What portion of the U.S. national debt is owned by foreign entities?
Roughly 30% of the U.S. national debt is owned by foreign entities. Per the White House Office of Management & Budget, "During most of American history, the Federal debt was held almost entirely by individuals and institutions within the United States. In the late 1960s, foreign holdings were just over $10 billion, less than 5 percent of the total Federal debt held by the public. Foreign holdings began to grow significantly starting in the 1970s and now represent almost half of outstanding debt [held by the public]." Debt held by the public excludes intergovernmental debt, which is money that the federal government owes to federal programs like Social Security.