The top ten countries with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita have quite a few unexpected candidates. GDP is indicative of a nation’s goods and services production figures in a year. It is a number that reflects the health of a nation’s economy. It is influenced by a number of factors like the country’s labor force, economic agents, capital resources employed for the production and exchange of the goods and services.
Another important factor that affects a nation’s growth is its natural resources. Most of the nations on this list have a high gross domestic income predominantly because of their natural resources. Here is a list of the top ten countries with the highest per capita income and the richest people in the world:
5. United Arab Emirates
7. United States
9. Equatorial Guinea
One of the eight smallest countries in the world, Luxembourg has a per capita income of $80,800. This makes it the country with the richest people in the world. Luxembourg is 50 miles long and about 30 miles wide at its broadest point, and has a small population of about 500,000. This affluent European country is located between France and Germany, and has a constitutional monarchy. Luxembourg is a stable economy that has been growing consistently. Low levels of inflation and unemployment are two key reasons for this country’s economic stability.
With a per capita gross domestic product of $75,900, Qatar is the second country with the wealthiest people in the world. Over the last 7 years, the country has maintained its economic growth despite the worldwide economic crisis. This was because authorities of the Qatar government continued to make direct investments into local banks even during the crisis to ensure that the nation’s economy stayed protected.
Qatar’s oil and gas resources have contributed to making it the second fastest growing economy in the world. This nation’s oil reserves and current output levels indicate that Qatar can continue output at the same rate for the next 37 years. To ensure that the nation has a stable financial growth in the future, Qatar’s government has developed economic policies focusing on the development of its reserves of non associated natural gas. They are also paying attention to the growth of Qatar’s private and foreign investment in sectors independent of energy.
Norway is the third country with the richest people in the world with a gross domestic product of $55,600 per capita. As Norway follows welfare capitalism that has government intervention tempered with the concept of free market activity, the nation is experiencing economic stability. By way of large- scale majority-state ownership enterprises, the government of Norway has maintained control over some of its key sectors like petroleum.
This fuel sector is a huge contributor to the Norwegian economy as it accounts for over 30% of its revenue and nearly half its exports. Norway is also richly gifted with other natural resources like hydropower, forests and minerals. This wealthy nation is not a part of the European Union, but as a member of the European Economic Area, it contributes substantial amounts to the European Union’s budget.
Kuwait is a nation with a per capita gross domestic product of $55,300 and is considered one of the top free economies in the Middle East. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the region. The nation is spread over a small geographical area, yet it is a wealthy and considerably open economy. With around 102 billion barrels of crude oil reserves (as reported by the nation), Kuwait accounts for approximately 9% of the world’s reserves.
More than 90% of Kuwait’s government income and export revenues stem from the nation’s petroleum reserves. It is also responsible for nearly half of Kuwait’s GDP. In 2009, the Kuwait government proposed a plan according to which nearly $140 billion will be spent on steering the country’s economic dependence away from its oil reserves. The government aims to accomplish this in five years by attracting investment and propelling the private sector’s participation in the economy.
The United Arab Emirates has a $55,200 per capita income. This nation has an open economy and an enormous annual trade surplus. UAE has succeeded in diversifying its economy, because of which it has been able to bring down the percentage of GDP coming from gas and oil output to 25%.
The nation has witnessed an incredible rate of growth in terms of its lifestyle and standard of living ever since the discovery of its oil reserves over 30 years ago. The government is involved in expanding its infrastructure and creating more jobs for its people. They are also developing better and more utilities to help enhance private sector involvement.
Singapore has a per capita gross domestic product of $48,900, which places it on the sixth spot of this list of the most affluent countries in the world. The nation is well developed and successful as a free market economy. Singapore has a relatively open and corruption free government, which enables the nation to have stable prices and a considerably high per capita income.
This country relies enormously on its exports of consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals and information technology products. Its growing financial services sector is another area that contributes to this Asian nation’s economic growth.
The United States is the seventh in the list of nations with the richest people in the world. It is considered to be home to as many billionaires as there are in the rest of the world. The US is the most technologically advanced country in the world and has a per capita income of $46,000. The nation follows a free market economy in which corporate and individuals make most decisions.
The state and federal governments also purchase goods and services from the private marketplace. Companies and business firms in the United States have more flexibility in terms of carrying out firm expansions, laying off surplus employees and in developing new products. This freedom allows companies to diversify, expand and grow successfully.
Another small country in the list is Ireland, with a per capita gross domestic product of $45,600. The nation’s economy is largely dependent on its trade and export to overseas multinationals. This nation’s economic growth has recently been fuelled by the advancement of its construction sector and property markets. In addition to this, extensive consumer spending and business investment have helped Ireland’s economy grow.
Equatorial Guinea, an African nation has a per capita gross domestic product of $44,100, which places it among the top ten richest countries. Recent discovery and exploitation of enormous oil reserves in this nation has led to extensive economic growth in Equatorial Guinea. The nation’s GDP also comprises of earnings from forestry, fishing and farming businesses. Equatorial Guinea has natural resources like titanium, iron ore, alluvial gold, uranium and manganese, which are still undeveloped. These resources hold potential for the nation’s economic growth in the future too.
Switzerland has a gross domestic product of 39,800 per capita, which is a result of the nation being a modern market with high employment rate and a highly skilled labor force. This nation has an extremely well developed service sector, and financial services contribute to its GDP in a big way. Switzerland is one of the few nations on this list whose prosperity and economic growth is fuelled by knowledge based, high technology manufacturing industry.