The following are the world’s wealthiest countries by Gross Domestic Product (at Purchasing Power Parity) per capita. Using the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) value of all final goods shows the true value of a dollar within a country in a given year.
All figures in this article are taken from the latest 2017 numbers according to the International Monetary Fund.
10. United States – $64,770
While most nations on the list have (relatively) small populations, it is impressive that the world’s largest economy, the United States, can maintain a per capita GDP (PPP) of $64,770, considering its population of over 310 million people. Reasons behind its success include its large domestic automotive industry, a technological sector that fosters innovation, and a system of democracy that protects entrepreneurial and intellectual property rights.
9. Switzerland – $65,741
The GDP (PPP) per Swiss citizen is $65,741. Swiss banking and financial institutions keep this country and its economy afloat. It is important to note that 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. Kuwait – $67,970
Kuwait hosts a small, relatively open economy and its citizens enjoy a per capita GDP (PPP) of $67,970. With nearly 10% of the world’s oil reserves, petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP and 95% of export revenues and government income. In recent years, Kuwait has done little to diversify its economy due to a very positive fiscal situation.
7. The United Arab Emirates – $70,570
This Middle Eastern federation of Emirates has a land area of about 32,278 sq. miles, which means it could easily fit within New York State (54,556 sq. miles). With a population of 9.2 million people, it’s a bit more populated than the state of New Jersey. Roughly one-third of the $70,570 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.
6. Norway – $76,740
This Nordic nation’s per capita GDP of $76,740 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. Norway also consistently ranks among the world’s best places to live.
5. Ireland – $82,440
The Emerald Isle has a per capita income of $82,440 with a population of about 4.8 million people. The main industries that boost its economy are textiles, mining, and food production – staple products in any economy. In OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) rankings, Ireland actually places 4th overall.
4. Brunei – $83,780
With a per capita income (PPP) of $83,780, Brunei ranks as the fourth richest county in the world. The tiny state in southeast Asia has a total area of 2,226 sq mi and a population of 417,200 as of July 2015. The county’s wealthy economy is supported by the petroleum sector. Brunei is the ninth-largest producer of liquified natural gas in the world as well as the third-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia. The government is working on diversifying the economy to rely less on petroleum revenue.
3. Singapore – $103,720
This tiny city-state has moved up from 5th position to take 3rd with per capita income (PPP) of $103,720, which is five times the average per capita income for an ordinary individual in the world. The basis ofSingapore’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 – 108,810
A symbol of wealth, Luxembourg takes second place with a per capita GDP (PPP) of $108,810. This is nine times the world average. The backbone of this strong economy is its vibrant financial sector, prudent fiscal policies, and dynamic industrial and steel sectors. Banking inLuxembourg is the largest sector of its economy with an asset base of over $1.24 trillion alone.
1. Qatar – $134,620
Qatar is the richest country in the world with a per capita income of $134,620. 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. Although the size of Qatar’s GDP is barely within the top 50 largest in the world, the country’s relatively low population of two million results in a large GDP per capita, where most residents of the country enjoy a very high standard of living.