To determine the U.S. Presidents who oversaw the largest increase to the national debt in the last 100 years, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed total government debt each year since 1929 with data from the U.S. Treasury Department. For each presidential administration, we calculated the compound annual growth rate of the national debt, from their first year in office to their last. Debt figures are not adjusted for inflation. It is important to note that due to data limitations, debt measurements do not align with each presidential administration to the day.
We also reviewed data on U.S. gross domestic product, unadjusted for inflation, each year from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. We used GDP data to calculate debt as a share of GDP, or the debt-to-GDP ratio.
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