These Are the Richest Countries in the World
Of the almost 200 countries in the world, many generate billions, and even trillions, in revenue each year. But which one comes out on top as the richest country in the world? We looked at the data to find the top 15 richest countries and the richest country in the world per capita.
The ranking are based on the International Monetary Fund’s October 2017 data on GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity, which compares the currencies of countries in relation to the cost of goods and is used to weigh a country’s economy in relation to others, according to the IMF.
Many of the highest ranking countries, like Brunei and Qatar, have fuel and oil propelling their economies. However, GDP growth for what are often the richest countries have changed as the price of oil dropped in 2014. Investment and strong banking systems have also helped propel economic growth in other countries like Iceland and Ireland.
These are the richest countries in the world per capita.
15. Iceland ($52,150)
Tourism, exports and investment have driven Iceland’s GDP growth, according to the IMF. The IMF also predicts that the growth of the country’s tourism industry is also expected to be long-lasting.
14. Netherlands ($53,580)
The IMF noted in its 2016 staff report that the Netherlands has been going through an economic recovery, though Brexit may negatively affect the country’s economy. The Kingdom of the Netherlands, which includes Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten, has a population of just over 17 million, almost all of which are located in the Netherlands.
13. Saudi Arabia ($55,260)
Oil is a large driver for Saudi Arabia’s GDP. However, non-oil economic growth is expected to pick up in the country, according to the IMF. The nation of 32 million is also in the middle of its “Vision 2030” reform program, an economic plan to move the country’s economy away from depending on oil.
12. United States ($59,500)
According to the IMF, the U.S., which is home to more than 325 million people, is in the middle of its longest economic expansion since 1850. The 2016 IMF report also states that unemployment rates have remained low in the U.S. while growth driven by spending and investment have the country’s economy.
11. San Marino ($60,360)
The country of nearly 9 million is in recovery mode as rising employment rates and domestic and external demand helped lead to a growth in San Marino’s GDP after a recession, the IMF reports.
10. Hong Kong ($61,020)
Hong Kong’s growth rate slowed in 2016, according to the IMF, but it still stands as one of the richest countries in the world. A reduction in global trade and tourism from mainland China led to lower growth last year, the IMF said, but spending is expected to lead Hong Kong’s growth rate to pick up for 2017. The territory has a population of more than 7 million.
9. Switzerland ($61,360)
The country of 8 million people is recovering after its central bank lost $52 billion back in 2015. The IMF reported that Switzerland growth reached 1 1/2% in 2016. The country has also been implementing policies to help boost its economic recovery.
8. United Arab Emirates ($68,250)
The United Arab Emirates stands as one of the richest countries in the world, with an economy pushed by the oil market, according to the IMF. Lower oil prices and output led to a lack of growth for the country in 2016, according to the IMF, however, non-oil growth in the UAE, which has a population of just over 10 million, is expected to rise in 2017.
7. Kuwait ($69,670)
Kuwait, a country of more than 4 million people, bucked the trend of other oil-driven economies faced slower growth in 2016 because to a drop in oil prices and production, according to the IMF, largely because Kuwait saw growth in non-oil areas. And that non-oil growth is expected to continue growing, the IMF said.
6. Norway ($70,590)
The Scandinavian nation with over 5 million residents sits just outside of the top five richest countries in the world per capita. According to the IMF, the country was negatively affected by the the lower oil price over the last couple of years. Norway also saw its growth fall to its lowest since 2008 and 2009’s economic downturn, although the country was also able to lower its unemployment rate after its peak last summer.
5. Ireland ($72,630)
Ireland stands as a country with one of the highest growth rates in Europe helping it round out the top five richest countries in the world. Spending, investment and construction drove GDP growth in Ireland in 2016, the IMF reports.
4. Brunei ($76,740)
While Brunei’s GDP growth declined in 2016, the country actually faired better than expected, according to the IMF. The wealthy country, which is made up of just over 400,000 people, has seen success in adjusting to downturns in the oil market, despite it being a main export of Brunei. Nearly 90% of Brunei’s revenue came from oil and gas, in 2014 the latest figure from the IMF.
3. Singapore ($90,530)
Singapore remains one of the world’s richest countries and saw its real GDP grow by 2.7% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, the IMF reported. The city-state with a population of 5.6 million has been continuously growing since last year as the global electronics trades has rebounded. On a broader scale, IMF notes that Singapore’s economic growth has been limited mainly to its expert-oriented fields.
2. Luxembourg ($109,190)
Luxembourg, with a population of close to 600,000 ranks as the world’s second-richest country. The country possesses a strong workforce and its 2016 growth exceeded the European Union’s overall growth. However, the IMF notes that changing a changing landscape from Brexit and policy changes coming for the U.S. can create market instability.
1. Qatar ($124,930)
The small Middle Eastern country often ranks as one of the richest countries in the world per capita. Qatar’s population is approximately 2.27 million, giving it a total GDP of approximately $124,930 per person and making it the richest country in world as of 2017, according to the IMF. The country has grown despite facing lower prices for hydrocarbon, a major revenue source for Qatar, which is used for fuel. Qatar’s GDP growth is expected to continue through 2017.