North America has over 600 million people living in 23 sovereign states and 15 independent territories. The United States and Canada are the most developed nations of North America while Caribbean countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Puerto Rico and Mexico are less developed in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Here is a rundown of the wealthiest countries in North America, ranked according to their GDP (PPP) per capita.
The Richest Countries in North America
The United States
The United States of America has a GDP per capita of $57,436 making it the world's biggest national economy and the seventh wealthiest nation on the planet. At about, $17.295 trillion, its ostensible GDP is roughly one-fourth of nominal world GDP. The US has an entrepreneurial oriented economy which is driven by natural resources. Buyers’ spending constitutes about 71 percent of the country's economy.
Canada is the second-richest country in North America after the United States. The economy of Canada is driven by the dominant service industry which employs about three-quarters of Canadians. Together with natural resources such as oil and logging, Canada’s economy thrives at a GDP of $46,437 per capita. This makes it the 17th richest nation in the world. The seafood and commercial fishing industries are also strong pillars of the economy.
Puerto Rico has a high-income economy and one of the most competitive. Over the past two decades, the economy of Puerto Rico has shifted from labor focused agriculture to manufacturing and industry. This shift has led to rapid economic growth coupled with favorable working conditions for foreign investors from the United States. Puerto Rico has a GDP per capita of $38,393 which makes it the third richest in North America.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago is a twin-island nation found in the Caribbean region. It one of the wealthiest countries in the region, with about 40% of the GDP fueled by the petroleum industry. The recent economic growth has been greatly driven by the diversification of economic products such as steel, liquefied natural gas, and petrochemicals.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
The country’s economy is heavily reliant on growing and processing of sugar cane among other subsistence products. However, a recent change in the orientation of the economy to tourism, manufacturing and offshore banking have seen a resurgence of the economy. Today, the GDP of Saint Kitts and Nevis stands at $25,940 which is among the five best in North America.
Antigua and Barbuda
The economy of Antigua and Barbuda is service based with more than half of all employment being in the services industry and tourism. This accounts for about 60% of the country’s GDP. Tourism is the nerve-center of Antigua and Barbuda’s economy and continues to thrive owing to a large investment from the government.
The Bahamas is a country well-known for its thriving tourism and hospitality industries. It is one of the most prosperous nations in North America in terms of GDP. The island nation relies heavily on tourism to generate income with its numerous attraction sites such as Thunderball Grotto, Grand Bahama, and Paradise Island. Aside from tourism, the financial services sector is also a great contributor to the overall economic growth.
The economy of Panama is driven by the service industry. It is also a free dollarized market that has recorded one of the lowest inflation rates in the past two decades. The economy leans heavily towards tourism, commerce, and banking. The agricultural sector is also a vital pillar of the economy with products such as coffee, rice and sugar cane accounting for 7.4% of the GDP.
Mexico has the 15th largest economy in the world in nominal terms and the 11th largest in terms of purchasing power parity. It is the ninth richest nation in North America with a GDP of $ 18,938 per capita. Mexico has a mixed economy where both private and state-owned companies operate and invest. Nearly 62% of the country’s employed workforce is found in the service industry while 13% works in the agricultural sector. About 24% of employed individuals work in industries.
Barbados makes the top ten list of the richest countries in North America. This island nation thrives on a mixed economy and has a moderately high standard of living for its citizens. It has the third largest stock exchange among the Caribbean nations.
The Importance of the Service Sector in Determining GDP
In conclusion, North America has a multifaceted economic system whereby, the United States, Canada, and Mexico have the most significant influence due to their economic power or population size. The United States is the most technologically oriented economy-76% of the GDP comprises the service sector- of North America while most other countries have service-based economies.
The Richest Countries in North America
|Rank||Country||GDP Per Capita|
|4||Trinidad and Tobago||31,870|
|5||Saint Kitts and Nevis||25,940|
|6||Antigua and Barbuda||25,157|
|15||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||11,271|