The Resource Curse

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A country’s natural wealth often doesn’t trickle down to its citizens. This “resource curse” particularly plagues the world’s largest oil producing states. The chart below illustrates how the curse affects this small club and its newest member, Equatorial Guinea. – Michal Lumsden

Country

Daily oil production (thousands of barrels)

Corruption ranking**

Political rights / civil liberties ratings***

Development ranking*

Average annual per capita income

Annual per capita health expenses

Life expectancy

Infant mortality (per 1,000 births)

Saudi Arabia

9,817

71

7/7

73

$8,530

$375

72

23

Russia

8,543

90

5/5

63

$2,610

$115

67

18

Iran

3,852

87

6/6

106

$2,000

$363

70

35

Venezuela

2,987

114

3/4

69

$3,490

$307

74

19

Nigeria

2,185

144

4/4

152

$320

$15

52

110

Algeria

1,857

97

6/5

107

$1,890

$73

69

39

Libya

1,488

108

7/7

61

N/A

$143

72

16

Angola

885

133

6/5

164

$740

$31

40

154

Azerbaijan

313

140

6/5

89

$810

$8

72

74

Equatorial Guinea

249

N/A

7/6

116

$930

$76

49

101

United States

7,454

17

1/1

7

$37,610

$4,887

77

7

*out of 175 countries, 1=highest

** out of 146 countries, 1=least corrupt

*** 1= most free, 7= least free

All figures based on most current available numbers.

Sources: British Petroleum 2004 Statistical Review of World Energy (oil production), Freedom House (political rights, civil liberties ratings), Transparency International (corruption ranking), United Nations Human Development Report (development ranking, health expenditures, life expectancy, infant mortality), World Bank (per capita income, health expenditures)

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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