Most countries in continental Europe are ranked as some of the world's richest nations. Europe's history features many innovations and civilizations, and it continues to dominate in areas such as technology, exports, industrialization, engineering, and services. The inhabitants of the rich European nations can afford a high standard of living thanks to the high GDP per capita.
The Richest Countries In Europe
Luxembourg prides itself on having a GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP) of 104,003 international dollars in 2016, the largest of any European nation. Luxembourg has been stable for decades, and good governance has facilitated its economic development. Its iron and steel sector represents 7% of its economy, and it is home to ArcelorMittal which is the world's largest steelmaker. Luxembourg has been keen on developing its technology and financial services industries in a move to diversify its economy. An estimated 155 banking companies have operations in the State, many of which are foreign-owned. Luxembourg enjoys an extremely high-speed communication infrastructure coupled with many data centers, which enables the country to provide enormous global connectivity to the international network. Government incentives, low corporate taxes, a favorable business environment, and a stable labor force all sustain the country's economic prosperity.
Norway boasts a GDP per capita based on PPP of 69,249 international dollars. Norway is highly endowed with natural gas, minerals, oil, fish, hydropower, and forests. The Norwegian government extensively regulates the nation's petroleum resources, and the sector accounts for 37% of the exports, 12% of GDP, 9% of the labor force, and 13% of the country's revenue. Norway has one of the world's lowest-income inequalities as its policies facilitate education and innovation, and it has been able to reduce poverty and ensure that the majority of the inhabitants have jobs. The country further sets aside a portion of petroleum state revenue in a sovereign wealth fund worth $900 billion making it the world's largest.
Ireland's GDP per capita at PPP is estimated at 69,231international dollars. The alcoholic beverage sector is one of Ireland's primary industries with a workforce of about 92,000. The pharmaceuticals, financial services, software, medical technologies, and aircraft leasing are some of the country's other major sectors. Ireland is among the top producers of lead and zinc in Europe which dominate its exports. More than 60 credit institutions are incorporated in the country. Ireland is recognized as one of the most profitable nations for US corporations in the world.
Another rich European nation is Switzerland with a GDP per capita on PPP of 59,561 international dollars. Switzerland is renowned for its high-end watches and clocks which are exported to countries in the Americas, Oceania, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Its exported watches in 2011 were valued at more than $20 billion. The country is home to Nestlé which is ranked as one of the biggest food companies in the world. Industries in the nation also produce roof coating chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals for construction and industrial use. Switzerland trades heavily with Germany, the US, Italy, France, and Austria.
San Marino's GDP per capita based on PPP is approximately 59,058 international dollars. Its economy features sectors such as electronics, wines, and spirits, wearing apparel, furniture, banking, and ceramics. The country further engages in the sale of collectible postage stamps to many philatelists. Cheeses and wine are San Marino's primary agricultural products. In 2011, San Marino's exports were valued at $3.827 billion compared to $2.551 billion in imports. San Marino has no national debt, and it possesses a state budget surplus.
Netherlands boasts a GDP per capita on PPP of 51,049 international dollars. Netherlands participates in NATO, Eurozone, the EU, and the Schengen Area. Of particular importance to the Dutch economy is the city of Rotterdam which hosts one of the world's busiest and largest port. The port serves not only the country but the rest of Europe as well. The majority of raw materials en-route to Germany pass by Rotterdam's port. The technological advancement of the Dutch food industries makes it the 2nd largest exporter of agricultural products such as flowers, cheese, pears, cucumbers, and apples. Dutch imports include cheap raw products which are channeled into its sophisticated industries to produce high-quality items for export.
Sweden's GDP per capita on PPP is approximately 49,836 international dollars. The Swedish economy is focused on exports with iron ore, timber, and hydropower constituting its main resources. Precision equipment, automobiles, iron and steel, chemical products, industrial machines, and home appliances are among the major Swedish industries. Sweden is also home to world-renowned companies including Dyno Nobel, Ericsson, AGA, and SKF. Private firms own about 90% of the companies and resources. Extensive welfare benefits and fairly high-income taxes facilitate income distribution. Since Sweden chose to remain neutral during WWII, its economy was not devastated like the other European states.
Iceland's GDP per capita is estimated at 49,136. The country enacted widespread free market reforms in the 1990s which initially proved successful. A financial crisis that lasted from 2007 to 2010 placed the nation in economic uncertainty that it had to acquire emergency funding from some European nations and the IMF. The country is currently on course to full recovery. Iceland has exploited its rich hydroelectric and geothermal energy sources to power its industries with the most important of these being aluminum smelting. Fisheries account for over 20% of Iceland's economy.
Germany’s GDP per capita at PPP is Europe’s 9th largest at 48,111 international dollars. The country's exports in 2016 were worth $1.33 trillion and included vehicles, basic metals, plastics, chemical goods, food products, electrical and transport equipment, and rubber. Germany boasts abundant copper, salt, potash, natural gas, timber, and nickel deposits. It hosts the headquarters of 53 of the 2,000 biggest publicly listed firms in the world such as Bayer, Volkswagen, Munich Re, Allianz, and BMW. The nation's unemployment rate is estimated at 5.6%.
Austria has the 10th largest GDP per capita based on PPP in Europe standing at 48,005 international dollars. Austria's service sector is the major contributor to its GDP. Austria has highly developed consulting and finance sectors where its banks and law firms are some of the top corporations in Europe. Tourism is another major pillar of the country's economy and winter ski resorts including Kitzbühel have been attracting guests from the US, Eastern Europe, and Russia. Austria trades heavily with EU states, and its exports range from metal goods, paper, and paperboard, textiles, automobiles, and parts, to foodstuffs.
High Quality of Life
Quality of Life is defined as the general well-being of people that outlines the positive and negative aspects of life. Quality of Life is not the same as Standard of Living which is primarily based on income. Quality of Life touches upon life satisfaction, which includes attributes such as physical health, education, religious belief, employment, wealth, environment, and finance. Quality of Life has a wider and broad range of contexts and are used in fields such as politics, healthcare, employment, and international development. Most of the European nations mentioned above ensure a high Quality of Life for their citizens.
The Richest Countries in Europe
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