Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the total market value of all goods and services produced in a country in a year. These estimates are made every year by international financial organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. While the GDP (PPP) is a good indicator of a country’s wealth, calculations based on nominal GDP often tend to overlook the cost of living in each country. The GDP per capita, however, is not precisely a measure of personal income.
International financial services, tourism, petroleum and natural gas exports, electronic goods manufacturing, facilitating international trade (as in the case of Singapore) and a flourishing service sector, are the keystones behind the economic success of these nations.
Here are the top richest countries in the world according to 2018 GDP per capita index:
1. Qatar – $126,597.6
Qatar tops the list owing to the oil industry, which is considered the mainstay of Qatar’s economy. It is striking to note that the petroleum industry contributes over 62% towards the government revenue, approximately 92% towards export earnings, and over 60% towards GDP.
2. Macao SAR (Macau) – $122,434.8
More than 50% share of GDP and 70% of national revenue comes from gaming, tourism and hospitality industry. A small population and area, a tax haven, and a port with no foreign exchange control regimes place Macau among the world’s richest regions.
3. Luxembourg – $111,908
The cornerstone of Luxembourg’s powerful economy is its exuberant financial sector, with bank holdings almost 20 times its GDP size. Its proximity to Belgium, France, and Germany is also a crucial factor for the prosperity and economic growth of the nation.
4. Singapore – $101,352.6
Singapore, a self-governing city-state of Southeast Asia, is the third richest country in the world. It has per capita GDP of $90,500 and is one of the world’s leading centers for commerce. Moreover, the country has the world’s second-busiest port.
5. Ireland – $84,069.4
Ireland is placed at the sixth spot on the list. The Republic of Ireland withstood the impact of Brexit in 2016. When it comes to employment opportunities, salary structure, living standards, and social inclusion, the country is better than other EU members like France and Germany.
6. Brunei – $80,777.6
Brunei has extraordinary wealth owing to its extensive natural gas and oil reserves that contribute more than 70% towards the nation’s economy. Moreover, the country seeks to encourage more and more investment, becoming self-sufficient in the food sector, and observing high standards of administration in both the private and public sectors.
7. United Arab Emirates – $74,942.7
The UAE has an open economy and a high per capita income. It is the world’s third-largest exporter of crude oil. It is proven to have the world’s fifth-largest natural gas reserves. Oil exports account for about 25 per cent of the UAE’s gross domestic product.
8. Kuwait- $73,704.6
Having large-scale reserves of natural gas, petroleum, minerals, seafood, and freshwater, Norway is the third biggest exporter of natural gas. It is also known to export oil extensively. The country ranks among the highest in standards of living and life expectancy.
9. Switzerland – $68,943.4
A high-income country located in the heart of Europe, Switzerland managed to retain its independence in the two World Wars, despite being in close proximity of Axis and Allied powers. Its stable and high-tech economy is famous for watch production and top-end brands such as Omega; big pharmaceutical and FMCG companies such as Novartis, La Roche and Nestle; and banks and financial services group like Credit Suisse and UBS AG.
10. Hong Kong SAR, China- $64,487.6
Hong Kong SAR, China, is the tenth richest economy in the world. Comprising of a stable mixed market service-oriented economy, Hong Kong is among the few nations with a highly developed public transport network of mass transit railway, ferries and buses. Financial services, tourism, industry and shipping, are the main drivers of the economy.
Source: cia.gov and World Bank
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