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Nov 13

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The World’s Richest Countries

The World’s Richest Countries

If wealth is power, then Qataris have some serious muscle to flex. The Persian Gulf emirate of 1.7 million people ranks as the world’s richest country per capita thanks to a rebound in oil prices and its massive natural gas reserves. Adjusted for purchasing power, Qatar booked an estimated gross domestic product per capita of more than $88,000 for 2010.

In Pictures: The World’s Richest Countries

#1 Qatar

Qatar has the third-largest reserves of natural gas in the world, and it has invested heavily in infrastructure to liquefy and export it, as well as to diversify its economy, without overreaching as much as nearby Dubai. Qatar has lured multinational financial firms to the country, as well as satellite campuses of U.S. universities. The government is pouring money into infrastructure, including a deepwater seaport, an airport and a railway network, all with an eye to making the country a better host for businesses and the 2022 World Cup.

 

 

To rank the world’s wealthiest countries, Forbes looked at GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power for 182 nations. We used International Monetary Fund data from 2010, the most recent available (GDP figures for some countries were projections). The PPP-adjusted GDP—preferred by economists when making international comparisons—takes into account the relative cost of living and inflation rates, rather than just exchange rates, which may distort real differences in worth.

“This is, essentially, the only way we have to compare GDPs across countries,” notes Gian Luca Clementi, an associate professor of economics at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. “It’s the most accepted data.” Still, he adds, “The numbers must be taken with a grain of salt.” That’s because there are a host of issues that can make any GDP comparisons misleading, including how the quality of goods varies from country to country, he explains.

“Also, in some countries, the wealth is equally distributed, while in others it’s very unequally distributed,” Clementi says. “In Qatar, for example, the way it’s distributed is very unequal, and much of the population is actually very poor. The GDP is high because of oil revenues. And, if I were to use the GDP as an indicator of how well a country will do in the future, in Qatar what will matter is how well they actually invest it.”

Like Qatar, many of the countries in the top 15 spots on our list rely on natural resources to fill their coffers. In Norway, which ranks fourth, petroleum accounts for nearly half of exports and is the main contributor to its PPP-adjusted GDP per capita of nearly $52,000; the country is also one of the world’s largest gas exporters. Brunei, meanwhile, located on the island of Borneo, reaps the benefits of extensive petroleum and natural gas fields and comes in at No. 5 with a PPP-adjusted per capita GDP of just over $48,000. And the United Arab Emirates looks to its oil and gas for about 25% of its GDP, which is nearly $47,500 per capita (PPP).

Other well-heeled countries benefiting at least in part from natural resources are Australia, ranking at No. 11; Canada, at No. 14; and Kuwait, at No. 15, which relies on its crude oil reserves for at least half of GDP, and almost all of its export revenues and government income.

So which countries are poorest? A trio of politically and economically fragile African nations: Burundi, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where GDPs (PPP) per capita are $400, $386 and $312, respectively.

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There are two standard methods of defining the richest countries in the world. One takes into account the economies that are the largest, as measured by total gross domestic product (GDP). However, the most commonly accepted definition of the wealthiest countries is to determine how rich the average resident of a country is. For this reason, the best method is to use GDP data per capita.

Moreover, using a PPP (purchasing power parity) basis is arguably more useful when comparing generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations. This is because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using just exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita wealth and when comparing economic strength between countries and living conditions or use of resources across countries.

The figures below include data and forecasts for the wealth of countries and regions for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Source: the IMF (unless otherwise specified).


Ranking Region Descriptor 2010 2009 2008
1 Euro area GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 32 388 31 970 33 081
2 Central and Eastern Europe GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 14 296 13 877 14 323
3 Commonwealth of Independent States GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 11 156 10 639 11 275
4 Western Hemisphere GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 11 022 10 654 10 858
5 World GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars  – Data from World Bank - 10 614 10 357
6 Latin America & Caribbean GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars  – Data from World Bank - 10 338 10 309
7 Middle East and North africa
GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 8 806 8 546 8 425
8 Emerging and developing economies GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 5 954 5 636 5 529
9 East Asia & Pacific GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars  – Data from World Bank - 5 948 5 399
10 Developing Asia GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 4 821 4 456 4 180
11 South Asia GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars  – Data from World Bank - 2 951 2 733
12 Sub-Saharan Africa GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars - 1 996 1 991
Ranking Country ___________________________

