Planet Earth

Greedy Nations: Top (and Bottom) Resource Users on Earth

Stephanie Pappas |

Humanity burns through the resources of 1.5 Earths in a year, meaning it takes the planet a year and a half to regenerate what we use annually. High-income countries have the largest ecological footprint.

[Read full story on the new biodiversity report]

Here are the top 25 most greedy resource consumers per capita as of 2008:

Ranking

Country

1

Qatar

2

Kuwait

3

United Arab Emirates

4

Denmark

5

USA

6

Belgium

7

Australia

8

Canada

9

The Netherlands

10

Ireland

11

Finland

12

Singapore

13

Sweden

14

Oman

15

Mongolia

16

Macedonia TFYR

17

Austria

18

Czech Republic

19

Slovenia

20

Uruguay

21

Switzerland

22

Greece

23

France

24

Norway

25

Spain

The most minimal resource users tend to be the poorest countries. Here are the bottom resource users, from most to least:

Ranking

Country

25

Guinea-Bissau

24

Cameroon

23

Congo

22

Lesotho

21

Togo

20

Philippines

19

Kenya

18

Tajikistan

17

Angola

16

Yemen

15

India

14

Burundi

13

Zambia

12

Mozambique

11

Malawi

10

Nepal

9

Democratic Republic of the Congo

8

Pakistan

7

Rwanda

6

Bangladesh

5

Eritrea

4

Haiti

3

Afghanistan

2

Timor-Leste

1

Occupied Palestinian Territory*

*Editor's Note: The Occupied Palestinian Territory is a term used by the United Nations and international legal groups to describe portions of the West Bank governed by Israeli military authorities. [Updated 5/15]

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Author Bio


Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science. She covers the world of human and animal behavior, as well as paleontology and other science topics. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has ducked under a glacier in Switzerland and poked hot lava with a stick in Hawaii. Stephanie hails from East Tennessee, the global center for salamander diversity. Follow Stephanie on Google+.