Biggest Risk Takers Across The Globe

Would you consider yourself a big risk taker? Well, OLBG has examined the contributing factors that make you and the people of your country true risk takers, so you can find out once and for all.

Biggest Risk Takers Across The Globe

Which countries take the biggest risks?

Would you consider yourself a big risk taker? Well, OLBG has examined the contributing factors that make you and the people of your country true risk takers, so you can find out once and for all.

When we think of risk takers we imagine fearless individuals, taking part in extreme sports and doing the unimaginable. Although these are contributing factors, they only apply to a small number of us. Therefore, OLBG has broadened the search and taken a wide range of courageous decisions and activities into consideration when trying to pinpoint the country that takes the most risks overall.

From risking your marriage to risking money at the casino to diving with sharks, what makes you a risk taker? OLBG has covered all grounds to find the true risk takers of the world - and finally end the debate on which country has the boldest citizens.

The Top Ten Biggest Risk Taking Countries

Now, the question that everyone wants answered: “Which country is the biggest risk taker?”

The top 10 biggest risk taking countries

OLBG reveals that the USA, in comparison to 20 other countries, was shown to have the most risk taking residents. This data was based on 7 different categories:

  • Innovation

  • Number of divorces per 1,000

  • Total number of billionaires

  • Total gambling losses per country

  • Gambling loss per adult

  • People in that country searching for ‘Bucket List’ activities

  • People in that country searching for ‘Extreme Sports’ 

The USA ranked top in three categories: number of divorces, number of billionaires and total gambling loss. The USA’s total gambling loss was $116.9 billion, which is a huge amount in comparison to the lowest-ranking country in this category, Cyprus, with $200 million. We know how popular Vegas is as a destination for US citizens and this figure could grow as online sports betting sites spread across the states. In addition to this, the gambling loss per adult in the USA was $432.68.

Singapore had the highest gambling losses per adult at a whopping $1179.17 per adult! Gambling is a popular recreational activity in Singapore, home to some of the best casinos in the World. 

The USA’s lowest ranking was in the category of Extreme Sports (Google trend), where it scored 15/21.  It’s easy to see why the USA landed in the top spot overall if 15/21 is its lowest score. 

Which Countries are The Most Innovative?

Which countries are the most innovative

Innovation is fundamental to cut through the noise and become successful. Many people may believe they live in the most innovative country, due to creativity in specific fields. However, OLBG has revealed the most innovative country based on the most successful corporations in the world, and where they were originally established.

Economic regulations and access to facilities can have a massive impact on innovation, and this is evident in the top ranking countries on this list.

Taking top spot in the ranking is Sweden, with the USA coming close second. Sweden and the USA are two high income countries, which is definitely a large reason why they have been so successful in innovation. However, Nordic countries like Sweden, Denmark and Finland all ranked highly in this area not just due to high cash flow, but on account of showing innovation in areas such as knowledge creation and environmental performance.

Coming last in this ranking was Brazil. Being a lower economically developed country, this ranking is unsurprising. Income definitely gives certain countries a leg up to be able to gain access to more facilities and knowledge, therefore making it easier to innovate certain industries.

Which Countries Have The Highest Divorce Rates?

Countries with the highest rate of divorce

Getting a divorce is up there with one of the most emotionally brave things you can do. Maybe those who take risks with their marriage, end up with divorce? 

Marriages are becoming less common in recent years, especially marrying at younger ages. The average person now gets married much later in life than the generations before. For example, the average age for women getting married in 1990 was 28, but now, according to a recent study by the Office for National Statistics, the average marriage age for women has jumped to 35 years of age. This delay in marriage for couples now could be the reason for the recent divorce rate declining.

Standing in top ranking for this category is the USA, with Denmark being a close second. 

Countries WIth The Most Billionaires

Countries with the most billionaires

With names such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates coming to mind when the mention of billionaires arises, it comes as no surprise the USA has appeared top again for this category. Innovation and success come hand in hand, so understandably the USA has rated top for both these categories.

The USA is home to 614 of the 2,755 billionaires in the world. The USA’s population stands at over 330 million people, so population is undeniably a contributing factor as to why this country has significantly more billionaires than the rest of the world. However, countries such as Brazil also have high populations at over 212 million people. Therefore, this high number must also be due to other factors (similar to innovation), such as the USA having access to high levels of education, income and facilities. This, in comparison to lower economically developed countries, shows the advantage they possess as a country to become successful and achieve billionaire status.

New Zealand came last in this list, having only two billionaires to shout about - Graeme Hart and Richard Chandler. 

Countries With The Most Gambling Losses Per Year

Countries with the most gambling loss per year

Gambling is a massive contributor to being a risk taker. The definition of the word gambling is to ‘take risky action in the hope of a desired result’, so there’s no question as to why we have included it as a factor when working out the biggest risk taking countries.

