The likes of the United States, Canada, and Australia are huge countries with substantial natural resources, making it relatively ‘easy’ for them to amass enormous fortune (along with many other factors, of course). However, large area does not always equate to great wealth on a per-person basis. In an eclectic world of big economic events and heavy emphasis on globalization, wealthy small jurisdictions have seemed like an anomaly. They have very little resources and a limited manpower, and yet they are home to a significant number of millionaires and billionaires. Below are some of the planet’s tiniest countries that defied so many odds and eventually succeeded in the end:
Image source: transrivieratour.com
Strategically located between France and Italy in their Riviera regions, Monaco is home to a Grand Prix and the Super Yacht Show as well as one of the world’s biggest gambling scenes. It is a popular holiday destination for the rich and famous that even if it is only about half the size of the Central Park in New York City, it boasts of an average income per person of more than $180,000.
With an economy primarily driven by luxury tourism and offshore banking, The Bahamas is among the richest countries in the Caribbean. It has a population of just above a third of a million, but is frequented by millions of tourists each year to stay in its world-class luxury hotels and resorts. Majority of these visitors arrive via cruise ships.
Image source: 1worldbermuda.com
Although technically not a country (it is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom), Bermuda is a highly impressive administrative unit. This small Atlantic island has a population of just around 65,000, but has one of the highest income per capita in the world according to the World Bank. It has a thriving tourism sector and is considered a major offshore financial center, being home to some of the world’s largest offshore financial services companies. Many international companies headquartered in this island benefit from its zero corporate income tax.
One of the world’s greatest success stories, Singapore—which covers an area of only 720 square kilometers (some of it are reclaimed)—currently enjoys a status of being a global financial hub. With a stable politics, business-friendly environment, a booming tourism sector, excellent infrastructure, strategic location, and a highly educated cosmopolitan population, this South-East Asian powerhouse is a force to be reckoned with.
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Nestled in the Pyrenees mountain range between France and Spain, Andorra is home to around 270 hotels and 400 restaurants. Those are pretty impressive numbers considering that this tiny landlocked nation only has around 85,000 residents. With more than 10 million visitors arriving each year (easily dwarfing the local population), Andorra unsurprisingly enjoys massive tourism revenues.
These small countries are a living testament that wealth is not always about having the best resources or the largest labor pool. Becoming rich sometimes boils down to proper strategies, hard work, smart decisions, extensive research, and learning from the mistakes of others.