Worlds Most Lucrative Markets Legitimate and Non legitimate

One of the major tricks of life is how to get money


1. Oil 2.5 trillion

Image: azrainmain/Flickr

The oil market, like its product, is vast, slippery and opaque. Nobody’s even sure what the market size is. According toone estimate, it’s worth a whopping $2.5 trillion.

Underhanded deals and collusion play no small part in this (read this article for more), but even the legitimate numbers are impressive. Crude oil production profits increased 16.2% in 2007-8 alone.

The 6 most profitable oil companies in the world—Exxon Mobil, Gazprom, Shell, Chevron, BP, and Brazil’s Petrobras—netted a total profit of $156 billion in 2008. Add to that peak oil’s potential supply shortages, OPEC’s ongoing legal collusion, a $12.5 billion oil smuggling black market, and shady commodities deals, and you have oil barons swimming in profits for the foreseeable future.

2. Defense 1.4 trillion

only marvel that governments are missing out on the taxation opportunity.


Image: US Army/Flickr

Governments spend trillions per year on tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, aircraft, motor gunboats, missiles, andother defense goodies. Global military spending was $1.14 trillion in 2007. That number is only going up. Global military spending is expected to increase 34% to $1.15 trillion by 2012. And global defense industry profits increased 12.6% during 2007-8, according to Fortune.

Who’s the biggest, baddest military spender of them all? That honor goes to the US, which spent $623 billion on defense in 2008. We’re also the world’s biggest military weaponry supplier. 9 of the 10 biggest profiteers of last year’s global war spend were US companies. Hey, at least we have one market that the recession hasn’t dry up.

markets around.

3. Sports 1 trillion dollars

Image: Shine 2010/Flickr

No matter what country you’re in, you have a home team. You may own merchandise, like a baseball cap or mug, related to that team. You probably watch your team’s games on TV. You may even place the occasional bet on your team (unless you’re a Cubs fan).

Around the world, there are millions, perhaps billions of people just like you. Thanks to your fandom, savvy merchants are cashing in big on TV rights, sponsorships, merchandise, hospitality, and the hundreds of other ways sports can make money.

According to Plunkett Research, in the US alone, the “Big 4″–NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB–bring in $17 billion in annual revenue. “That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” says Plunkett:

U.S. sporting equipment sales at retail sporting goods stores are roughly $41 billion yearly, according to U.S. government figures. A reasonable estimate of the total U.S. sports market would be $400 to $425 billion yearly. However, the sports industry is so complex, including ticket sales, licensed products, sports video games, collectibles, sporting goods, sports-related advertising, endorsement income, stadium naming fees and facilities income; that it’s difficult to put an all-encompassing figure on annual revenue.

That’s the US alone. Now add in soccer, rugby, handball, table tennis, muay thai, and all those other sports the rest of the world loves. Sprinkle in global events for good measure–this year’s FIFA World Cup is expected to bring inabout $3.4 billion in revenue–and sports is always in the running for the world’s most lucrative market.

4. Drugs $300 billion

Image: HighinBC/Wikimedia

Two words best describe the global drug market: Insanely large. According to UNODC (The UN Office on Drugs and Crime), the global market for illicit drugs is worth more than $300 billion annually. If the drug black market were a country, its GNP would rank 21st in the world, after Sweden.

Marijuana alone has a market value of $141.8 billion, according to the black-market research organization Havocscope. Add to that a $70 billion cocaine market, a $65 billion market for prescription drugs, and a $28 billion amphetamines market, and you just have the beginning. One can only marvel that governments are missing out on the taxation opportunity.8. we have one market that the recession hasn’t dry up.

