5. Venezuela


To put into perspective the amount of oil and gas reserves in Venezuela, it is the Americas equivalent of the Persian Gulf. The oil and gas reserves per capita equates to $1.14 million but that doesn’t mean that the general population is seeing it. With only an 8% unemployment rate, there was 31.6% of the nation living in poverty in 2011.

4. Turkmenistan


The Turkmenistan oil and gas reserves just off the Caspian Sea equate to $1.54 million. Oil drilling platforms are familiar in the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan. However, with only a GDP of $8,500 per capita despite immense oil wealth, the country has an unemployment rating of 60% with 30% of the population living in poverty in 2004.

3. United Arab Emirates

uae, United Arab Emirates

Saudi Arabia’s neighbor, the small but energy stuffed United Arab Emirates, produce an impressive $1.63 million per capita in oil and gas. While the small nation’s GDP is neck and neck with that of the U.S., it still struggles with poverty. Still, a GDP per capita of $49,000 and only 2.4% unemployment, the 19.5% population living in poverty is not nearly as bad as many other countries on this list.

2. Kuwait


With the population of around 2.8 million, the small nation produces a whopping $4.14 million per capita in oil and gas. We have no official data on the poverty level, but they have a $43,800 GDP and only an unemployment rate of 2.2%.

1. Qatar


Qatar’s oil wealth is an astounding $6.01 million, making this the place to be on the Persian Gulf. While there is no official data about the poverty level, a GDP per capita of $102,800 and only 0.5% unemployment, we feel comfortable in assuming it’s pretty low.

This is a good reminder that a wealthy country doesn’t mean that the entire nation shares that wealth.