From Nothing To Everything: 7 Countries That Went From Poor To Rich

Life can be harsh on whole nations, not just celebrities. Yet, some countries started their path of existence, overcoming difficulties and horrible living conditions. Yet, luck has met them one day, and today, they are rich and attractive to many people. If you are wondering what those countries are, this list might help you.

8 Norway

One of the wealthiest Scandinavian countries went through tough times in the past. In the 19th century, people were living in poor conditions working in the fishing and agriculture industries. However, in the 20 century, the government decided to develop a hydroelectric power industry, which eventually led to new jobs, and a GDP increase. Even after World War, Norway wasn’t harshly suffering – it got the US funding, which helped it hold up well. And, it seems Norway caught a lucky ticket due to the substantial reserves of oil in the North Sea in 1969. Once the oil price rose in the 1970s, Norway’s GDP went higher, and today, it’s developed a welfare state with high living standards.

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7 Spain

Spain, which was agricultural at that time, went through a fierce civil war in the 1930s. The country was under the rule of a dictator, Francisco Franco, who made the economy shrink for decades. So, the 1940-1950s were horrible for the country. Spain was closed-off, no imports were allowed, which led to severe shortages, negative growth, and devalued currency. Yet, in 1959, the economy was liberalized. Industrialization came into place, and tourism boomed. The dictatorship era ended in 1975, and in 1986 Spain joined the EU.

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6 Luxembourg

A tiny state, which is one of the wealthiest in the world, had a brutal past. In the 19th century, about 80% of the population lived in poor conditions, being solely engaged in agriculture. People were seeking better living conditions abroad, but everything has changed from upside down once iron ore reserves were found. The steel industry started developing, mine and factories were built, and, eventually, Luxembourg became one of the leading steel producers in Europe. This gave lots of jobs to people, and new life was flourishing. In the 1960s, other spheres were actively developing, like banking and advanced manufacturing industries. Today, this small European country is one of the richest in the world, the GDP of which may be reached $68.50 bln by the end of the year.

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5 Switzerland

This European country has one of the highest living standards in the continent, but once it was at the bottom. Due to its mountainous location, Switzerland couldn’t develop, and its industry was relatively primitive. Yet, since the 19th century, its economy started growing, especially its tourism and banking industries. One more asset was the famous policy of neutrality. It allowed the country to escape participation in the two world wars. But, conversely, Switzerland was better off, thanks to bank loans and arms exports.

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4 Ireland

Ireland’s GDP per capita was only $14,000 in the early 1990s. With low economic growth, high employment, and inflation, people were living in poor conditions. However, the negativity came to an end in the late 2000s with the ‘Celtic Tiger’ period. From 1995 until 2007, the Irish economy was booming. The average annual rate increase reached 9.4% from 1995-2000, and a GDP increase of 229%. This period emerged thanks to foreign investments, EU membership, and subsidies.

Further, the 2008 financial crisis affected the country’s economy. Yet, thanks to foreign investment and increased consumer spending, it’s been flourishing. So today, Ireland is an attractive place to lie and do business.

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3 South Korea

South Korea went through a civil war in the 1950s, and it was under Japanese occupation. When the war ended, the First Five Year Plan was implemented in 1962, which led to rapid industrialization. That’s the period Samsung and LG emerged. As a result, the steel and electronics industries have developed, leading to a high economic level.

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2 Saudi Arabia

Found in 1932, Saudi was one of the poorest countries in the world. Its economy was totally dependent if the income from agriculture and revenue generated from pilgrims. But, everything has drastically changed since 1938 – that year, reserves of oil were found. When the oil prices went up in 1973, the country became rich. Even though the prices went down, and Saudi Arabia had to pay back some foreign debts, its citizens have lived in good conditions up to now.

A post shared by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (@saudi.arabia)

It’s hard to say whether life is fair or not, but many depend on fortune and money. These countries prove that.

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