Move over China, it’s Nauru’s time to shine. The tiny Micronesian island of Nauru has managed an incredible 16% average annual GDP growth over the past decade – outstripping all other contenders by a hefty margin. For decades, the nation’s economy was based around phosphate deposits located on the island, which funded a centrally-managed trust that supported the island’s 11,000 or so citizens. However, following years of mismanagement, the trust’s assets fell from as high as $1.3bn in 1991 to $138m in 2002. In the 1990s, the island later became a tax haven – there are no personal taxes levied in Nauru – but the nation was forced by the international community to introduce anti-avoidance laws. Despite many vicissitudes, the country appears to be on the right track: in the last 10 years, GDP per capita has grown from around $2,400 to over $8,000.
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