Richest Countries

In the World based on GDP

Its always interesting looking into some of the richest countries in the world based on their Gross Domestic Product and their Purchasing Power Parity.

When defining the world’s richest countries, people tend to look at the strength of the respective economies in terms of Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. However, most economists nowadays take into account the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of a country.

With PPP, the actual value of income is reflected in the power that income has to purchase basic goods and services. Interestingly, most of the richest nations are all very small countries, and have made a huge impact on the global economy.

Below are 13 of the richest countries on the planet.

13. Austria - $50,07 GDP (PPP)

The alpine nation of Austria has a population of about 8.7 million people with a healthy per capita income of $50,078, which is about four times higher than the per capita income for the average person globally.

Its robust service sector and its proximity to Germany provide a ready market for its steel, iron and agricultural products. The Capital city, Vienna is the fifth richest metropolis in Europe behind Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, and Brussels.

12. Netherlands - $50,898 GDP (PPP)

The Netherlands has 16.8 million people, with a per capita GDP of $50,898. But the Dutch are more than just a tulip country. Its success comes from three key sectors: mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Many people do not know that the Netherlands is actually a kingdom of four countries: Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and Sint Maarten, but the Netherlands makes up 98% of the total land area in the Kingdom.

11. Saudi Arabia - $54,431 GDP (PPP)

Saudi Arabia is one of many oil-based economies with strong government control over major economic activities that enjoy a GDP (PPP) per capita of $54,431. It possesses 18% of the world's proven petroleum reserves and the largest exporter of petroleum. It played a leading role in OPEC for many years.

The petroleum sector accounts for almost all of Saudi government revenues and export earnings. But its per capita income is much smaller than its smaller Persian Gulf neighbors.

10. The United States - $57,467 GDP (PPP)

The United States remains the world's largest economy, in terms of per capita GDP (PPP) of $57,467, considering its population of over 310 million people. Reasons behind its success include its large domestic automotive industry, technological sector that foster innovation, and a system of democracy that protects entrepreneurial and intellectual property rights.

9. Switzerland - $62,882 GDP (PPP)

Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country with a GDP (PPP) per Swiss citizen of $62,882. Swiss banking and financial institutions keep this country and its economy afloat. Some of the wealthiest people and companies in the world own Swiss bank accounts and therefore Switzerland has excess capital to use for investment purposes.

Zurich and Geneva, Switzerland's most well-known cities, have consistently ranked among the top ten worldwide in terms of standards of living.

8. Norway - $64,856 GDP (PPP)

Norway, is a Scandinavian country with per capita GDP of $64,856 allows its 4.97 million people to reap the benefits of a small yet robust economy. Driven by fishing, natural resources, and major petroleum exploration, Norway is the eighth largest exporter of crude oil, 9th largest exporter of refined oil, and 3rd largest exporter of natural gas in the world.

7. Ireland - $68,883 GDP (PPP)

The Emerald Isle of Ireland has a per capita income of about $68,883 with a population of about 4.8 million people. The main industries that boost its economy are textiles, mining, and food proctuon - staple products in any economy. In OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) rankings, Ireland actually places 4th overall.

6. United Arab Emirates - $72,419 GDP (PPP)

The United Arab Emirates is an Arabian Peninsula nation that was formed from seven sheikhdoms. With a population of 9.2 million people, it's a bit more populated than the state of New Jersey. A third of the $72,419 per capita economy comes from oil revenues, while the service sector and telecommunications also contribute significantly. The UAE is the second largest economy in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia.

5. Kuwait - $73,246 GDP (PPP)

The small Arab country of Kuwait, has a relatively open economy with a per capita GDP (PPP) of $73,246. The highest valued currency unit in the world, currently is the Kuwaiti dinar. Almost 10% of global oil reserves originate in Kuwait. With such a large oil supply, petroleum generates approximately half of the country’s GDP and 95% of export revenues and government income comes from oil.

4. Brunei - $77,441 GDP (PPP)

Brunei, is a small country with a wealthy economy that is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation and welfare measures, and village tradition has led to GDP per capita (PPP) of $77,441.

It is almost completely supported by exports of crude oil and natural gas. Like other oil countries in the list the government has shown progress in diversifying the economy away from just oil and gas.

3. Singapore - $87,856 GDP (PPP)

Singapore, the tiny city-state has per capita income (PPP) of $87,856, which is five times the average per capita income for an ordinary individual in the world. It is also one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.

The basis of Singapore's wealth is its financial services sector, a chemical export industry, and its liberal economic policies that encourage growth and innovation. Singapore has the second busiest port in the world, exporting $414 billion of goods in 2011 alone.

2. Luxembourg - $105,882 GDP (PPP)

The tiny European country of Luxembourg is the second-richest nation with a per capita GDP (PPP) of $105,882, which is nine times the world average. The backbone of its strong economy is its vibrant financial sector, prudent fiscal policies, diversified of industries and steel sectors such as banking, steel, telecommunications and tourism. Banking in Luxembourg is the largest sector of its economy with an asset base of over $1.24 trillion alone.

1. Qatar - $127,523 GDP (PPP)

Qatar an Arab country, is the world’s richest country with a high GDP (PPP) per capita of $127,523. Qatar has a well-developed oil exploration industry where the petroleum industry accounts for 70% of its government revenue, 60% of its GDP and 85% of its export earnings.

Because of Qatar's wealth and economic success, it will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first Arab nation to ever hold this role. However, Qatar is also the most controversial country on the list for its use of forced labour from nations throughout Asia and parts of Africa.

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