The country at the top of this category is the USA. Being home to the infamous city of gambling, Las Vegas, this comes as no surprise. On the other end of the ranking with the lowest gambling loss per country is Cyprus, with a loss of $200 million. 

Average Gambling Loss Per Adult

Average gambling loss per adult annuallySimilar to the previous category, the next is ‘gambling loss per adult’. At the top of this ranking is Singapore, with an average of $1179.17 gambling losses per adult. This shows the people of Singapore are not afraid to take a risk.

Australia was the first country to deregulate gambling, so it’s no surprise to see them so high on this list. Australian sports betting is popular and slots or "pokies" are a big part of the culture - with almost 200,000 gaming machines in the country, the highest number per gaming machines per person out of any country in the world!

Ireland came third in this list, which isn't surprising as horse racing is such a large part of life in the country which has a large number of bookmakers.

Countries Where People Search For Bucket List Activities The Most

Who searches for bucket list activities the most?

The definition of a bucket list is ‘a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime’. This links to risk as some people use their bucket list as something out of their comfort zone or reach. Therefore, this entails some risk due to the unimaginable, thrilling activities some include on their list. For example, someone may include swimming with sharks on their bucket list - not because it is something enjoyable, but because it is an out of the ordinary, once in a lifetime experience. Some common bucket list activities are:

  • Swim with sharks

  • See the Northern Lights

  • Get a tattoo

  • Skydive

  • Scuba diving

  • Run a marathon

  • Fly a hot air balloon

  • Bungee jumping

This category on bucket list enthusiasts is based on the Google trend of the topic in each country. Coming out on top for this ranking is Canada, with Ireland coming close second. 

Countries With The Highest Searches for Extreme Sports

Who searches for extreme sports the most?

Extreme sports is a subcategory of sports given to sporting activities that are high risk and out of the ordinary. The top ten most extreme sports are:

  • Ice climbing

  • Volcano boarding

  • Heli-skiing

  • Crocodile bungee jumping

  • Limbo skating

  • Base jumping

  • Wing walking

  • Big wave surfing

  • Free solo climbing

  • Highlining

These sports are not for the faint hearted. If you are an adrenaline junkie, but don’t want quite the high death risk, then there are some less drastic versions of extreme sports like abseiling, scuba diving and mountain biking - but even these are classed as dangerous and are to be done at your own risk.

Coming in top of the ranking for this category is Cyprus by a landslide, with Ireland coming a not so close second. The country with the least thrill seekers according to this category is Finland, with 0 searches for extreme sports according to Google trends. Seems safe to say they like to play it safe with their sports over in Finland.

Where Does Your Country Rank?

Overall, this data from OLBG has been eye opening to say the least. Surprisingly, the UK stayed pretty consistent throughout all the categories, not winning or losing any, but staying in the middle throughout. 

Country Innovation Score Number of Divorces per 1,000 Billionaires Gambling Losses ($ bn) Gambling Losses per Adult ($) Bucket List Searches Extreme Sports Searches Overall Risk Score
United States 60.6 2.9 724 $116.90 $432.68 67 10 91
Canada 52.3 2.1 64 $12.40 $388.42 85 11 73
Australia 48.4 2 44 $18.30 $879.53 62 13 71
United Kingdom 59.8 1.8 56 $18.00 $326.58 67 10 71
Sweden 62.5 2.4 41 $2.40 $282.69 52 4 62
Singapore 56.6 1.5 27 $5.90 $1,179.17 51 7 56
Ireland 53.1 0.7 9 $2.20 $557.55 75 16 55
China 53.3 1.5 698 $62.40 $54.27 0 12 51
Finland 57 2.4 6 $2.10 $452.02 51 0 50
Norway 49.3 2 12 $1.60 $358.35 59 6 48
Germany 56.6 1.9 136 $11.20 $156.45 42 1 48
South Korea 56.1 2.1 43 $7.40 $164.27 24 2 48
Denmark 57.5 2.6 8 $1.30 $265.39 44 1 45
Italy 45.7 1.5 51 $19.00 $366.71 10 2 44
Netherlands 58.8 1.9 11 $2.30 $156.99 48 4 44
Spain 45.6 2.1 30 $8.90 $218.55 12 4 42
France 53.7 1.9 42 $10.40 $188.20 20 1 42
Japan 52.7 1.7 49 $24.10 $217.64 6 0.5 42
New Zealand 47 1.7 2 $1.60 $388.51 58 4 37
Cyprus 45.7 2.2 3 $0.20 $199.58 0 32 35
Brazil 31.9 0.9 65 $3.10 $18.46 7 1 26


The index is made up of 7 metrics, each one is then scored from 1-21 with a high index score being given to the best figure. If there was no data available an index score of 1 was given. Each of the index scores were then added together to give a total score out of 147 (7x21), this score was then converted to a score out of 100.

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