Europe's Tiniest Armies

Is it a coincidence that some of the smallest countries, with minuscule militaries, are among the wealthiest (per capita) in the world?

Not really surprising. If they were not wealthy, they likely would have been absorbed into neighboring nations when they ran into financial problems. That is what happened with Newfoundland (not a micronation, but demonstrating the principle) or Zanzibar (a true micronation), which despite some measure of wealth found it more convenient to merge with Tanganyika.


It is a nice meme. But we have to ask why those particular small countries are so wealthy per capita? Is it limited government? Or is it because they act as useful places for wealthy foreigners to park or launder their cash?

There are small countries with negligible militaries which are not wealthy per capita, eg. in Micronesia. And then there are relatively small high per capita wealth countries like Qatar and the UAE which have rather large militaries – the wealth comes from natural resources, and the large militaries provide employment for citizens.

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