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Related to public debt: national debt
The total of all bonds and other debt owed by a government. Most of the time, the national debt comes from bonds and other debt securities, but some countries in the developing world borrow directly from international institutions (such as the World Bank). The national debt may be internal, that is, owed to bondholders and banks within the country, or external, that is, owed to foreign governments, institutions, and/or individuals. In the United States, paying the interest on the national debt is a major part of the federal budget. See also: Deficit.