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

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:

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RankingCountry
1Qatar
2Kuwait
3United Arab Emirates
4Denmark
5USA
6Belgium
7Australia
8Canada
9The Netherlands
10Ireland
11Finland
12Singapore
13Sweden
14Oman
15Mongolia
16Macedonia TFYR
17Austria
18Czech Republic
19Slovenia
20Uruguay
21Switzerland
22Greece
23France
24Norway
25Spain

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

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RankingCountry
25Guinea-Bissau
24Cameroon
23Congo
22Lesotho
21Togo
20Philippines
19Kenya
18Tajikistan
17Angola
16Yemen
15India
14Burundi
13Zambia
12Mozambique
11Malawi
10Nepal
9Democratic Republic of the Congo
8Pakistan
7Rwanda
6Bangladesh
5Eritrea
4Haiti
3Afghanistan
2Timor-Leste
1Occupied 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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Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.