5. Counterfeits

Image: David Shankbone/Wikimedia

Counterfeiting continues to burgeon, especially with regards to technology and drugs. Check out these Havocscope market size numbers:

• Counterfeit technology products: $100 billion
• Counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs: $75 billion
• Web video piracy: $60 billion
• Software piracy: $51.4 billion
• Movie piracy: $18.2 billion
• Counterfeit auto parts: $16 billion

The list above doesn’t include other lucrative counterfeit markets like clothing, shoes, and pirated music. Or fake medical devices, which make up a $7 billion market. Even more scarily, counterfeit airline parts are a $2 billion market. Cheapness, it seems, has no rational limits.6. $Alcohol 227 billion

Image: AntoineDeMorris/Flickr

The combined market cap of the world’s five biggest alcohol companies is $227 billion. Nearly 200 billion liters of alcohol were sold in 2004; that number has since gone up, thanks in large part to developing countries in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Still, “the leading alcohol marketing companies are nearly all headquartered in developed nations, rank among the world’s largest transnational corporations, and rely on large marketing budgets to dominate the market and extract oligopoly profits,” according to the World Health Organization. They profit heavily off those addicted to their products. In the US, for example, the “top top 5% of drinkers consume about 42% of the alcohol sold,” according toCorporations and Health. Add in minors, who consume about 17.5% of total alcohol sold, and binge drinkers, and you have an ongoing lucrative proposition.Prostitution

Image: cerulean500/Flickr

If you’ve ever slipped a sex worker money for sweet-tasting deeds, congratulations. You just contributed to a $108 billion market. Enslavement contributes to those high returns: Globally, a single woman sex slave earns her pimp up to $250,000/year. Who needs business school when you can build an empire of prostitutes?

Although prostitution is more common in poor countriesand around military bases, rich countries like the US certainly get their share. Here, prostitutes charge an average of up to $50 for oral sex, $100 for intercourse, and have 3-5 clients per day. If nothing else, the prostitution market is productive.

9. Porn Pornography 97 billion


How big is porn? Well, how big do you want it to be, baby?

Porn sales statistics are notoriously hard to get your hands on. Everyone seems to have a size estimate, but nobody has an accurate measuring stick to see how big the industry really is.

One 2006 estimate has the global porn industry at $97 billion in revenues. Although piracy is eating into the profitsof more traditional outlets like paid online subscriptions and DVDs, underpaid porn stars and nearly infinite distribution channels ensure that the industry remains strong. Everyone from Verizon (smartphone porn) to Marriott (pay-per-porn) profits off the stuff. According toone estimate, 28,000 Internet users are watching porn every second.

Adult-oriented video games, magazines, anime and manga also diversify porn’s income channels. Even though the economies of porn market leaders Great Britain, South Korea, and the US have have slumped, peoples’ sex drive hasn’t.10. Human Trafficking $32 billion

Image: A Campaign Designed to Drop Sales/Flickr

Human trafficking could be the ultimate organized crime. Essentially, people are tricked or stolen away from their homes and turned into slaves. Girls and women become prostitutes, children are trafficked for adoptions purposes, still others are forced into bondage as laborers.

Human trafficking is worth a relatively paltry $32 billion today, but it’s the fastest growing organized crime in the world. At least 27 million people around the world were slaves in 2008, according to American Public Radio. That number will only go up. In Europe and North America, sex trafficking alone generated as much as $9 billion in 2004. When you consider the low overhead involved, human trafficking could be one of the most profitable businesses around.

Drea Knufken is a freelance writer, editor, ghostwriter and content strategist. Her work has appeared in national publications including WIRED, Computerworld, National Geographic, Minyanville, Backpacker Magazine and others. For more information, please visit You can also find Drea via her blogFacebookLinkedIn andTwitter.

Housing prices in America

America is the 5th richest country in terms of average income

The average house costs $175000

But they vary from city to city here are the details

The cost of living in America varies wildly.

Cheapest Major cities to buy a home

In Cleveland, people need a base salary of at least $19,435 a year to afford the average home, while San Franciscans must make upward of $115,000 annually., an online mortgage and consumer loan information website, figured out how much a person would have to earn to afford a home in 25 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas.

To do so, HSH looked at the National Association of Realtors’ fourth-quarter data for median home prices’s fourth-quarter average interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to determine how much money homebuyers would need to earn in order to afford only the principal and interest payment on a median-priced home in their market. (They did not account for property taxes, insurance, and other expenses — read their methodology here.)

