Top 10 Richest Countries in the World: GDP is a monetary representation that shows the market value of goods and services produced in a country over a specific period, usually a year. GDP per capita represents a country’s GDP divided by its population at the time.
GDP is not an ideal metric to compare living standards in different countries or to compare how prosperous a country is because it does not reflect the cost of living and inflation rates across countries.
Gross Domestic Product is measured by taking into account the total exports, imports, investments, government expenditure etc. However, labour, which contributes to the difference in the standard of living and the final cost of goods, is not movable and may not represent GDP accurately.
To better analyze the top 10 richest countries in the world in 2022, GDP per capita is adjusted based on purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita, which considers differences in living standards between countries.
PPP is a more accurate measure of wealth distribution in different countries because it compares currencies in each country using the different costs of a basket of goods or food.
Top 10 Richest Countries in the World
- Norways’ GDP, PPP per capita = 63,287.6 USD
- Norways’ Population since 2020 = 5,379,475
A small country with about 5.3 million inhabitants, Norway is one of the richest countries due to its mixed economy and natural resources.
Norway is not a socialist state, yet maintains an extensive social security system and welfare program. The country has implemented policies that redistribute wealth to its population. So no wonder it ranked first in the 2021 OECD Better Life Index.
Norway also has the world’s largest Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), which is funded through export revenue from oil and gas. Besides oil and gas, Norway is the second largest fish exporter and has access to other vast mineral resources within its borders.
Norwegians enjoy a decent standard of living through their high GDP per capita, which is among the highest in the world.
9. The United States of America
- USA GDP, PPP per capita = 63,413.5 USD
- USA Population since 2020 = 329,484,123
Arguably the world’s largest superpower, the United States of America (USA) has the highest GDP in the world. America is the largest economy in the world; It is also the largest importer and surpasses China as the largest exporter of goods.
The USA came to dominate the world economy after victories from the Spanish–American War, World War I, and World War II. It later established itself after the dissolution of the Soviet Union after the Cold War.
The US economy is a free market that encourages an entrepreneurial spirit protected by a strong system of independent government institutions. The US state not only dominates the world’s total GDP but also accounts for 30% of the world’s total wealth, even though it accounts for only 4.2% of the world’s population.
The United States may rank as the 9th richest country globally, but critics argue that there is a wide disparity in race, income, universal health care, etc.
8. San Marino
- San Marino’s GDP, PPP per capita = 63,420.3 USD
- Population since 2020 = 33,938
San Marino is a country in Southern Europe and the oldest republic in the world. It is one of the smallest countries in Europe, covering an area of about 61 km.
It has seen economic growth over the years. The country’s economy depends heavily on tourism, banking, manufacturing and exports.
The economy also benefits from foreign investment due to lower corporate tax rates.
San Marino is a landlocked country but comes under the radar of the richest countries in the world. It is a very developed country with a high standard of living and per capita GDP compared to most European Union (EU) states.
San Marino is not a member state of the European Union but has a special arrangement to use the euro as its currency.
The high-income distribution in San Marino is reflected in the standard of living of the residents; San Marino is the only country in the world that has more cars than people.
7. Brunei Darussalam
- Brunei’s GDP, PPP per capita = 65,588.3 USD
- Brunei’s Population since 2020 = 437,483
Brunei is an Islamic country in Southeast Asia governed by an absolute monarchy. The economic trajectory of Brunei changed after its independence from the United Kingdom.
After its independence, its GDP grew by about 56% between 1999 and 2008. Brunei’s success story could not relate to its access to crude. Brunei is a net exporter of crude oil, contributing significantly to its GDP.
The Brunei government provides free education to its citizens. The policy is highly articulates with the country registering a literacy level of 97.2%. Brunei is ranks 47th globally in the Human Development Index’s 2020 report.
6. The United Arab Emirates
- United Arab Emirate’s GDP, PPP per capita = 66,746.6 USD
- Population since 2020 = 9,890,400
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula, is a West Asian country best known for its international hub, Dubai.
UAE has rich oil and natural gas reserves, and is one of the largest in the world; However, the country has diversified its economy to not depend too heavily on oil.
With its leverage on oil, natural gas, and strict government intervention, the UAE has more than tripled its GDP over the past 40 years.
As one of the richest countries in the world, the United Arab Emirates has seen an influx of migrants from Africa and other underdeveloped countries, making citizens a minority.
