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How Much Would It Cost to Buy Your Own Country?

12 June 2021

If You Get Super Rich One Day, Would You Want to Buy Your Own Country? Here’s How Much It Would Cost.

In 2010 you could allegedly rent the entire country of Liechtenstein for $70,000 a night. If we had to calculate the rental for 12 months, it would come to over $25.5 million. Turns out, that was a hoax, but it got us thinking… imagine someone wanted to purchase the whole country… what sort of costs would be involved?

We’re about to find out in today’s article: How much would it cost to buy your own country?

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The Reality of Buying a Country

Buying a country is the same as buying a business. You expect to fork out a decent sum of money upfront but down the line, you want to make a profit.

With that information at hand, purchasing a country like Zimbabwe vs purchasing a country like New Zealand, will have drastically different price tags. If you preferred, you could purchase an uninhabited island, which you would build up to attract people. It would cost a fortune to convert into a legit, governable country.

You might prefer to build a new island of your own, which would entail hauling in millions of tons of concrete, and you’d need a few hundred billion dollars to spare.

Any businessperson would make sure they’ve considered all the pros and cons before they purchase or build.

So, let’s look at factors that need to be considered before deciding on the purchase offer price of a country.  

Location, Location, Location

Aluxers, we all know the value of location. So, depending on where you buy, purchasing your own country could either cost an arm and a leg or just a leg.  

Cayman Islands, for example, is the most expensive country in the world to live in according to World Population Review, while the cheapest country is Pakistan.

Now, consider the liabilities of the country in question. Let’s continue using Pakistan and the Cayman Islands as examples. The Cayman Islands has an estimated population of 64,420 which works out to around 549 people per square mile. Pakistan has 225 million people with 742 people per square mile.

The size of Pakistan is 340,509 square miles compared to Cayman Islands at only 102 square miles.

Over time, which country is going to be more of a cost burden?

Pakistan.

So, while the initial purchase price of Pakistan would be considerably more affordable than the Cayman Islands, it may end up costing much more than the Cayman Islands in the long run.

If you were to begin your own island, consider that you’d need to have a large marketing budget to attract the right kind of people to live, work and build your island into a country with a financially viable currency to become a top player amongst other countries.

Natural Resources

A huge influencing factor on the cost of your country would be what natural resources are available.

According to Basic Planet, Russia has the lion’s share of natural resources. Because Russia is so large, it sprawls across coal, timber, and gold reservoirs. The value of Russia’s natural resources is $75.5 trillion. So, before you’ve even taken other factors into consideration when purchasing Russia, you’d need $75.5 trillion in the bank.

Basic Planet further affirms that the country with the least availability of natural resources is Vatican City. They struggle with their lack of coal reserves and natural gas is non-existent. The country has no oil reserves, precious metals, gold, or silver.

However, Vatican City is a well-run, first world country, albeit super tiny, with a ton of history and art. So, the asking price of this independent state would be considerably high despite its lack of natural resources.

Let’s compare that to Liberia in West Africa. This country is rich in natural resources, such as iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, and hydropower, yet they’re still a Third World country.

The country has been plagued by civil war, which only ended in 2003. They were hit hard by Ebola. An embargo on timber imports implemented in 2003 by the UN crippled the domestic forestry sector, and despite being lifted 3-years later, has meant a slow recovery for the industry.

Aluxers, do you think this purchase would be good value for money? It could be, depending on whether you were able to do to get those natural resources making money for you. And, if you were to buy an island to convert into your own country, what natural resources would that island have to offer?

Let’s look at finance.

GDP

How healthy is your country’s economy? Is it growing? Or is it experiencing a never-ending recession?

Would you want to pump your money into a country that hasn’t shown financial growth in years? Or would you consider paying a far greater price for a country whose economy continues an upward trend?

According to Focus Economics, it’s predicted that the US will remain the world’s largest economy with the expected nominal GDP forecast for 2024 in the region of $25.3 trillion.

How would you attract people to your new country?  Would they help finance your country? Who would you trade with? What would you trade? Would you accept refugees who escape their own country, or would you only consider people with a minimum pre-determined bank balance?

These are all questions to consider when you’re drawing up your business plan to purchase your own country.

Infrastructure

Aluxers, every country needs infrastructure. That’s Country 101.