1. CLEVELAND: You’d have to earn at least $19,435 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $112,800

Monthly mortgage payment: $453.49

Minimum annual salary: $19,435.17

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

2. CINCINNATI: You’d have to earn at least $22,227 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $128,700

Monthly mortgage payment: $518.63

Minimum annual salary: $22,226.95

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

3. ST. LOUIS: You’d have to earn at least $22,398 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $130,300

Monthly mortgage payment: $522.61

Minimum annual salary: $22,397.54

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

4. ATLANTA: You’d have to earn at least $24,391 to buy an average home.



Nrbelex via Compfight cc

Average home price: $142,400

Monthly mortgage payment: $569.12

Minimum annual salary: $24,390.94

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

5. TAMPA: You’d have to earn at least $24,651 to buy an average home.



Average home price: $142,400

Monthly mortgage payment: $575.19

Minimum annual salary: $24,650.88

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

7. ORLANDO: You’d have to earn at least $28,298 to buy an average home.


Average home price: $165,800

Monthly mortgage payment: $660.30

Minimum annual salary:  $28,298.47

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

8. SAN ANTONIO: You’d have to earn at least $29,305 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $171,700

Monthly mortgage payment: $683.79

Minimum annual salary: $29,305.47

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

9. DALLAS: You’d have to earn at least $29,751 to buy an average home.




Average home price: $173,900

Monthly mortgage payment: $694.20

Minimum annual salary: $29,751.24

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

10. HOUSTON: You’d have to earn at least $31,299 to buy an average home.




Average home price: $182,300

Monthly mortgage payment: $730.31

Minimum annual salary: $31,298.99

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

11. CHICAGO: You’d have to earn at least $32,389 to buy an average home.


Average home price: $187,100

Monthly mortgage payment: $755.74

Minimum annual salary: $32,388.90

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

12. PHOENIX: You’d have to earn at least $32,812 to buy an average home.


Average home price: $192,700

Monthly mortgage payment: $765.61

Minimum annual salary: $32,811.94

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

13. MINNEAPOLIS: You’d have to earn at least $33,800 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $197,100

Monthly mortgage payment: $788.67

Minimum annual salary: $33,800.09

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

14. PHILADELPHIA: You’d have to earn at least $36,836 to buy an average home.


Average home price: $214,300

Monthly mortgage payment: $859.52

Minimum annual salary: $36,836.47

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

15. BALTIMORE: You’d have to earn at least $41,155 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $241,700

Monthly mortgage payment: $960.29

Minimum annual salary: $41,155.40

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

16. SACRAMENTO: You’d have to earn at least $42,832 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $250,360

Monthly mortgage payment: $999.42

Minimum annual salary: $42,832.20

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

17. MIAMI: You’d have to earn at least $43,918 to buy an average home.




Average home price: $254,900

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,024.77

Minimum annual salary: $43,918.66

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

18. PORTLAND (OR): You’d have to earn at least $45,872 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $267,500

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,070.36

Minimum annual salary: $45,872.78

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

19. DENVER: You’d have to earn at least $48,123 to buy an average home.

DENVER: You'd have to earn at least $48,123 to buy an average home.MomentsForZen/Flickr

Average home price: $279,300

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,122.86

Minimum annual salary: $48,122.72

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

20. SEATTLE: You’d have to earn at least $59,130 to buy an average home.

SEATTLE: You'd have to earn at least $59,130 to buy an average home.Ryan Carver/Flickr

Average home price: $344,400

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,379.70

Minimum annual salary: $59,129.86

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

21. WASHINGTON, D.C.: You’d have to earn at least $62,810 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $368,000

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,465.56

Minimum annual salary: $62,809.63

22. BOSTON: You’d have to earn at least $63,673 to buy an average home.

Average home price: $371,300

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,485.71

Minimum annual salary: $63,673.13

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

23. NEW YORK CITY: You’d have to earn at least $66,167 to buy an average home.

NEW YORK CITY: You'd have to earn at least $66,167 to buy an average / upthebanner