GDP (PPP) per capita per year
Current international dollars

2010 2009 2008
1 Qatar 90 149 83 841 84 350
2 Luxembourg 79 411 78 395 81 990
3 Norway 52 964 52 561 53 361
4 Singapore 52 840 50 523 51 846
5 Brunei Darussalam 48 714 49 110 49 750
6 United States 47 702 46 381 47 393
7 Hong Kong SAR 44 840 42 748 43 754
8 Switzerland 43 903 43 007 43 196
9 Netherlands  40 601  39 938  40 558
10 Australia 39 841 38 911 38 356
11 Austria 39 561 38 839 39 887
12 Canada 39 037 38 025 39 080
13 Ireland 39 009 39 468 42 110
14 Kuwait  38 984  38 304  39 941
15 Iceland  36 750 38 023 40 576
16 Sweden 36 503 35 965 37 334
17 Denmark 36 336 35 757 37 465
18 United Arab Emirates 36 176 36 537 37 442
19 Belgium 35 825 35 422 36 345
20 United Kingdom 35 083 34 619 36 233
21 Germany 34 905 34 212 35 539
22 France 34 250 33 679 34 204
23 Finland 34 044 33 556 36 128
24 Taiwan 33 831 31 834 32 175
25 Japan 33 478 32 608 33 957
26 Spain 29 649 29 689 30 815
27 Greece 29 420 29 882 30 189
28 South Korea   29 351 27 978 27 681
29 Italy 29 347 29 109 30 520
30 Israel 28 869 28 393 28 474
31 Slovenia 28 118 27 654 29 537
32 Cyprus 27 714 28 544 28 986
33 Bahrain 27 649 27 068 34 662
34 New Zealand 27 365 26 708 27 106
35 Bahamas, The  26 230 26 474 27 737
36 Oman 25 630 25 110 24 799
37 Czech Republic 24 833 24 093 25 061
38 Saudi Arabia 23 701 23 221 23 489
39 Malta 23 662 23 584 23 971
40 Slovak Republic 22 246 21 245 22 044
41 Portugal 22 027 21 859 22 251
42 Seychelles  21 298 20 411 21 874
43 Trinidad and Tobago 20 329 19 818 20 338
44 Hungary  18 730  18 567  19 522
45 Poland 18 706 18 072 17 556
46 Equatorial Guinea 18 372 18 600 17 958
47 Estonia  18 275 17 908 20 561
48 Barbados  18 110 18 131 18 977
49 Croatia 17 857 17 703 18 575
50 Antigua and Barbuda 17 462 17 893 19 153
51 Lithuania  16 481 16 542 19 090
52 Russia 15 738 14 920 15 941
53 Argentina  15 030 14 561 14 408
54 Lebanon  14 988 14 226 13 006
55 Gabon 14 971 14 318 14 562
56 Chile 14 940 14 341 14 592
57 Libya 14 884 14 328 14 192
58 Botswana  14 784 13 992 14 907
59 Malaysia 14 275 13 769 14 082
60 Mexico   14 151 13 628 14 528
61 Uruguay 13 961 13 163 12 688
62 Latvia 13 834 14 255 17 111
63 Belarus  13 135 12 737 12 313
64 St. Kitts and Nevis 13 124 13 429 14 320
65 Turkey 13 051 12 476 13 107
66 Mauritius 13 033 12 527 12 292
67 Panama  12 242 11 788 11 582
68 Romania 12 131 11 917 12 638
69 Bulgaria 12 067 11 900 12 322
70 Kazakhstan 12 044 11 693 11 434
71 Venezuela 11 727 12 201 12 717
72 Iran, Islamic Republic of 11 396 11 172 11 026
73 Brazil  11 066 10 514 10 512
74 Serbia 10 898 10 635 10 822
75 Grenada 10 872 10 712 11 464
76 Costa Rica 10 687 10 579 10 772
77 South Africa  10 466  10 244 10 442
78 Dominica 10 390 10 177 10 088
79 Montenegro  10 286 10 393 11 049
80 St. Lucia  10 269 10 178 10 710
81 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 10 085 9 977 10 121
82 Azerbaijan 9 810 9 564 8 717
83 Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of 9 390 9 171 9 154
84 Dominican Republic  9 139 8 896 8 619
85 Peru 9 108 8 638 8 595
86 Colombia  9 092 8 936 8 928
87 Suriname  8 948 8 642 8 429
88 Jamaica 8 771 8 777 8 968
89 Tunisia 8 559 8 254 8 002
