7 Reasons Why Russia Is Not A Poor Country

Russia is by far the largest country in the world, covering a staggering 6.6 million square miles. It also has the ninth largest population – with over 146 million people. Russia has had a challenging history, from Imperial rule of the 18th and 19th Centuries, through World War Two and the Cold War and then the transition to capitalism in the 1990s. Many people know that Russia is not as wealthy the US or nations in Western Europe. In fact, many view Russia as a poor nation. This really isn’t correct. Russia may not be a rich nation, but it is definitely not impoverished, and let us explain why…

1. Russia Has A Higher GDP Than Poor Countries

A first reason why Russia is not a poor country is because of the nation’s GDP.

A country’s GDP – gross domestic product, is the total value of the goods and services a nation produces. Russia has a GDP of 1.77 trillion USD. This makes it’s the ninth largest economy in the world. Although Russia does not have a GDP has high as nations such as the United States or China, the size of Russia’s economy means that it is far from being a poor country.

Russia’s economy is relatively diversified, meaning that its economy can withstand many external pressures. As well as large oil and natural gas sectors, Russia also has significant agriculture, arms, petrochemical, manufacturing and computing industries. This relatively broad base to the Russian economy differentiates it from many poorer countries. Generally, low-income countries have economies based on one or two areas – often agriculture or natural resources. Russia’s diversified economy is another factor in why it is not a poor nation.

The fact that Russia has a GDP significantly higher than many developing countries is a clear indication it is not a poor nation.

2. Russians Are Generally Wealthy By Global Standards

A second reason why Russia is not a poor country is because Russians are generally well-off compared to many people in the world.

Russia has a per capita income of 32,070 USD. This is essentially the average amount a Russian earns in a year. This is higher than many countries in the world and indicates that Russia is definitely not a poor country.

Although Russians are not, on average, the richest people in the world, the majority of Russians have enough income to ensure their basic needs are met. People in Russia generally have decent quality housing, and can afford food and utilities. Most Russians also have some money left over to spend on things they enjoy. This is a further indication that Russia is a not a poor nation.

Across Russia, there are many decent jobs that people can take. Sectors such as computer sciences, agricultural development, chemical engineering and heavy industries such as steel production provide good salaries and employ large numbers of Russians. Although there are definitely people in Russia who work in low-skilled low paying jobs, and unemployed people, many in Russia are able to take decent jobs. This is another sign that Russia is not an impoverished country.

3. The Country Has Good Infrastructure

A third reason why Russia is not a poor nation is because the country has good infrastructure.

Infrastructure is the physical structures that allow a nation to function – this includes roads, railways, airports, utilities and tele-communication networks. Poor countries lack the financial and material resources to build quality infrastructure, and to maintain the infrastructure they have. This makes moving goods, people and information around poorer countries more difficult.

Russia has good quality infrastructure throughout most the country. As the largest country in the world – Russia is truly enormous. There are for sure areas of Russia that lack high quality infrastructure, however, most of the nation is connected by good roads and railways. Russia also has 329 airports. Throughout all the main population centers in Russia there are utilities such water, electricity and heating as well as phone networks and the internet.

The fact that Russia has good infrastructure throughout the nation, taking into consideration how insanely large the country is, shows Russia is not a poor country.

4. Russia Has A Huge Army

Another reason why Russia is not a poor country is because it has a huge army.

Russia has the sixth largest army in the world. With 1.15 million active service personnel, and two million reservists, Russia can field an enormous number of soldiers. Russia also has over 5,000 main battle tanks, between its frontline and reserves. The Russian Air Force has more than 3,600 combat aircraft, and the Russian navy has a huge number of warships. The huge size of the Russian armed forces clearly shows the nation is not poor.

As well as having a huge military, Russia also has a substantial arms industry. There are many highly successful companies in Russia that manufacture and develop weapons systems, both for the Russian military and for sale abroad. A nation needs to have a decent economic foundation in order to support a high-tech industry such as this. It’s a further indication that Russia is at least somewhat prosperous.

The size and scale of the Russian military, combined with the country’s successful arms industry, is a clear indication that Russia is not a poor country.

5. Russia Is Rich Is Natural Resources

A big reason why Russia is not a poor country is because of its vast reserves of natural resources.

Russia has some of the largest deposits in the world of oil, natural gas and coal. Natural resources such as these are vital for the modern global economy. Almost every country in the world needs steady access to these resources. Russia can not only use these resources within the country’s own economy, but they also bring in enormous sums in revenue from abroad. Both of these are key factors in why Russia isn’t poor.

There is a well-developed natural resource sector in Russia. In fact, natural resource extraction makes up 60% of Russian economy. Some would argue that Russia relies to heavily on natural resources, and this may be true. However, the vast wealth generated by the country’s mineral deposits ensures that Russia is not a poor nation.

6. Some Russians Are Incredibly Wealthy

One reason why Russia is not an impoverished nation is because there are some Russians who are incredibly wealthy.

When Russia transitioned to a capitalist economy from the Soviet economic model in the 1990s, a class of ultra-rich oligarchs arose. These business leaders have accumulated immense wealth. They not only control large sections of the Russian economy, but also invest heavily abroad in everything from luxury properties to Premiership football teams. The fact that there is a large class of insanely rich people in Russia is a clear demonstration the country is not entirely poor.

Russia is a highly unequal society. A small elite at the top of the country controls a huge percentage of the nation’s wealth. Many would argue this is one of Russia’s major issues. This may be true. However, outside the oligarch elite Russia still has a thriving middle class. This fact, combined with the wealth the very rich in Russia possess, shows the country is definitely not entirely impoverished.

7. Russia Has Decent Public Services

A final reason why Russia is not a poor country is because is has decent public services.

Poor countries are unable to fund good quality public services. Areas such as education and healthcare are often lacking in poorer countries. This means people must either pay themselves to access services such as these, or, if they are on low-incomes, are unable to access the services they need.

Russia is not a poor country because it is able to provide at least moderate public services across the nation. Education and healthcare, for example, in Russia are subsidized by the state and almost everyone in the country has access to these types of services. Public transport in Russia is another example of a public service that is well-ran and accessible to all.

The quality and accessibility of public services across Russia is far better than in many poorer nations. This shows that Russia is much richer than many countries around the world.

Global Affairs Explained

Global Affairs Explained is an ongoing project aiming to provide concise guides to world events. Focusing on international relations, history, and geo-politics, Global Affairs Explained uses original research and data to answer questions often not covered by traditional media.

Recent Posts