A country needs water, electricity, telecommunications, roads, schools, hospitals, and houses.  To build a world-class hospital with cancer and psychiatric treatment facilities, fully furnished with 450-beds, would cost in the region of $1 billion.

That’s just one hospital.

Then who will you get to work in those hospitals? What costs would be involved in attracting other like-minded businesspeople to invest in your hospital which in turn pays for the salary of your staff. As you can see, your $1 billion dollar hospital has costs that continue to rise.

If you were to purchase an island, don’t forget to factor in the costs of having everything flown in or shipped in, because you are completely cut off from the outside world.

If you’d prefer to buy a country with infrastructure in place, it will cost a decent sum.

Let’s take a small country like Denmark as our example. Say we pick one building from Denmark, like the Koncerthuset. The Koncerthuset cost almost $300 million to build. If you decide to purchase a small country like Denmark, you’d have to pay for the already existing infrastructure, and just one building is $300 million.

That’s not taking into account the roads, train tracks, bridges, airports, ferry routes, telecommunications, power lines and grids, windmills, power plants, schools for all ages, universities, hospitals, malls, parks… we can go on Aluxers, but you understand how these costs are just racking up.

Now it’s time to feed your people…

Farming

Let’s say you bought an island, and you needed to get produce growing. If your island was filled with hydrophobic soil, you’d have an enormous task on your hands converting that soil to become hydrophilic. This is not an overnight process, and until the soil is healthy and nourished, your people will have nothing fresh to eat.

You’d need to bring a team of people onto your island to start working on the lands, while importing fresh produce for them to live off while they prepare the soil.

If you opted to buy a country that’s already established with their farming, then a smaller country like South Africa, would be far more affordable than purchasing China, for example. China has 7% arable land which feed 22% of their nation, according to Tractor Junction. China are also the largest rice-producing country in the world. They are also large producers of soybeans, sorghum, wheat, millet, and corn.

The World Bank confirms that South Africa has nearly 10% arable land, with barley, maize, oats, sorghum and wheat being the most farmed products. Exports include citrus, wine, table grapes, corn and wool along with nuts, sugar, mohair, apples and pears.

China is far greater in size, therefor exports would bring in more revenue and your purchase would yield greater income than South Africa over time… but you’d be working far harder.

What you also need to consider is that exporting from China would cost a lot less than exporting from South Africa, which is much further away from regular transport routes.

If you want to learn more about China, check out How China Became the Factory of the World. 

Military

Look, we all hope that we’d never have a need to deploy the military, but it’s a reality that can’t be ignored.

In 2020, the US spent $778 billion on its military alone. That equated to 39 percent of the total military spending worldwide that year, according to Statista.com.

In comparison, according to ABC.net, Australia will “spend $270b building larger military to prepare for ‘poorer, more dangerous’ world and rise of China.” However, before this was put forward, they had only spent $38.7 billion in their 2019–20 budget.

Worldwide, $1.98 trillion was spent on military in 2020.  

Your own island country would need some form of defence system in place, because like any sound-minded businessperson, you would need to protect your assets.

Government

Now, who is going to run your country? Are you going to be responsible for every facet of your country or are you going to employ people to do it for you?

Not only do you need to have your country run like a well-oiled machine, but you would need to work on international relations. If you’re a new country, those need to be established from scratch, which when compared to some international relations of established countries, might leave you better off.

If purchasing an already functioning country, you’d need to spend a large portion of your budget on maintaining good international relationships and working on the image of your own country.

The Pew Research Centre reported that America’s image has plummeted over the past few months due to the country’s poor handling of the Corona Virus. If that was your country, you’d need to hire some expensive PR people to come and put things back on track.

In Conclusion

According to research done by economist William D. Larson, as reported by USA Today, buying the land of the USA would cost $23 trillion. According to the article, “Placing an accurate dollar value on America’s land – from natural features such as rivers and mountains to developed lands that include farms and skyscrapers – is virtually impossible.”

And it’s the same for buying any country, whether it already exists or it’s one you’re going to establish from scratch.

If we had to pick a figure, we’d leave it at $1 trillion for a small country purchase and $50 trillion for a large country purchase… that way you’ve covered all your bases and you’ve got a little leftover for a rainy day.  

Question:

What do you think is a reasonable price tag to put on purchasing your own country? We’d love your feedback.

Thanks for reading, we really hope you enjoyed today’s article. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, as we have plenty of videos.