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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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