Have you ever traveled to a country that looked so simple and regular yet it feels that you are in a safe place? How about a country that’s so elegant and rich it’s kind of like a taste of what royalty could be like? There are a number of countries, most of them have a healthy tourism situation, that is not just known for their popular tourist spots, but are also rich countries. What defines a rich country, though? There are all these terms economists and financial firms use like Gross Domestic Product or GDP, GDP per capita, and all types of words that may be a bit too much for the casual reader. We are not going to get into much of these terms in this article.
We will simply share ten countries that are so well-off that their government has big projects that essentially give out money to the poor. Then there are countries that seem to have millions of funds saved for aid and support whenever another country is in need. And lastly, countries whose people seem to be innately charitable that they rank among the most generous countries in the world. On the other side of this story, we also listed ten of the poorest countries in the world.
20 Way Too Rich: UAE
The United Arab Emirates is a country situated in the Middle East, bordered by Qatar to the west and Saudi Arabia to the west and southwest. UAE is south of Iran with the Persian Gulf separating the two countries, to the east and southeast is Oman. Just like any other country in the Middle East, the UAE is rich in oil. This is still a commodity sought after by most developed and developing nations. UAE’s government has several projects that help their people who are not financially blessed like the others, funds that are designed to pay off its citizens’ debts and help them get back on track and live a good enough life.
19 Way Too Rich: Switzerland
Switzerland seems like a smaller European country as it is surrounded by its larger neighbors. France to the west, Germany in the north, and Italy in the south. But what this country lacks in land area, they make up for in world-renowned chocolates, watches, and knives. Secretive financial institutions, the “Swiss accounts” that we hear about too often on TV shows and movies, here’s where they are, in Switzerland. A referendum no country will ever think of doing, calls for all citizens to receive a basic income from the government no matter what they do for a living, for adults, and for kids, too. This is one venture only a country like Switzerland can pull off.
18 Way Too Rich: the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is one of the leading nations that spends its national income on foreign aid. Five years ago, the UK shared their wealth, a total of 11.4 billion pounds sterling, to foreign aid. This constitutes not just emergency relief aid to countries that suffered a natural disaster, the UK also helped in various economic support projects, goods or services, for the benefit of a developing country. The United Kingdom is a powerhouse of influential and rich countries, namely England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. The nation is also an OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) member of the Development Assistance Committee or DAC.
17 Way Too Rich: New Zealand
The Kiwis are a nation of laid back people, chill and relaxed if you ever knew one. Affording that luxury, that way of life, says a lot about a country. New Zealand is one of the lowest profile countries in the world, they were made popular by Peter Jackson and his film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. A working government for the people, and Her Majesty, coupled with decent and disciplined Kiwis, makes for a rich country that’s capable of anything they set their minds to. New Zealand’s been active in offering support to neighboring countries that suffered unfortunate natural disasters in the past few years.
16 Way Too Rich: Sweden
Sweden is one of those northern European countries popular among travelers and backpackers because of the aurora borealis, or more commonly, the northern lights. Sweden is also the leader in the foreign aid landscape, it is the most generous member of the OECD DAC (Development Assistance Committee) donating a total of $7.1 billion in 2015. Tourists go to Sweden to visit the one and the only 17th-century warship on display in the world salvaged nearly intact. It is a wonder to behold, think pirate movies, except this one is the real deal. Sweden, in terms of rich and generous countries, is also the real deal.
15 Way Too Rich: Myanmar
If you’ve lived long enough, you’d know that Myanmar was the country formerly known as Burma. You are also probably wondering right about now, why is this country in this list. Shouldn’t it be in the other ten list? This is not an error. Myanmar is regarded as one of the richest countries in the world. Well, to be more accurate, it’s one of the most generous. For so long Myanmar’s been known as the poorest country in Asia, but in terms of the World Giving Index presented by the Charities Aid Foundation, the people of Myanmar are the most generous people in the world. This is not a fluke, they’ve been at the top for 3 years. On average, 9 out 10 citizens in Myanmar have given to charity.
14 Way Too Rich: Finland
People visit Finland for some good tourist attractions like the Aland and the Hameenlinna, these are two of the must-sees whenever travelers venture to this northern country. Of course, people want to see its most famous city, Helsinki. Finland’s government projects, especially its welfare, really piques our interest. It gives money to unemployed citizens. This program supports the unemployed, but they will be taken off as soon as they get a job. Then they randomly gave out lump-sum amounts of welfare, no conditions, and no requirements, to welfare citizens. If a government has the budget to have these kinds of projects, they really are a rich country.
13 Way Too Rich: France
There’s more in store for the citizens of France than the fact that they are living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. France is a country that totally supports the basic unit of any society, the family. France’s government has a national fund under their Social Security System called the Family Allowance Funds. It provides family benefits to all its citizens in several different ways. France essentially gives benefits to families with children, in a nutshell, the more children you have, the more benefits you get. They have programs called Family income supplement, which is a flat-rate allowance, and child benefits.
12 Way Too Rich: Canada
No matter how much Americans say that they find their northern neighbors weird, eccentric, and just plain different, there is always that little touch of envy hiding behind those outer feelings. A sense that this country is not that bad, and is actually better at some things than ours. Canada is sixth in the World Giving Index, 56 percent of Canadians give to charity. Not to mention they’re always quick to apologize. These people are truly nice, in every sense of the word. They’ve also been in the World Happiness Report consistently, ranked 7th this year. They should be happy since the government also has one of those Basic Income projects available for its people.
