Nauru: Brokest Country in the Entire World with Refugees

Nauru: Brokest Country in the Entire World with Refugees

Those who structure their standard of living to allow a little surplus control their circumstances. Those who spend a little more than they earn are controlled by their circumstances. They are in bondage.” – N. Eldon Tanner


The island nation of Nauru boasts just under 10,000 citizens and is located near Papua New Guinea.  At one time, this small island boasted the world’s highest income per capita due to the massive exporting of phosphate.  Naurans were so wealthy that some residents would have luxury cars such as Lamborghinis sent over to the island – with nowhere to drive them!  As Nauru’s phosphate amounts rapidly declined, substantial amounts of phosphate income were invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition and provide for Nauru’s economic future. As a result of heavy spending from the trust funds, the government faces virtual bankruptcy.


Australia has twice used Nauru as a remote site for the “offshore processing” of people who seek asylum.  In 2016, Australia’s government policy has been “no person who arrives in the country by boat seeking asylum (plane arrivals are not subject to “mandatory detention”) is ever settled in Australia”. Instead, they are sent to Nauru to be “processed” even though no resettlement takes place.  According to The Guardian newspaper, as of June 2016,  “there are 442 asylum seekers and refugees living in the Nauru “regional processing centre”, including 49 children. Several hundred more live ‘in the community’ of Nauru”. Although this doesn’t seem like a lot of people, the entire population for Nauru is 10,084 (as per Wikipedia) – meaning that almost 10% of the country’s residents are asylum seekers trying to reach Australia!


In 2003, allegations of bad investments and embezzlement by government officials reduced this once proud country to one without any means of external communication.  It became so bad that Australia had to step in and bring their phone technicians to Nauru and the only Nauru Air plane was repossessed. The mining of phosphate has continued since 2006 (by an Australian company), but Naura’s economy will not improve much, given the incredible debt that runs at about $1 billion Australian or about 27 times Nauru’s current GDP. That, by the way, would be the equivalent of $386 trillion for the United States.


What can we learn from Nauru?  BC offers a diversified economy from fishing to technology, and its world-class reputation has been cemented by the 2010 Winter Olympics.  It  is important to have diversified economic industries, and this supports a stronger economy and helps to cushion any world market changes.  As well, there needs to be a better plan put into place for handling the refugee crisis that we are seeing today throughout the world and take a critical look at what Canada’s involvement has been thus far.


Each one of us needs to “save for a rainy day” and have investments that are strong and will stand the test of time.  Because of this, real estate has proven to be an excellent investment for people, as we are able to live in and enjoy our primary investment while acquiring equity that we can then use for other investments.  We need to be accountable for living WITHIN our means.


McCullough Marketing is dedicated to assisting our clients and providing professional advice and guidance throughout each step in the real estate process.  SELLING? If you are interested in selling your home or property, please feel free to contact me to get a FREE market evaluation of your home and learn the current value of it in today’s market. This is completely at NO COST to you and you are under NO OBLIGATION to list your home. However, like any investment, it is wise to know the value of your home so that you can make informed decisions when making any changes to your investment plan or portfolio. Contact us today at 250-751-1223 and visit our website at


Warmest Regards,
Brian McCullough, Myles McCullough & Kiel Lukaniuk


BUYING? If you are interested in buying or investing in real estate, view some of my featured listings on my website at Feel free to call me anytime at 250-751-1223.  I look forward to hearing from you.


McCullough Marketing is here to assist you with ALL of your real estate dreams.   I have found that it is often the small things that make the biggest impact for home sellers, and I am happy to share with you my booklet titled “90 Tips For Getting Your Home Ready for Sale”which I can email you.  Feel free to contact me or email me at


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