When a nation’s Ecological Footprint exceeds its biocapacity, the nation is running an “ecological deficit.”
A nation’s “ecological deficit day” marks the date when the nation’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can regenerate in that year. A national deficit day is the equivalent of Earth Overshoot Day at the national level.
A nation maintains an ecological deficit by liquidating stocks of ecological resource, such as by overfishing and overharvesting forests; importing more goods than it exports; and accumulating more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than the nation’s own ecosystems can absorb.
The dates of national deficit days are calculated with Global Footprint Network’s National Footprint Accounts, which are updated annually. The National Footprint Accounts 2016 Edition features national data from 2012, the latest year available from the United Nations. National ecological deficit days are calculated with the 2016 edition/2012 data, while Earth Overshoot Day is calculated with a model that “nowcasts” 2012 data to 2016.
Following are national ecological deficit days for many countries, based on the National Footprint Accounts 2016 (2012 data year):