Average home price: $386,300

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,543.90

Minimum annual salary: $66,167.27

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

24. LOS ANGELES: You’d have to earn at least $72,127 to buy an average home.

LOS ANGELES: You'd have to earn at least $72,127 to buy an average home.REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Average home price: $423,900

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,682.96

Minimum annual salary: $72,126.90

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

25. SAN DIEGO: You’d have to earn at least $81,570 to buy an average home.

SAN DIEGO: You'd have to earn at least $81,570 to buy an average home.Dancestrokes/Shutterstock

Average home price: $476,790

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,903.31

Minimum annual salary: $81,570.40

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

25. SAN FRANCISCO :You’d have to earn at least $115,510 to buy an average home.


Average home price: $682,410

Monthly mortgage payment: $2,695.23

Minimum annual salary: $115,510.06

Source: HSH.comSee their full methodology here

The trouble with being a billionaire

The trouble with being a billionaire

(Credit: Alamy)

In the words of US East Coast rapper, Biggie Smalls, “mo money, mo problems.”

Not yet a billionaire but worth more than an estimated $160m at the time of his death in 1997, Mr Smalls knew a thing or two about the trappings of wealth.

So should we ever feel sorry for the loaded? Does too much money really cause more trouble than it’s worth? We went to question-and-answer site Quora to find out about some of the problems billionaires have.

The author of the book that became the film The Social Network, Ben Mezrich, wrote that, apart from financial worries, billionaires have the same problems as everyone else. “They have … girlfriends that don’t call them back and prostates that get big and ugly and homicidal.”

One crucial difference is how billionaires bring up their kids. “The children of the supremely wealthy often have lots of issues, because they’ve never had to struggle — and struggle makes us strong,” Mezrich wrote. “Struggle is the human condition, the key to evolution, the reason we adapt. If you don’t have to struggle, you don’t really have to get smart or strong, you just drift along.”

Assumptions may be a billionaire’s biggest problem as people will “presume that you can readily tap your vast wealth to address any problem,” wrote Phillip Remaker

Remaker wrote: “There is also an assumption that a large amount of money is an infinite amount of money, so you will always be criticised for not spending enough on something to solve some problem.” Wealth attracts legions of people it becomes difficult to discern who your real friends are, he added.

Paul Sullivan thought that having pots of money would make staying married a big challenge. “Marriage for most people is a marathon. There are lots of times you might feel like quitting but you stick with it,” wrote Sullivan, often because divorce is expensive and messy. Because divorce is easier for rich people they “have less motivation to slog through the hard patches.”

 Personal security and safety would always be on the mind of a billionaire, wrote Gong Cheng . “Constantly worrying about becoming victims of kidnappers,” would weigh heavily, Cheng wrote, as would worrying if someone is eavesdropping on your phone calls.

Keeping it in the family

It’s not any easier being the child of a super-rich parent. The son of a billionaire, who wanted to keep his identity hidden, said his problems started during school when students were jealous because his father made more money than their parents. “Kids and even adults would go out of their way to point fingers at my family,” he wrote.

There were problems inside the family as well. There was a huge “sense of entitlement” among family members, he wrote. “What a lot of people don’t understand though is that even though my father lives a very luxurious life NOW (he’s in his 60’s) does not mean that he lived a luxurious life ten years ago. He worked 80+ hour weeks, etc. So some family members and even others think that they should be entitled to the same lifestyle now [rather] than later. The sad truth it’s sometimes easier and cheaper to give a family member some salary and a joke of a job just to keep them quiet.”

On a more philosophical note it doesn’t matter how much money you have; death is one thing you have no control over, wrote Saniya Bhutta. In the future, however, “if science can make a break through, billionaires will be the first to be able to pay for (extended) life.”

Quora respondents are required to use their true names under the site’s Real Names policy. To help ensure legitimacy and quality, Quora asks some individuals, such as doctors and lawyers, to confirm their expertise.

