The Richest Countries In The World

By Antonia Čirjak on June 16 2020 in World

Doha City Center and Corniche street at sunset, Qatar.
Doha City Center and Corniche street at sunset, Qatar.
  • Previously, the economic indicator used to measure the richest countries was the gross domestic product (GDP). However, in recent times, most analysts switched to gross national income (GNI).
  • By using this metric, the richest country in the world in 2019 is Qatar, followed by Singapore and Luxembourg.
  • The GNI per capita in Norway is $70,530, and its economy shows no signs of slowing down. The country is known for its mixed economy, where it combines the free market with state ownership in several important sectors.
  • Dubai has been a symbol of wealth all over the world for some time now and is a popular tourist destination of the wealthy.
  • The United States sits on the ninth spot of the list, with the GNI per capita of $63,780. Seeing as how large the population of the country is, the fact that it can rank this high is quite impressive.

Measuring the richest countries in the world might seem like a daunting task, but it is just a matter of statistics. Since the financing world is based almost exclusively on statistics, it is not hard to gather data to determine this. However, in recent times one thing has changed.

Previously, the economic indicator used to measure the richest countries was the gross domestic product (GDP). However, in recent times, most analysts switched to gross national income (GNI), since it is considered to be the superior metric for the evaluation of the economic condition of a specific country. This list is created using GNI as the standard. GNI is defined as the total dollar value of everything that was produced by the citizens of a country, as well as their total income.

GNI also recognizes the income of a country that was generated overseas, which makes it superior to GDP. By using this metric, the richest country in the world in 2019 is Qatar, followed by Singapore and Luxembourg. Read on to find out what the top 10 looks like.

1. Qatar - $94,910 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

The skyline of Doha city center after sunset, Qatar
The skyline of Doha city center after sunset, Qatar
  • Country GDP (billions): $191.849
  • GDP growth (%): 1.5
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank):  0.15

With a GNI per capita (PPP) of $94,910, Qatar is the richest country in the world. There are several reasons why this is the case. The main reason is the fact that the country has an extremely well-developed oil industry, and petroleum makes up for the most significant part of its revenue. It is also their biggest export, and since we are aware of the importance of oil in today's economy, it is not hard to see how a country with an abundance of it can generate substantial profits.

Another important reason why this country consistently manages to secure the tops spot on this list is the fact that its population is small, only a bit over 2.7 million, meaning most of the people living in this country lead comfortable lives with high standards.

2. Singapore - $92,150 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

Landscape of Singapore business buildings around Marina bay.
Landscape of Singapore business buildings around Marina bay.
  • Country GDP (billions): $362.818
  • GDP growth (%): 3.1%
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank):  3.62

Singapore takes the second spot on the list with a GNI per capita (PPP) of $92,150. This microstate continues to improve its rank on this list, with several important sectors in its economy. First of all, we need to mention that the unemployment rates in Singapore are extremely low, especially considering the fact that it is a well-developed country. The country does not have a minimum wage, but that creates a problem of high-income inequalities. Still, it exceeds with a large foreign exchange center and as being the world's largest casino market. Naturally, oil is important, as well as its developed port system.

3. Luxembourg - $74,400 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

Luxembourg City, downtown city part Grund, scenic view with a bridge across the Alzette river.
Luxembourg City, downtown city part Grund, scenic view with a bridge across the Alzette river.
  • Country GDP (billions): $72.10
  • GDP growth (%): 2.3
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank):  5.41

For the third spot, we need to move the list to Europe, to Luxembourg to be exact, a country with a GNI per capita of $74,400. With a high level of innovation and low inflation, the country continues to prosper. It has a well-developed industrial sector, and its financial sector is considered to be one of the best in the world.

While its banking secrecy laws are known to raise a few eyebrows all over the world, the country has become known as a tax haven because of them, which certainly helped its economy. Largely thanks to that fact, banking is the biggest sector of the economy of Luxembourg.

4. Norway - $70,530 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

Breathtaking norway view of Sunnylvsfjorden fjord with cruise ship and famous Seven Sisters waterfalls, near Geiranger village in western Norway.
Breathtaking norway view of Sunnylvsfjorden fjord with cruise ship and famous Seven Sisters waterfalls, near Geiranger village in western Norway.
  • Country GDP (billions):  $417.627
  • GDP growth (%): 1.15%
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 3.97

This Scandinavian country is the fourth richest country in the world, but this also means that it takes the second place in Europe, which is no small task. The GNI per capita in Norway is $70,530, and its economy shows no signs of slowing down. The country is known for its mixed economy, where it combines the free market with state ownership in several important sectors.

The difference between wages between the lowest and the highest-paid workers in Norway is known to be extremely small. The sectors in which this country prospers are petroleum exploration, natural resources, and fishing, among others.

