Index Of Serial Z Nation S03 ^HOT^
What do people think when they think about the richest countries in the world? And what comes to mind when they think about the smallest nations in the world? Some would be surprised to find out that many of the wealthiest nations are also amongst the tiniest.
Index of Serial Z Nation S03
Should we automatically assume that in nations where this figure is particularly high the overall population is visibly better off than in most other places in the world? Not quite. We are dealing with averages and in any given country, structural inequality can tip the balance in favor of the already privileged.
To be sure, when a crisis of such unprecedented magnitude takes place, you'd rather be where welfare and social services can offer a degree of assistance and hospitals have reliable electricity access. In the world's 10 poorest countries, the average per-capita purchasing power is about $1,350 while in the 10 richest is close to $100,000 according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Agriculture, fishing and trading pearls: these used to be the economic mainstays of this Persian Gulf nation. Then oil was discovered in the 1950s and everything changed. Today, its highly cosmopolitan population enjoy considerable wealth, traditional Islamic architecture mixes with glitzy shopping centers, and workers come from all over the world lured by tax-free salaries and year-round sunshine (to the extent that only about 20% of the people living in the country are actually locally-born).
Since then all these nations have mostly returned to pre-pandemic growth rates, but to what do owe Swiss exceptionalism? Indeed, the IMF concluded, growth suffered less due to a swift and sustained policy response through emergency spending and containment measures, but also as a result of the make-up of the Swiss economy itself, with its low dependency on contact-intensive sectors, competitive export industries, and solid public and household finances.
Just a few years ago, many were betting that the Las Vegas of Asia was on its way to becoming the richest nation in the world. Formerly a colony of the Portuguese Empire, since the gaming industry was liberalized in 2001 this special administrative region of the People's Republic of China has seen its wealth growing at an astounding pace. With a population just over 600,000, and more than 40 casinos spread over a territory of about 30 square kilometers, this narrow peninsula just south of Hong Kong became a money-making machine.
Things are just not what they used to be. While the international clientele has all but disappeared, Macao has relied so far on tourists visiting from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Then, this year, just when the summer holiday travel season was about to begin, a new outbreak led to a city-wide shutdown. Amid low foot traffic and closures, it has been estimated that the local casino industry loses about $20 million a day.
A nation of just 5 million inhabitants, Ireland was one of the hardest hit by the 2008 financial crisis. Following some politically difficult reform measures like deep cuts to public-sector wages and restructuring its banking industry, the island nation regained its fiscal health, boosted its employment rates and saw its per capita GDP almost double in a short amount of time.
With an estimated net worth of $23 billion, restaurateur Zhang Yong is the richest person living in Singapore. In second place with assets of about $20 billion (to some people's surprise) is Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook, who in 2011 left the U.S. with 53 million shares of the company and became a permanent resident of the island nation. Saverin did not choose it just for its urban attractions or natural gateways: Singapore is an affluent fiscal haven where capital gains and dividends are tax-free.
You can visit Luxembourg for its castles and beautiful countryside, its cultural festivals or gastronomic specialties. Or you could just set up an offshore account through one of its banks and never set foot again, as many do. It would a pity though: situated at the very heart of Europe, this nation of about 630,000 has plenty to offer, both to its tourists and its citizens. Luxembourg uses a large share of its wealth to deliver better housing, healthcare and education to its people, who by far enjoy the highest standard of living in the Eurozone.
Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook April 2022. Values are expressed in current international dollars, reflecting the corresponding exchange rates and PPP adjustments.
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