Why does Singapore top so many tables?

Why does Singapore top so many tables?

  • 24 October 2013
  • From the sectionAsia
composition image of various shots of Singapore

Singapore is a small nation with few of its own natural resources. Yet in the past 50 years it has transformed itself into one of the world’s economic powerhouses. Here, Tenna Schoer, a Danish journalist based in Singapore, counts some of the measures where the country comes top of the class.

1. Low crime rate

Take a ride on the subway in Singapore and you’ll quickly notice that it is only the tourists firmly holding on to their bags. The locals are very relaxed about their belongings and show no hint of fear that somebody might snatch their smartphone. Unsurprising perhaps when you consider that Singapore has one the lowest crime rates in the world.

Crime has fallen in each of the past three years. Last year had the lowest recorded crime rate in more than two decades – there were 80 days in which not a single robbery or “snatch theft” was recorded.

Not only do you not need to worry about your belongings, your life isn’t in very much danger either.

According to UN data, Singapore has the second lowest murder rate in the world (Data excludes tiny Palau and Monaco.) Only 16 people were murdered in 2011 in a country with a population of 5.1 million. Compare that to similarly sized Finland which had 116 murders and Slovakia with 96 murders in the same year.

You don’t have to look that hard to discover why this might be, though. The little city state is well known for its harsh punishments for crime, even for low-level offences. Recently, a security guard was sentenced to three months in jail and three strokes of the cane for spray-painting “democracy” on a war memorial.

The police are also putting in place a network of cameras that will eventually cover all public housing blocks and car parks. In Singapore there are seemingly few concerns about “big brother is watching” when it comes to fighting crime.

2. The healthiest people in the world

Runners on an obstacle course
Keeping fit and losing weight is official government policy

When the sun is up, so are Singaporeans, doing their morning exercise. Take an early stroll in the beautiful Botanical Gardens and you’ll find young and old, men and women jogging around the pond or doing tai chi.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why Singaporeans are ranked as the healthiest people in the world. Based on health-related indicators from the United Nations, World Bank and the World Health Organization for 145 countries with at least one million people, one survey placed Singapore in an overall first placewith a health grade of 89.45%.

However, like most developed countries Singapore is also seeing an increase in obesity. So, in order to shape a healthier workforce, the country’s Health Promotion Board recently announced the “1 million KG challenge“.

This campaign is trying to get Singaporeans to collectively lose one million kilograms within the next three years through more physical activity and healthier eating behaviours.

3. The easiest place to do business

Roughly, half of those living in Singapore are here on a temporary basis, working for the many foreign companies that have a regional office in Singapore.

These businesses didn’t just choose the city state because of its convenient location close to the rest of Asia and the Pacific.

Last year, Singapore was named by the World Bank for the seventh consecutive year as the best country to do business in. The bank highlighted Singapore’s standards for trading across borders, dealing with construction permits and protecting investors.

4. The largest manufacturer of jack-up oil rigs

oil rig and shipping in Singapore
Singapore is a leader in the construction of jack-up offshore oil rig platforms

Singapore doesn’t have a drop of oil to its name but it dominates the oil industry in one crucial sector: it is the world’s biggest maker of jack-up rigs, the platforms used for off-shore oil exploration and drilling.

Since the 13th Century, the country has benefited from its strategic location at the confluence of major shipping lanes through the Strait of Malacca. Today, it remains a magnet for the world’s shipping industry.

Until recently, when it was overtaken by Shanghai, Singapore was the largest port in the world.

Out of its shipping heritage grew two giants of the oil industry, the local conglomerates Keppel and SembCorp, which have been transformed from humble ship repair centres to global leaders, helping Singapore command 70% of the world market.

The Singaporean marine and offshore industry employs some to 75,000 workers and had a total output of 12.9bn Singapore dollars (US10.3bn, £6.42bn) in 2011, one of the fastest growing sectors in the country’s economy.

5. One of the least corrupt countries in the world

Situated in a region where corruption is sometimes a part of life, it’s notable that Singapore scores as well as it does in the international rankings for corruption, currently number five on the list of least corrupt countries in the world.