- Switzerland’s GDP, PPP per capita = 71,760.6 USD
- Population since 2020 = 8,636,896
Switzerland is the 5th richest country in the world. It is located in Europe but is not a member of the European Union or the Eurozone.
Some of Switzerland’s major cities, Zurich, Geneva and Basel, rank among the cities with the highest quality of life.
Known as the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland has maintained neutrality in recent wars and conflicts.
Switzerland has a stable and prosperous economy that has produced one of the largest GDPs per capita, making it one of the wealthiest countries in the world. In 2020, the Global Innovation Index ranked Switzerland as the most innovative country globally.
Switzerland has strong service sectors like banking, tourism, insurance etc. The country also has a developed manufacturing sector that produces and exports chemicals, pharmaceuticals, measuring and musical instruments.
- Qatar’s GDP, PPP per capita = 89,935.3 USD
- Qatar’s Population since 2020 = 2,881,060
Nearly fifty years ago, Qatar became the fourth richest country in the world from ground zero. After British rule, the country gained independence to become a sovereign nation in 1971.
And the West Asian country has the highest human development in the Arab world. Qatar’s progress in the list of the top 10 richest countries in the world is highly linked to the natural gas exploration in the country.
Qatar has the third largest natural gas reserves in the world. Qatari leaders used revenue from oil exports to create a higher standard of living for their citizens. This may explain why the government cannot pay USD 0 in income tax for citizens of Qatar; The wealthy country is also known to have one of the lowest tax rates in the world.
- Ireland’s GDP, PPP per capita = 95,237.2 USD
- Population since 2020 = 4,994,724
It also known as the Republic of Ireland, is an island located in Europe. Ireland has managed to convert its economy to an open market economy.
It has been named the best country for high-value foreign direct investment (FDI) at least six times in a row. Foreign multinationals are the drivers of Ireland’s economy due to government policies.
The Republic of Ireland implemented certain policies that made it possible for them to be among the top 10 richest countries in the world today. The country lowered its corporate tax from 32% to 12.5%, a policy that attracted corporations such as Amazon, Apple and other big tech companies.
In 2015, Fora reported that foreign corporations paid approximately 80% of Ireland’s corporate tax; The former is also responsible for employing about a quarter of the private labour market.
- Singapore’s GDP, PPP per capita = 98,483.3 USD
- Singapore’s Population = 5,685,807
Singapore was formed in 1816 by a Briton, Sir Stamford Raffles. The island country once served as a trading post of the dormant British Empire.
Singapore has no known natural resources but has nevertheless improved its economy to become one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
Singapore is a highly develops country and has received an AAA sovereign rating from all important sovereign rating agencies. The Asian economy, which prospered as a result of trade and other economic development, is also one of the four Asian tigers.
The developed market economy has attracted the attention of innovation, free trade and corporations around the world. Singapore is a prosperous country and in 2011 was home to the largest number of millionaires in the world.
- Luxembourg’s GDP, PPP per capita = 118,503.6 USD
- Luxembourg’s Population = 632,275
Although a landlocked country, Luxembourg has managed to become the richest country in the world with a per capita PPP value of $118,503.6. The small country is one of the major economies of the Eurozone.
Luxembourg was once a proud industrial state with its steel production in the 1960s. Since then the country has diversified its economy, with the banking sector being the richest.
Often marked as a tax haven, Luxembourg hosts some of the regional headquarters of major multinational countries such as Skype and Amazon.
Luxembourg has a stable economy, low inflation, and an unemployment rate. In 2010, Eurostat reported that the agricultural sector employed about 2.1% of the country’s population.
It is widely claimed that Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world due to the country’s tax revenues. A considerable percentage of Luxembourg’s tax revenue comes from people working in Luxembourg but residing in other EU countries.
FAQs on Top 10 Richest Countries in the World
Which country is the number 1 poor country?
With a combination of a per capita GNI of $906, a life expectancy of 60.4 years, and an average of 2 years of schooling (as opposed to an expected 5.4), Niger tops the United Nations Human Development Report as the world’s poorest country.
Why is Dubai so rich?
Free trade, low tax rates and zero income tax have made Dubai a popular business centre and a prosperous state. Dubai is also the gateway to the East and boasts of the world’s highest international passenger flow. It is a world-famous destination for all travellers including the rich and famous.
Is Britain a rich country?
With a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.83 trillion in 2019 and a population of over 66 million, the United Kingdom has the sixth largest economy after the US, China, Japan, Germany and India.