Québec's debt

In recent years, the subject of the government's debt has become more prominent in discussions on public finances. People are concerned by the size of the debt and its growth.

How much is the Québec government's debt?

As at March 31, 2018, the gross debt stood at $201.1 billion, or 48.2% of GDP. The ratio of gross debt to GDP has decreased over the past three years, that is, since March 31, 2015.

The gross debt represents the sum of the debt issued on financial markets and the net liabilities for the retirement plans and other future benefits of government employees from which the balance of the Generations Fund is subtracted. The gross debt does not take into account the government's assets (fixed assets, investments, etc.).

That is why, in addition to the concept of gross debt, the government uses the concepts of net debt and debt representing accumulated deficits. This last concept represents the difference between the government's liabilities and its assets. It represents the “bad debt”, i.e. the debt that does not correspond to an asset.

The Québec government's debt
as at March 31, 2018
  Millions of
of GDP
Gross debt 201 071 48.2
Less: Financial assets, net of other liabilities - 24 528  
Net debt 176 543 42.3
Less: Non-financial assets -69 073  
Plus: Stabilization reserve 7 174  
Debt representing accumulated deficits 114 644 27.5