Most Singaporeans praise the Republic’s first and long-serving prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, for building an environment almost free of corruption. But several years before Mr Lee took office, Singapore decided to fight corruption by establishing the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau in 1952 in order to attract foreign businesses to invest in their land.

Today, when it comes to any kind of corruption the country doesn’t distinguish between white or blue collar crime. It tries all cases according to Singapore’s stringent penal code, with long-term jail terms and large fines up to 100,000 Singapore dollars (£50,000).

Singapore also keeps the salaries of politicians and civil servants high in order to repress economic incentive to engage in corrupt activity.

6. Where millionaires are minted in the shortest time

Super yacht moored in Singapore
Conspicuous wealth is rarely hidden away in Singapore

Take a walk in almost any residential car park in Singapore and you’ll find a handful of luxury cars such as high-end Audis, BMWs and Mercedes, a couple of Jaguars, and at least one Ferrari or Maserati.

This luxury doesn’t come cheap in the first place, never mind after adding a car sales tax rate of 150% plus the 84,000 Singapore dollars ($42,000) it costs to obtain the certificate to own the car. (Not to mention the 90kph/60mph speed limit in Singapore.)

But wealthy Singaporeans don’t mind spending several hundred thousand dollars on a luxury car. Why? Because they can.

According to a recent wealth report from Barclays Bank, over half of Singapore’s wealthy people have taken less than 10 years to accumulate the majority of their wealth, the quickest rate across the globe.

Not only does money grow fast, the concentration of millionaires is also among the highest in the world. With 8.8% of the population with a private wealth of at least one million US dollars, Singapore comes in as number five on that list.

7. Top of the class

School children walking in a crocodile in Singapore
Education is a top priority for government, with teachers held in high regard

In 1965, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew created the master plan behind the modern Singapore, a “first-world oasis in a third-world region”, as the now 90-year-old Mr Lee has put it.

Having few natural resources, Singapore invested heavily in education in order to build and maintain a well-educated work force. Currently, approximately 20% of government spending goes into education.

According to the latest OECD report on education performance around the world, it seems like that effort is paying off.

Based on rankings achieved in mathematics, science and reading literature, Singapore comes second in the overall results, just behind Shanghai. Some 12.3% of students in Singapore attain the highest levels of proficiency in all three assessment subjects.

Students work hard and do more hours of maths and science than the OECD average. Not only do the students feel a notable pressure from their “tiger parents” as well as the society in whole, there’s also a sharp focus on the teachers.

Teaching in Singapore is a highly respected profession. They are selected from the top third of each cohort, and to keep them on track with the newest teaching techniques they are entitled to 100 hours of professional development every year.

The country’s education system is often criticized for not producing “out-of-the-box” thinkers, but efforts are being made to change that. The Ministry of Education recently cut academic content to create space for schools to develop critical thinking.

8. The lowest drug abuse in the world

Most places in the world have a neighbourhood known for its drug problem, but not Singapore. The country has the lowest level of drug abuse in the world when it comes to opiates, cocaine and ecstasy, and the second lowest for cannabis and amphetamines, according to a UN World Drug Report.

Punishments for possessing drugs are harsh – possession or consumption of cannabis can earn you up to 10 years in prison, a 20,000 Singapore dollar (£10,000) fine, or both. And the zero-tolerance approach can also mean a mandatory death sentence.

Getting caught trafficking 30 grams of cocaine or 15 grams of heroin will put you on death row, where some 34 people are currently facing execution.

9. The third-largest gambling market

Casino in Singapore
Singapore’s casinos now contribute significantly to the economy

The quick moves of the slim hand reveal both anxiety and routine as the young woman places her bet on the roulette. In front of her are stacked several piles of tokens worth more than 5,000 Singapore dollars.

It is Thursday night and the giant casino is buzzing. Singapore legalised gambling only three years ago and licensed two large casinos to attract more tourists. Visitor numbers have jumped nearly 50% since.

