Fraser Institute: Ontario debt load worse than California

Comparing the debt burdens of Ontario and California: Fraser Institute report released today

To many in the United States and Canada, California represents the epitome of irresponsible government spending coupled with poor cash management. However, the province of Ontario is carrying a much worse debt burden than the state of California. This paper uses a host of measures to compare Ontario’s indebtedness to California’s.
For instance, in a comparison of the outstanding gross amount of debt in the form of government-issued bonds, California (in the most recent year for which the data are available) carried US$144.8 billion, while Ontario carried CAD$267.5 billion, almost double California’s amount. This figure understates the disparity between the two regions, because California has a much larger economy and government revenues than Ontario. The gross debt in the form of bonds is 7.6% of California’s economy, while it is a whopping 40.9% of Ontario’s economy.
Per person, Ontarians currently owe $20,166 (Cdn) compared to $3,844 for Californians—more than 5 times the per capita level of debt. Consequently, Ontarians shoulder much higher debt servicing costs: 9.2% of budget revenues in Ontario are devoted to interest payments compared to 2.8% in California.

Read the Fraser report here.

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