90 Thailand 8 479 8 060 8 232
91 Ecuador  8 022 7 881 7 869
92 Belize 7 621 7 719 7 955
93 El Salvador  7 443 7 366 7 599
94 Bosnia and Herzegovina 7 428 7 361 7 550
95 Albania 7 342 7 164 6 921
96 China 7 240 6 567 5 999
97 Tonga  7 134 7 061 7 030
98 Algeria  7 124 6 869  6 753
99 Guyana  7 005 6 688 6 418
100 Namibia 6 717 6 614 6 639
101 Ukraine  6 651 6 339 7 342
102 Turkmenistan   6 627 5 971 5 757
103 Angola   6 401 6 117 6 252
104 Egypt   6 347 6 123 5 897
105 Kiribati  6 182 6 049 6 020
106 Swaziland 5 788 5 709 5 639
107 Jordan 5 759 5 620 5 529
108 Samoa 5 641 5 782 6 031
109 Bhutan  5 534 5 212 4 761
110 Maldives  5 098 4 894 4 988
111 Syrian Arab Republic 5 043 4 887 4 758
112 Armenia 5 040 4 966 5 792
113 Sri Lanka  5 026 4 769 4 589
114 Georgia  4 882 4 757 4 901
115 Guatemala  4 875 4 840 4 874
116 Vanuatu  4 826 4 737 4 650
117 Morocco  4 745 4 604 4 362
118 Paraguay  4 711 4 533 4 787
119 Bolivia 4 576 4 455 4 347
120 Congo, Republic of 4 549 4 146 3 919
121 Fiji   4 446 4 359 4 455
122 Indonesia 4 380 4 157 3 980
123 Honduras 4 175 4 151 4 269
124 Iraq 3 758 3 570 3 477
125 Cape Verde 3 720 3 588 3 472
126 Mongolia 3 703 3 481 3 549
127 Philippines 3 604 3 521 3 515
128 India 3 176 2 941 2 790
129 Vietnam 3 104 2 942 2 794
130 Uzbekistan 3 016 2 807 2 599
131 Moldova  2 937 2 843 3 000
132 Solomon Islands 2 854 2 819 2 928
133 Pakistan 2 713 2 661 2 624
134 Timor-Leste, Dem. Rep. of 2 677 2 522 2 368
135 Nicaragua 2 636 2 627 2 694
136 Yemen, Republic of 2 590 2 458 2 411
137 Djibouti 2 549 2 484 2 397
138 Sudan 2 465 2 380 2 309
139 Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2 401 2 266 2 121
140 Nigeria  2 358 2 249 2 162
141 Kyrgyz Republic 2 341 2 253 2 201
142 Papua New Guinea 2 302 2 167 2 095
143 Tajikistan  2 190 2 104 2 023
144 Cameroon 2 163 2 147 2 139
145 Mauritania 2 095 2 037 2 084
146 Cambodia 2 084 2 015 2 082
147 São Tomé and Principe 1 878 1 814 1 752
148 Kenya 1 782 1 730 1 703
149 Senegal 1 773 1 743 1 737
150 te d’Ivoire  1 685 1 674 1 643
151 Chad 1 653 1 612 1 659
152 Zambia  1 612 1 542 1 461
153 Ghana 1 591 1 551 1 518
154 Bangladesh 1 527 1 465 1 398
155 Tanzania 1 484 1 416 1 353
156 Gambia, The 1 480 1 438 1 395
157 Benin 1 460 1 445 1 429
158 Burkina Faso  1 341 1 304 1 278
159 Myanmar 1 244 1 197 1 151
160 Lesotho 1 241 1 218 1 209
161 Nepal 1 238 1 205 1 149
162 Uganda 1 227 1 196 1 143
163 Mali 1 214 1 173 1 135
164 Haiti 1 212 1 339 1 309
165 Rwanda  1 195 1 150 1 114
166 Comoros 1 161 1 160 1 157
167 Guinea-Bissau  1 081 1 068 1 048
168 Ethiopia  1 004 954 880
169 Afghanistan, Rep. of.  996 935 774
170 Guinea  996 991 1 014
171 Mozambique 981 934 885
172 Malawi 925 885 826
173 Madagascar  905 932 996
174 Togo   832 826 817
175 Sierra Leone 781 759 740
176 Central African Republic  764 745 738
177 Niger 733 719 739
178 Eritrea 676 680 669
179 Liberia  434 424 420
180 Burundi 410 400 390
181 Zimbabwe  365 355 337
182 Congo, Democratic Republic of 342 332 329

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Reference:

Global Finance &   Forbes

Permanent link to this article: http://www.mfanni.com/the-worlds-richest-countries/

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