What’s more, the casino industry paid 2.2bn Singapore dollars (£1.1bn) in tax and contributes an estimated 1.5-2% to Singapore’s GDP.

There is a long tradition of gambling but to keep scandals (and suicides) to a minimum, locals have to pay an entrance fee of 100 Singapore dollars, whereas a foreign passport gives you free access to the glittery machines and freedom to win or, more often, lose money.

Singapore’s casino industry pulled in an impressive US$5.85bn in 2012, up 8% on the year before, putting it in third place globally. That’s close to Las Vegas’ US$6.2bn, but some distance from the world’s number one gambling market, Macau, which generated US$38bn.

Though the Singapore casinos have seen a decrease in visitors as the novelty factor fades away they still attract around 17,000 people a day.

10. The most unhappy people in the world

In Singapore you can find almost anything you desire but one thing in short supply, apparently, is happiness.

A recent Gallup report revealed that Singapore’s wealthy population is the unhappiest, or least positive, in the world, less happy than people in Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan and Syria.

When asked if they had been well-rested, treated with respect, if they had smiled or laughed a lot, and had done or learnt something, only 46% of the Singaporeans replied “yes”.

Cities with the Best Salaries in the World

1. Zurich, Switzerland

Average Salary 6,950.74/$83,408.88                   (Range 5,203.82 -9,757.16)

One bedroom outside downtown   1,615.35/$19,384.20               (Range 1,300.95-2,168.26)

2. Geneva, Switzerland

Average Salary  $6,723.87/ $80,686.44           ($5,203.82- $9,215.09)

One bedroom outside downtown    $1,523.80/ $18,285.60         ($1,084.13-$1,951.43)

3. Hamilton, Bermuda

Average Salary   $5,500.00/$66,000          (Range $3,500.00-$10,000.00)

One bedroom outside downtown         $1,741.67/$20,900.04       (Range $1,500.00-$2,000.00)

4. Washington, D.C, United States (Highest paying city in America)

Average Salary  $3,973.30 $47,676           (Range $3,000.00-$4,720.39)

One bedroom outside downtown    $1,460.00 /$17,520        (Range $1,300.00 -$1,600.00)

5. San Jose, California, United States (Second highest in America)

Average Salary $3,837.60/$46,051.20        (Range $2,600.00-$4,576.00)

One bedroom outside downtown       $1,825.00/$21,900        (Range $1,400.00-$2,000.00)

6. Oslo, Norway

Average Salary  3,690.06/$44,280.06          (Range 2,822.03-4,489.60)

One bedroom outside downtown   1,071.09/ $12,853.08         (Range 833.78 -1,411.02)

7. Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America (Third highest in America)

Average Salary   3,683.75/ $44,196  (Range $3,000.00-$4,235.00)

One bedroom outside downtown   $800.00/$9,600  (Range $700.00 -$1,000.00)

8 . Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

Average Salary  $3,609.55/ $43,309    (Range 2,400.00- 4,375.00)

One bedroom outside downtown  1,513.17/$18,158.04 (Range 1,199.00 -1,800.00)

9. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Average Salary $3,504.32/$42,051.84  (Range  2,326.84-4,847.59)

One bedroom outside downtown 1,284.53/$15,414    (Range 1,008.30 – 1,551.23)

10. San Francisco, California, United States of America

Average Salary   $3,487.03/$41,844.36       ($3,000.00-$4,000.00)

One Bedroom outside downtown   $2,234.38/$26,812.56    ($1,600.00 -$2,800.00)