5. Switzerland - $70,140 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

Basel, Switzerland. Old town with red stone Munster cathedral on the Rhine river.
Basel, Switzerland. Old town with red stone Munster cathedral on the Rhine river.
  • Country GDP (billions): $715
  • GDP growth (%): 0.92
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 4.87

The country known for its chocolate and cheeses has the GNI per capita of $70,140. However, it is not thanks to those two products, but its well developed banking sector as well as other financial institutions. You have probably heard people mention Swiss bank accounts on numerous occasions, and for a good reason, many rich people keep their money in Switzerland. The economy of Switzerland is considered to be the most competitive in the world, and the country is believed to be extremely innovative.

6. Ireland - $68,060 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

Ancient old Fortress Ross Castle ruin with a lake, green grass and orange clouds in Ireland.
Ancient old Fortress Ross Castle ruin with a lake, green grass and orange clouds in Ireland.
  • Country GDP (billions): $381.30
  • GDP growth (%): 3.8
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 5.28

With a population of a little under 5 million, Ireland is another country that has a thriving economy, with the GNI per capita of $68,060. Since exiting recession in 2010, the country has seen tremendous economic growth. It is known as a country that constantly accepts workers from all over the world, thanks to its bustling economy. Still, we need to mention that a lot of the successful companies operating in the country are not actually based in Ireland, a large number of them hail from the United States.

7. United Arab Emirates - $67,870 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

Dubai city center skyline, United Arab Emirates.
Dubai city center skyline, United Arab Emirates.
  • Country GDP (billions):  $405.771
  • GDP growth (%): 1.7
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 2.64

One mention of the United Arab Emirates and two things probably come to mind for the majority of our readers: oil and Dubai. Naturally, oil is the main reason why this country has a GNI per capita of $67,870, with natural gas still being the largest part of its economy. Dubai has been a symbol of wealth all over the world for some time now and is a popular tourist destination of the wealthy. This made tourism an important economic sector for the country as well.

8. Hong Kong, SAR, China - $65,850 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

Famed skyline of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak.
Famed skyline of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak.
  • Country GDP (billions):  $372.989
  • GDP growth (%): 1.2
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 2.9

Hong Kong is a special administrative region, yet it is large enough to be included on this list. Its GNI per capita is $65,850, with a population of almost 8 million people. The country is known for its low taxation and well-established financial market. There is, however, a high level of disparity between the incomes of the richest and the poorest workers in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is known to export a large number of goods but still needs to import the majority of its food, thanks to almost no natural resources.

9. United States Of America - $63,780 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

Aerial view of the Manhattan skyline at sunset.
Aerial view of the Manhattan skyline at sunset.
  • Country GDP: $21.428 trillion
  • GDP growth (%): 2.3
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank): 3.6

The United States sits on the ninth spot of the list, with the GNI per capita of $63,780. Seeing as how large the population of the country is, the fact that it can rank this high is quite impressive. The country is one of the world leaders in technological innovation, and it has an extremely large private sector that constitutes almost 90% of the economy.

Interestingly, the United States' economy does not guarantee paid vacation to the workers, and paid leave is not considered a legal right, unlike in most other advanced countries. The automotive industry is one of the country's strong points, as well as its technological sector. The United States also imports many things, including large quantities of food.

10. Brunei Darussalam - $62,820 GNI Per Capita (PPP)

Beautiful mosque with golden dome and a ship monument.
Beautiful mosque with golden dome and a ship monument.
  • Country GDP (billions): $13.568
  • GDP growth (%): 3.87
  • Unemployment rate (%, World Bank):  9.25

Closing off the top ten, we have the Brunei Darussalam, with the GNI per capita of $62,820. Located on the island of Borneo, the main sector of the economy of this country is the oil industry. It makes up about 90% of the economy in Brunei. The income disparity in the country is extremely large, with some people earning much more than the GNI per capita, while others struggle to survive.

The Richest Countries In The World

RankCountry NameGNI per capita, PPP (current international $)
1Qatar94,910
2Singapore92,150
3Luxembourg74,400
4Norway70,530
5Switzerland70,140
6Ireland68,060
7United Arab Emirates67,870
8Hong Kong SAR, China65,850
9United States63,780
10Brunei Darussalam62,820
11Kuwait59,760
12Netherlands58,140
13Denmark57,980
14Austria56,720
15Germany55,980
16Iceland55,920
17Sweden54,640
18Belgium52,590
19Finland49,720
20Australia49,440
21Canada49,430
22Saudi Arabia49,200
23France47,490
24United Kingdom46,240
25Bahrain44,700
26Italy43,260
27Japan43,010
28Spain40,570
29New Zealand40,550
30Israel40,280
31Malta40,120
32Cyprus39,880
33Korea, Rep.39,630
34Czech Republic38,180
35Slovenia38,140
36Estonia35,340
37Lithuania34,680
38Bahamas, The34,370
39Portugal33,520
40Slovak Republic31,960
41Greece30,430
42Poland30,410
43Hungary30,310
44Latvia30,220
45Panama29,340
46Oman29,160
47Romania28,350
48Russian Federation27,840
49Turkey27,710

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