one big infographic:

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