Here are the richest countries in the world according to the Countryaah. Among them, six are Asian countries. When listing the richest countries in the world, one usually starts from their gross domestic product (short for GDP by Abbreviationfinder), which is the value of all goods and services produced in a country for a year. When you divide a country’s GDP by its population, you get GDP per capita, which is an average measure of how much of the country’s GDP each inhabitant accounts for. For example, China is the world’s second richest country in terms of their total GDP (calculated in US dollars) , but if you divide China’s GDP with the country’s gigantic population, it turns out that their GDP per capita is relatively low.
GDP is really only a measure of how much money there is in a country, but there is still a clear connection between a country’s GDP per capita and the population’s well-being and standard of living. Therefore, a list of the world’s richest countries also shows states that have a high standard of living, although it must be remembered that incomes can be more or less unevenly distributed among the residents.
Here are the world’s richest countries according to the International Monetary Fund’s latest data (as of October 2019) on countries’ estimated GDP (PPP) per capita. PPP stands for purchasing power adjustment and takes into account the price level in each country. PPP is taken into account to provide a fairer comparison of countries’ GDP per capita. The value is stated in a hypothetical currency called the international dollar (Int. $).
GDP (PPP) per capita: 55,990 USD $
Sweden has one of the best economies in Europe and survived the financial crisis that hit the world relatively well from 2008 to 2010. Common goods that our country sells to other countries are paper, wood products, road vehicles, machinery and iron. Sweden’s residents pay almost the highest income tax in the world, but have access to almost free healthcare. The picture shows the discount department store Gekås in Ullared.
- Saudi Arabia
GDP (PPP) per capita: 56,910 USD $
Saudi Arabia’s revenue comes largely from oil. In the dry country, there is also an irrigated agriculture that consumes large amounts of the country’s groundwater. The residents of the country pay no income tax. The photo was taken in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
GDP (PPP) per capita: 56,970 USD $
Iceland was one of the countries hardest hit when the financial crisis spread around the world from 2008 to 2010. Now the country seems to be recovering. Iceland’s major sources of income are exports of fish and aluminum (large aluminum smelters can be built thanks to the country’s abundant supply of geothermal energy and hydropower). Tourism also provides important income.
- The Netherlands
GDP (PPP) per capita: 60 030 USD $
The Kingdom of the Netherlands has had a successful economy since the 17th century, although the country was industrialized relatively late. The fact that the Netherlands’ economy is so prosperous today is largely due to income from industries such as oil refining, food processing, machine manufacturing and the chemical industry. The Netherlands also has an efficient agriculture, which produces a large surplus that can be exported. The picture shows three of all the windmills in the city of Zaandam.
- San Marino
GDP (PPP) per capita: 62,910 USD $
San Marino is a microstat that is completely enclosed by Italy. The country’s few residents live well, partly thanks to money coming from tourism. Another important source of income is the country’s banking operations. The country exports textiles, electronics, ceramics, cement and wine. The picture shows Guaita Castle above the capital of San Marino, San Marino.
GDP (PPP) per capita: 67 430 USD $
The United States is the world’s richest country in terms of its total gross domestic product , and when you divide the country’s GDP by their population, the United States is in tenth place on the list. The United States was hit hard by the recent financial crisis and is suffering from fairly large income gaps. The US economy is driven primarily by the country’s large service sector and abundant natural resources. The country produces, among other things, sulfur, phosphates and liquefied natural gas. The picture shows Times Square in New York.
GDP (PPP) per capita: 67,560 USD $
The beautiful alpine country of Switzerland is known for its banks – financial services make up a large part of the country’s GDP. Other significant industries are the country’s manufacturing industry, pharmaceutical industry and tourism. Important goods that Switzerland exports are chemicals, machinery, electronics and of course watches. The picture shows the Gornergratbahn mountain railway in front of the Matterhorn.
GDP (PPP) per capita: 67,890 USD $
Most of the small country of Kuwait’s residents live in the country’s capital Kuwait City (pictured). Kuwait’s developed economy is largely due to the country’s large oil assets – the black gold accounts for almost all export earnings. Thanks to oil, Kuwait gets plenty of money to import both food and water, which are in short supply in the arid country. Residents pay no income tax.
- United Arab Emirates
GDP (PPP) per capita: 70 440 USD $
The United Arab Emirates is a federal state consisting of seven so-called emirate sheikhs, the most famous of which are Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The United Arab Emirates’ income comes mainly from oil, and surplus money from the oil industry pays for the country’s healthcare, education and defense. Thanks to this, for example, residents do not have to pay any income tax. The image shows skyscrapers rising from the sand during the latest construction boom in Dubai in 2008.
GDP (PPP) per capita: 79 640 USD $
Norway always ends up high on lists of which countries are best to live in, and it is not difficult to understand why. In addition to the country having abundant resources in oil, natural gas, forests and hydropower, Norway can also offer the Nordic region’s most affluent residents a magnificent and world-unique nature. However, the dwindling oil is a major future threat to Norway’s economy. The picture shows one of Norway’s all beautiful fjords – Fjærlandsfjorden, which is a branch of the well-visited Sognefjord.
GDP (PPP) per capita: 85 010 USD $
Brunei is the country you should live in if you hate paying taxes. In the small sultanate there is neither tax nor VAT, but the government still assists with free medical care and school. Brunei’s riches are mainly due to the country’s large assets of oil and natural gas, but investments from abroad also make the cash jingle. The picture shows Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan.
GDP (PPP) per capita: 86,990 USD $
Ireland’s economy has grown significantly over the last couple of decades, and now has one of the world’s highest GDP (PPP) per capita. However, the country’s economy is rather unbalanced and a large part of Ireland’s revenue belongs to large companies based outside the country, which means that Ireland’s high GDP (PPP) per capita is probably quite misleading.
GDP (PPP) per capita: 105,690 USD $
The small island state of Singapore is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, which is not so strange since almost the entire country is made up of the capital Singapore. Most of Singapore’s GDP is accounted for by the manufacturing industry, and the country specializes in first importing products, refining them and then exporting them. The picture shows Singapore’s famous statue of the Merlion, a mythical creature with a lion’s head and a fish body that serves as its mascot.
GDP (PPP) per capita: 112 040 USD $
Luxembourg is often listed along with Europe’s other small putt countries, but the state is actually much larger and more populous than, for example, Monaco, Andorra and Liechtenstein. Luxembourg has low unemployment and a steadily growing economy, mainly due to the country’s steel, chemicals, rubber and banking industries. In the capital of Luxembourg, which is also called Luxembourg, are several of the EU’s main buildings (pictured).
GDP (PPP) per capita: 138 910 USD $
The world’s richest country, like many other of the world’s richest countries, including its neighboring neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, has created its fortune on oil. Qatar has had a rapidly growing economy, which is largely due to the fact that oil prices have risen so much in the 2000s. In addition to oil, Qatar also exports natural gas abroad, but the country is currently trying to develop more technology-based companies in order not to become completely dependent on income from fossil fuels. There is no income tax in Qatar. The picture shows the capital Doha.
The small states of Liechtenstein and Monaco would end up high on the list of the world’s richest countries, but as they are not members of the International Monetary Fund, comparable data on the countries’ GDP per capita are lacking.
Both Macau (113,350 Int. $) and Hong Kong (66,530 Int. $) qualify for the list, but are counted as separate administrative regions and not as countries.
Taiwan would end up in 13th place (57,210 Int. $) if it was recognized as a separate country.
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