Some countries are well-off. These are the countries that people want to live in, the ones known as the land of plenty, the ones where few – if any – people live in poverty. There are various ways to calculate the wealth of a country. Many economists agree, however, that in order to be considered a rich country, the general population should earn enough money to supply their own needs. This list of the richest countries takes into account various things, including expenditures and income, but it is mostly based on the gross domestic product per capita. The higher the GDP per capita, the richer the country is considered.
A small country located in the Middle East part of Asia, Kuwait has a population of only 2.8 million people. Despite this small population, their GDP per capita is an overwhelming $43,700. The majority of its economy is based on its wealth of petroleum, like many other countries in that area. For Kuwait, petroleum accounts for approximately half of its GDP. There has also been a recent spike in the number of small businesses and entrepreneurs in Kuwait, but the petroleum industry continues to dominate the economic sector of this country, which lands this country in tenth place for the richest countries in the world.
With an economy as diverse as its landscape, Switzerland lands at number nine in the list of the world’s richest countries. From manufacturing of fine watches to tourism to agriculture, the Swiss economy is by no means based on one thing, although manufacturing and the service industry arguably account for the two most important sources of revenue. It has long been considered a financially stable and rich European country, perhaps thanks to its well-known banking sector.
8. The United Arab Emirates
This Arab country consists of seven Emirates which are all independently ruled by their own monarchs. Like many Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates’ economy is based largely on oil. However, unlike many other Arab countries, its economy also consists of many other important sectors, such as the exportation of dates and dried fish. A few years ago the oil supply in the United Arab Emirates fell drastically, which spurred the people to explore more diverse economic ventures. Many of these ventures are still paying off today.
7. The United States of America
Largely considered one of the most powerful countries in the world, the United States of America ranks seventh in the list of the richest countries in the world. This is largely thanks to its exportation of various goods, such as weapons, technology, and several other products. The USA also exports services to boost its economy. In spite of political problems and natural disasters in the USA in recent years, it continues to be one of the world’s leading nations.
6. Brunei Darussalam
Brunei is located in Southeast Asia. This tiny nation is home to less than a half a million people. Approximately 90% of the nation’s GDP is composed of its petroleum exports. The other 10% is made up of various industries, such as village tradition and entrepreneurship. Brunei’s GDP per capita is an incredible $50,400, which makes it sixth in the list of the world’s richest countries.
5. Hong Kong
One of the most expensive cities in Asia, it is no wonder than the small nation of Hong Kong finds itself on this list. It is a top destination for people in the finance sector all over the world. Located in Southeast Asia on the coast of China, Hong Kong’s economy is consistently ranked as the freest economy in the world. The small nation has its own currency, which is one of the most widely traded currencies in the world.
This European country is home to 5 million people. It is widely considered to be one of the safest countries in the world. With an economy based largely on the energy industry, Norway finds itself in fourth place in the richest countries list. Norway has large shares in many energy forms, the most prominent of which is the oil industry. There are several oil reserves located in this nation. Norway also supplies hydroelectric power and a few other products, all of which help to boost its economy.
This small island nation in Southeast Asia consists of 63 islands and has an economy similar to that of Hong Kong. One of the prime examples of a laissez-faire economy, Singapore is often ranked as the nation with the second freest economy, right behind the aforementioned Hong Kong. With an economy that is incredibly business friendly, Singapore has a booming small business sector. The country has many top-ranked sources of revenue, including being the number one producer of oil rigs and having a booming casino and gambling industry.
The wealthiest European nation, the tiny nation of Luxembourg is nestled between Belgium, France, and Germany. It has incredibly low tax rates, which make it a popular home for wealthy individuals from all over the world. Numerous billionaires have decided to make Luxembourg their home due to these low tax rates. The economy of Luxembourg is dominated by the industrial sector. In the past, this was mostly limited to steel production, but in recent years it has expanded to include the production of rubber, chemicals, and other things. The telecommunications industry is also thriving in Luxembourg. Several internet-based companies are headquartered in Luxembourg, including Amazon and Skype.
The wealthiest country in the world is, without a doubt, Qatar. Its GDP per capita is an astounding $145,900. Located on a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, the economy of Qatar is based largely on oil exports. These exports account for approximately 85% of the small nation’s GDP. Other vital industries in Qatar’s economy include tourism and banking. Qatar has no income tax and its unemployment rate recently fell to 0.1%, making unemployment virtually non-existent. The oil found in Qatar accounts for about 13% of the world’s resource of oil. While the oil production in Qatar will not go on forever, the country has recently started to research renewable energy resources, which could help their nation to stay at the top of the richest countries in the world.