11 Way Too Rich: Japan
Most Asian countries are unlikely to be a part of this kind of list, it’s because of the growing population in these eastern countries. But with a country that’s been ahead of the technological curve for years, Japan is not one of these Asian countries. They aid other Asian nations with relief all the time, they even have projects designed to encourage its citizens to invest their own money instead of letting it stay dormant in a bank account. This move is supposed to make the people of the whole nation drive economic growth in their own little ways, maybe it’s time to make adjustments in this project and let the people do what they want with their own money.
10 Scraping By: Central African Republic
Right at the heart of the African continent is the Central African Republic. Bordered by four countries that are mostly in this list, too, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Chad, and South Sudan. CAR is the world’s least developed country due to years of fighting, and not winning, its humanitarian problems. CAR, believe it or not, is one of the major players in the diamond export business, but this does not translate to economic growth and development for the people and the nation. Certain cultural practices are a strain to further education and to advance the people into the modern age they are in today.
9 Scraping By: Congo
The southern neighbor of Central African Republic is the second, if not the first, poorest country out there. Africa has got it bad, although these places have a lot of natural resources, they are still one of the least developed and poorest countries on Earth. Drama and turmoil riddle the county’s political history. From assassinations of political figures, civil wars, and general unrest in the nation as a whole, the country has been crippled and given no chance to get back on its feet. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a strong country because of its people, and the people will one day rise from this poverty-stricken situation as a whole.
8 Scraping By: Liberia
Located on the lower left cheek of Africa, in the northeastern part of the continent, is another country that is struggling in terms of basic needs and the quality of life of its citizens. Liberia is a small West African country with about 4.6 million citizens. Bad to worst political standings lead to civil unrest year after year. Corruption in the high offices is endemic, and it trickles down to the lower levels, unfortunately. This scenario keeps those in power richer, and the rich people even more so, and the poor keep getting poorer, and are forced to be that way by just the way of life in the nation.
7 Scraping By: Madagascar
Madagascar’s beauty is reflected in the animated Dreamworks film, a fantasy that really just displays the natural beauty of the country’s plant and animal life. The people of Madagascar, on the other hand, are a nation no animated production film company could make work and convert it into a fun family animated film. Underdeveloped capital cities, a relatively weak government, and very slow economic growth. Like with most of the African countries in this list, Madagascar has abundant natural resources and nothing of the political drama and civil wars. With a government that thinks outside the box, this nation will prosper soon.
6 Scraping By: Uganda
Being a poor country may be contagious, this is due to the fact that the previous two countries in this list are literally next door neighbors of Uganda. The Democratic Republic of Congo lies on the west of Uganda, and the Central African Republic is right there at the north. From 1981 to 1986, a war named the Ugandan Bush War. The country was well on its way to a promising change, a development in its economy and a steady decrease in poverty rates. But, alas, it only lasted until 2010. Now that the people are at a peaceful stance, with a wealth of natural resources and a working government to steer the wheel, Uganda could get right back on track and be out of these kinds of lists once and for all.
5 Scraping By: Mozambique
Based on GDP per capita, the poorest country in the world in Mozambique. This country is the southern neighbor of CAR, DRC, Uganda, and Madagascar’s nearest mainland neighbor. Located south of Tanzania and east of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia, Mozambique’s eastern territory is bordered by the Indian Ocean. There were recent high expectations about the economic development of Mozambique in 2011 when natural gas was discovered in its lands. But that prospect is slow to act, and the nation still remains, to this day, one of the poorest countries in the world. Earlier this year, a contract was made with a major petroleum corporation, this could be the beginning of the rise of Mozambique from the poor country column.
4 Scraping By: Burundi
Burundi is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It is kind of stuck between two big lands of the countries of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda closes the border of Burundi in the north. There’s not much in terms of tourism in this country, but in it is the world’s longest freshwater lake, Lake Tanganyika. They also have a number of national parks lush with plant and animal life. The nation is so poor that the average income of a citizen is just a little over $6 in a 5-day work week. Burundi is also the last country listed in the World Happiness Report for 2018.
3 Scraping By: Malawi
Malawi is a poor country and a sad one as well. Only 8 countries separate Malawi and Burundi in the 2018 World Happiness Report. Malawi is ranked 147th, and Burundi, dead last at 156th. The government of Malawi is as traditional as it could get, not allowing trade routes and crippling the nation’s economy due to its government roots and traditions. But it’s not just the economy getting hit with the outdated means of governance, education and healthcare were also greatly affected. These three things are kind of the foundation of a functioning country, and their traditional government has kept to its roots and appear none the wiser.
2 Scraping By: Haiti
Haiti is listed right after Malawi in the 2018 World Happiness Report. At 148th out of 156 countries, there really is nothing much to be happy about in Haiti. How can you fight a force that is unstoppable? Haiti has been hit, over and over again, by destructive hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes. They can get all the foreign aid that’s given to them, but a country will find it hard to get back on its feet when disaster comes around every other year or so. Add to that, the corruption that makes an already unbearable situation five times as hard.
1 Scraping By: Yemen
Yemen has it worst out of all the countries in this list. A country with tourism appeal close to none, an airline that’s one of the worst in the world, and a government that’s not been solid since the 1960s. During the early times, imams and later, kings, ruled the country. Today, the government is a democratic one, with an appointed president and a house of representatives. The current president is Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. War has hindered Yemen economic growth and development. The current civil war started in 2015 and is now going on for three years, this would surely cripple any country’s development.