U2 made almost as much money as small country in last decade

Bono and friends have had a very good decade

U2’s gross earnings for the past 11 years could soon pass $1 billion.

A list of top touring artists of the decade showed that U2 earned $844,157,925. Almost 10 million fans (9,869,953) attended their shows, and they’ve played 288 concerts, all of which sold out.

Their setlist essential is "Where the Streets Have No Name," according to Billboard.com.

The Irish band were number 2 on Billboard’s list, in between the Rolling Stones (at number 1) and Madonna (at number 3).

The figures prompted Rolling Stone magazine to observe that within a period of 10 years the band “grossed more than most countries’ yearly gross national product.”

U2’s wealth looks set to climb even further into the stratosphere in the near future. The band have announced their 360 tour will continue in 2010, and they will make stops all over Europe and the U.S.

In February 2009 protestors gathered outside Ireland’s Department of Finance to complain about U2’s transfer of their tax affairs from Ireland to the Netherlands, the Irish Times reported. The band made this decision in 2006 after the Irish government altered a historic law exempting artists from paying tax.

Since 2006, artists living in Ireland have had to pay tax on any earnings above above $358,500 (250,000 euros).