Natural resources increase the importance of Africa and Middle East

Natural resources are not the most important criterium of power of a given country—because they do not guarantee its security. Interestingly, “authoritarian” or “partially free” countries (according to think tank Freedom House)1, are more well represented atop this resources subindex than in the case of other sub indicators. Income from the exploitation of natural resources and energy exports are, after all, a key factor increasing the significance of some countries on the world map.

Natural Resources Index, 1991-2016

Source: Own calculations

China produces the most energy and, at the same time, also meet these needs by itself—the country has 9.69 points in this index. The US is second (7.60 points) and the European Union would be third (6.67 points). In reality, this spot is taken by Russia, trailed by Saudi Arabia. Next come Norway, Qatar, Angola, Indonesia and Australia. In the top 30 we also find Kuwait (12th place), Iran (17th), Venezuela, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Germany is only in the 45th place, Ukraine 48th and Poland in 51st. Interestingly, our neighbour Belarus is only in the 125th place (one of the worst spots).

Norway has the best energy situation in the world, exporting 543.7 per cent of its national energy consumption. Angola is second with 536.3 per cent, followed by Congo with 513 per cent. Russia exports 83.4 per cent of national consumption, which puts it in the 27th pace in the world (from among 128 countries for whom the data is available). Poland is well behind in 73rd place with 27.4 per cent of imported energy sources. By comparison, Romania imports only 18.6 per cent of the energy it consumer and Ukraine 26 per cent. Great Britain is among the countries in a worse situation, importing 39.6 per cent of the national consumption, along with Hungary, which imports 55 per cent and Germany, buying 60.9 per cent from abroad.

30 countries with the highest results in the Natural Resources Index in 2016 (points)

Source: Own calculations

  1. Cf. A. Puddington, T. Roylanc, Freedom in the World 2016. Anxious Dictators, Wavering Democracies: Global Freedom under Pressure, London 2016, available online.