Countries by Crime rate

1. Singapore 82.41
2. Turkmenistan 82.14
3. South Korea 82.01
Faroe Islands 81.47
4. Rwanda 80.84
5. Hong Kong 80.76
6. Japan 79.76
7. Qatar 78.96
8. Taiwan 78.12
9. Georgia 77.99
10. United Arab Emirates 77.78
Denmark 74.29
Malta 74.09
Austria 73.75
Switzerland 73.23
Monaco 72.06
Estonia 71.87
Germany 71.51
Slovenia 71.29
Armenia 70.86
Croatia 70.66
Finland 70.45
Romania 70.28
Brunei 69.65
Israel 69.60
Belarus 69.50
Norway 68.81
Cyprus 68.44
Czech Republic 67.11
Poland 67.01
Iceland 66.68
Slovakia 66.66
Spain 66.15
Oman 65.57
Saudi Arabia 65.43
Montenegro 65.11
Ethiopia 64.93
Palestinian Territory 64.61
Netherlands 64.59
Azerbaijan 64.53
Sudan 64.32
Luxembourg 64.26
Portugal 64.16
Macedonia 63.94
Laos 63.76
Turkey 63.60
Lithuania 63.31
Thailand 62.94
Latvia 62.78
Canada 62.54
New Zealand 60.24
Bahrain 60.03
Bermuda 59.71
Greece 58.65
Zambia 58.28
China 58.25
Hungary 58.24
United Kingdom 57.99
Belgium 57.96
Sweden 57.91
Australia 57.84
Nicaragua 57.63
Tunisia 57.33
Philippines 56.89
Serbia 56.57
Bulgaria 56.55
Kuwait 56.49
Timor-Leste 56.25
Cambodia 55.94
Barbados 55.62
Chile 54.99
Jordan 54.49
Bosnia And Herzegovina 54.18
India 53.45
Kazakhstan 53.32
Kosovo (Disputed Territory) 53.24
Botswana 53.23
Uruguay 52.83
Indonesia 52.78
Italy 52.50
Morocco 52.45
Mauritius 51.47
Ireland 50.93
Nepal 50.82
Ukraine 50.64
Ghana 50.58
Fiji 50.56
Albania 50.40
Moldova 50.30
France 50.29
Myanmar 50.23
Sri Lanka 50.04
United States 49.99
Panama 49.92
Iran 49.10
Russia 48.67
Algeria 48.66
Lebanon 48.02
Vietnam 47.71
Mexico 46.16
Ecuador 45.96
Iraq 45.94
Paraguay 44.43
Namibia 44.41
Syria 43.68
Colombia 43.12
Peru 42.37
Uzbekistan 41.87
Uganda 40.59
Egypt 39.86
Mozambique 39.53
Pakistan 38.84
Tanzania 38.20
Zimbabwe 37.82
Belize 37.73
Haiti 37.69
Argentina 37.60
Costa Rica 36.95
Bangladesh 35.75
Cameroon 35.16
Kyrgyzstan 34.93
Somalia 34.40
Bolivia 34.40
Puerto Rico 32.94
Dominican Republic 32.28
Angola 32.03
Maldives 31.25
Brazil 31.05
El Salvador 30.56
Libya 30.36
Papua New Guinea 30.11
Malaysia 30.03
Yemen 29.91
Mongolia 29.75
Jamaica 28.09
137. Kenya 27.39
138. Bahamas 27.07
139. Honduras 25.09
140. Trinidad And Tobago 24.72
141. Nigeria 23.40
142. Guyana 23.12
143. Afghanistan 22.66
144. South Africa 21.56
145. Guatemala 20.66
146. Venezuela 15.93
147. South Sudan 14.68

African Countries by infrastructure

1. Namibia


2. Mauritius


3. Seychelles


4. Morocco


5. South Africa


6. Kenya

(121109) -- NAIROBI, Nov. 9, 2012 (Xinhua) -- Vehicles drive along the Nairobi-Thika Super Highway in Kenya, Nov. 8, 2012. Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki officially opened the Nairobi-Thika Super Highway on Friday.    (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)
(121109) — NAIROBI, Nov. 9, 2012 (Xinhua) — Vehicles drive along the Nairobi-Thika Super Highway in Kenya, Nov. 8, 2012. Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki officially opened the Nairobi-Thika Super Highway on Friday. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)

7. Rwanda


8. Botswana


9. Ivory Coast


10. Tunisia


Best large country

1. South Africa

2. Morocco

3. Kenya

4. Angola

5. Ghana