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Saint Kitts and Nevis

Financial trouble in Saint Kitts and Nevis paradise.

Gianni Ferrari/Getty Images

Public debt as percentage of GDP: 185

Population: 50,300

This two-island country in the Caribbean has one of the worst debt-to-GDP ratios and gross national debt totals on the planet. Those fiscal problems are compounded by its tiny population, since the smaller the pool of residents a country has, the fewer people there are to share the debt burden. A tropical destination with an economy that revolves largely around tourism, Saint Kitts and Nevis and its Caribbean neighbors have taken a major hit as recession-parched budgets have put a damper on people's vacation plans. In 2008, Hurricane Omar also destroyed a lucrative resort, adding insult to fiscal injury [source: International Monetary Fund]. To assist the struggling country out of financial ruin, the IMF approved an $84 million three-year loan to help restructure Saint Kitts and Nevis' teetering debt load and cut public spending.

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