There is no formal list of countries that are considered modern oligarchies. Since an oligarchy is merely a government that is ruled by a small, usually elite, group of people, arguments can be made that many countries are actually oligarchies, especially in a world culture that is increasingly focused on economical development on a global scale.
Although traditional oligarchies were ruled by families that passed power down through generations, most contemporary oligarchies are classified as such based on heavy corporate influence and an large imbalance of wealth that facilitates rampant corporate lobbying. As of 2014, two of the top contemporary examples of countries that many people agree are oligarchies are China and Russia. Russia has been ruled by corporations that control the majority of the nation's wealth since the disbandment of the Soviet Union. This, experts argue, makes Russia a modern oligarchy. China, on the other hand, is cited as a nation that has transitioned into an oligarchy as the result of becoming a world financial power that now relies on business. Some experts even argue that the power of corporations and the wealth disparity in the United States make it a nation that much more closely resembles an oligarchy than a democracy.