The world can be a fine place going by the standards of living in some of the wealthiest countries on the planet. Contrary to perception, the size of the economy does not always reflect how rich a country is. The U.S being home to the biggest economy is not even close to being the wealthiest country in the world.
It is evident that the world’s wealthiest countries have small population sizes, which explains their high GDP per capita of over $100k. Similarly, the wealthiest countries in the world tend to be small city-states. Likewise, they boost high per capita GDP compared to countries with millions or even billions of people.
China, the U.S, and India are noticeably absent from the list as wealth is not evenly distributed. While the countries have some of the richest people, a majority are in the middle class or impoverished.
The richest countries in the world benefit from the small population and boast of robust financial sectors and friendly tax regimes that continue to attract investments. Some boost of large crucial natural reserves such as hydrocarbons and precious commodities in strong demand.
Switzerland occupies the tenth spot in the rich list with a gross domestic product per capita of $67.6k. For every 100,000 people in the country, there are about 9,000 billionaires underscoring how wealth is distributed.
The country accrues most of its wealth from robust banking, insurance, and tourism sector that act as a fuel of the economy. The country is also best known for exports such as pharmaceuticals, gems, precious metals and instruments, and machineries.
The home of 6% of the world’s total oil reserves affirms how Kuwait makes its way into the rich list. The oil business accounts for about 40% of the country’s GDP and 90% of exports. Likewise, the GDP per capita in the country stands at about $67.9k. A population of about 4.1 million also affirms why it is one of the richest.
United Arab Emirates
Until the oil discovery in the 1950, the United Emirates economy was highly dependent on agriculture, fishing, and trading pearls. The booming oil business has since transformed the country resulting in a cosmopolitan population enjoying considerable wealth.
A gross domestic product per capita of $70.4 k affirms its status in the seventh position. The economy is becoming increasingly diversified thanks to investments in trade and finance, and tourism that fuel wealth growth.
Just like most Arab countries, Norway accrues most of its wealth from the oil business thanks to large offshore reserves. Being Europe’s biggest exporter of black gold has allowed the country to profit a great deal from rising oil prices.
Likewise, the gross domestic product per capita stands at about $79.6k. In addition, the country has one of the lowest income inequality gaps worldwide, which affirms even distribution of wealth among the population.
In addition to a high GDP per capita, Norway is also home to the largest sovereign wealth fund, valued at about $1.2 trillion.
Brunei Darussalam is another country that accrues most of its wealth from natural reserves. The country boasts of immense oil and natural gas reserves. Petroleum exports account for more than 90% of the country’s export.
A small population of about 450,000 all but explains the high GDP per capita of 85k. Unlike in other countries, citizens in Brunei do not pay taxes.
Ireland is home to the fastest-growing economy in Europe. The island nation boasts of a GDP per capita of about $87k. While most countries accrue their wealth from natural resources, the country benefits mostly from foreign investments.
Ireland is one of the world’s largest corporate tax havens, with many international companies domiciled in the country. The small population of about 5 million people has also had a hand in the country being one of the richest.
With literally no natural resource, Singapore is one of the exciting success stories on the global scene. The island nation accrues its edge as one of the world’s richest countries on being one of the most business-friendly.
It has risen to become a trade, manufacturing, and financial hub, which explains the massive $105.7k GDP per capita. Being a shipping hub, the country is also an epicenter of international trade. It is a key player in the integrated circuits and microchips business.
Little known, Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of about 112k. Being one of the smallest countries in the world with a population of about 600,000 explains why it is one of the richest.
Likewise, the country generates most of its wealth from the export business, being a big exporter of machinery, iron, and plastics. The country boasts of some of the highest standards when it comes to housing, healthcare services, and education for its citizens.
The gambling hub of the world, Macao, is the second richest country in the world with a GDP per capita of about 113k. Since gaming was liberalized in the China special administrative region, wealth has continued to grow at an outstanding pace.
A population of about 600,000 people at the back of dozens of casinos that attracts millions of gamblers every year affirms the country’s rich status.
Qatar is the wealthiest country on earth, with a GDP per capita of $138. A population of about 2.8 million at the back of some of the largest oil and gas reserves all but affirms the country’s edge as one of the richest. The country is home to about 13% of the global oil reserves.
Oil and natural gas bring in tens of billions of dollars to the country, which has helped the government subsidize most services, conversely, the high living standards. In addition, the country boasts of the lowest unemployment rate in the world.