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The Top Richest Countries in the World (2020)

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The richest countries in the world can be measured by GDP per capita (PPP). 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. Oil nations dominate the list, as well as a few surprises. Figures are from the most recent International Monetary Fund report.

As more wealth is created in the world, more of it is concentrated among the richest people in the richest countries. The combined gross domestic product of countries for which there is data adds up to $116.7 trillion. Nearly $93 trillion of that wealth is concentrated among just 25 countries.

GDP may be the standard method for gauging the size of a particular country or region’s economy, but it does not account for all of the wealth generated by that nation. A more accurate indicator of a country’s economic output is its gross national income or GNI. This measure captures all economic activity within a nation’s borders in addition to the wealth created by nationally-owned entities operating in other countries.

Top 10 Richest Countries in the World (2020)

Below are the top richest countries in the world:

1. Qatar – $132,890 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 191.85
  • GDP growth (%): 2
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 0.1

Qatar

Qatar is the richest country in the world in 2020, with a per capita GDP of $132,890. 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.

2. Luxembourg – $114,360 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 191.85
  • GDP growth (%): 2.6
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 5.4

Luxembourg

Luxembourg is the 2nd richest country in the world, with a per capita GDP PPP of $114,360. However, if you don’t factor in purchase power parity it ranks higher than Qatar. The backbone of this landlocked western European nation’s strong economy is its vibrant financial sector, prudent fiscal policies, and dynamic industrial and steel sectors. Banking in Luxembourg is the largest sector of its economy, with an asset base of over $1.24 trillion alone.

3. Singapore – $103,180 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 362.82
  • GDP growth (%): 0.5
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 3.6

Singapore

The microstate of Singapore has a per capita GDP PPP of over 103,000 US dollars, which makes it one of the world’s wealthiest places. 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.

4. Ireland – $83,400 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 384.94
  • GDP growth (%): 4.3
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 5.3

Ireland

The Emerald Isle has a per capita GDP PPP of $83,400, 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 places 4th overall.

5. Brunei – $80,380 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 12.46
  • GDP growth (%): 1.8
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 9.2

Brunei

Brunei is a tiny sultanate on the island of Borneo. It is among the world’s wealthiest countries, with a per capita GDP PPP of over 80,000 US dollars every year. The majority of the country’s wealth comes from the oil and gas industries. However, wealth inequality is widespread here, and the majority of the population does not make $80,000 per year in reality.

6. Norway – $76,680 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 417.63
  • GDP growth (%): 1.9
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 4.0

Norway

This Nordic nation’s per capita GDP of $76,680 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, the 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.

7. United Arab Emirates – $69,430 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 405.77
  • GDP growth (%): 1.6
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 2.6

United Arab Emirates

Dubai, the largest city in the desert country of the United Arab Emirates (as well as one of its seven Emirates). It is a symbol of wealth around the world. This reputation is well-earned, as the per capita income GDP PPP is nearly $70,000 in the country. Although natural gas still accounts for a large percentage of the country’s economy, it has been diversified over recent years to include things such as tourism, construction, and manufacturing.

8. Kuwait – $66,390 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 137.59
  • GDP growth (% annual): 0.6
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 2.2

Kuwait

Kuwait is a small country on the Arabian Peninsula. It has a relatively small population of 4.6 million. Like most countries in its geographical region, fossil fuels are the majority of the economy of Kuwait. Kuwait has a third of the world’s reserves of crude oil. Other industries in Kuwait include wealth-management and banking.

9. Switzerland – $66,200 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 715.36
  • GDP growth (%): 0.8
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 4.9

Switzerland

The GDP (PPP) per Swiss citizen is $66,200. 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.

10. United States – $65,110 GDP Per Capita (PPP)

  • Country GDP (billions): 21440
  • GDP growth (%): 2.4
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank):  3.9

United States

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 $62,606, considering its population of over 310 million people. The 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.

The 25 Richest Countries in the World (2020)

Below are the top 25 richest countries in the World (2020):

Rank Country GDP Per Capita (USD )
1 Qatar 132,890
2 Luxembourg 108,950
3 Singapore 103,180
4 Ireland 83,400
5 Brunei 80,380
6 Norway 76,680
7 United Arab Emirates 69,430
8 Kuwait 66,390
9 Switzerland 66,200
10 United States 65,110
11 San Marino 61,580
12 Netherlands 58,340
13 Iceland 56,070
14 Saudi Arabia 55,700
15 Sweden 54,630
16 Denmark 53,880
17 Germany 53,570
18 Austria 53,560
19 Australia 53,380
20 Bahrain 50,930
21 Canada 50,730
22 Belgium 49,530
23 Finland 47,970
24 Malta 47,410
25 Oman 47,220
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