There are a lot of ways how you can predict how rich a country is and then compare it with other countries. One of the best and most frequently used methods is calculating the GDP per capita (it is the total value of services and goods produced by a nation during a whole year divided by its population).
It can easily show how rich the citizens are on an average basis. However, it does not take into account the difference in the cost of lifestyle and way of living in different parts of the world.
For accurate measurements, the economists often use GDP based on the Purchasing Power Parity, the alternative of GDP per capita. It helps calculate the total value of services and goods produced by a country in a year if they were sold at US Dollar prices. This system makes it easier for the economists to compare nations with differences in standard of living by measuring their GDP (PPP) per capita in terms of international dollars and then finding out the richest among them.
A strong economy often has a positive effect on the average life expectancy and the comfort in lifestyle of the citizens. However, it does have any influence on the satisfaction levels of the citizen or the level of their happiness. A ranking of happiness can easily show you that having more GDP will not guarantee happiness.
List of the Top 12 Richest countries in the world 2018
Table of Contents
- 12. Netherlands – $47,633 PPP per capita
- 11. Ireland – $48,755 PPP per capita
- 10. Saudi Arabia – $52,010 PPP per capita
- 9. The United States of America – $54,629 PPP per capita
- 8. Switzerland – $57,235 PPP per capita
- 7. The United Arab Emirates – $67,202 PPP per capita
- 6. Norway – $67,619 PPP per capita
- 5. Kuwait – $71,601 PPP per capita
- 4. Brunei – $80,335 PPP per capita
- 3. Singapore – $84,821 PPP per capita
- 2. Luxembourg- $94,167 PPP per capita
- 1. Qatar – $146,011 PPP per capita
12. Netherlands – $47,633 PPP per capita
With almost 17 million residents and a per capita GDP (PPP) of $47,633, Netherlands is a lot more than just a tulip country. It is one of the cleanest, crime-free, disciplined and cultural countries you will find. Its sources of success are basically three key sectors: Agriculture, Mining and Manufacturing. What most people don’t know about Netherlands is that it is actually a kingdom of four countries: Curacao, Aruba, Saint Maarten and the Netherlands. The Netherlands actually occupies almost 98% of the area in the Kingdom.
11. Ireland – $48,755 PPP per capita
The beautiful country of Ireland has a per capital income of $48,755 for a population of just under 5 million citizens. The chief industries which boost the country’s economy are mining, food production, textile and stable products in any economy. In the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) ranking, Ireland occupies the 4th overall position.
10. Saudi Arabia – $52,010 PPP per capita
Saudi Arabia is one of the richest and most prominent hubs of petroleum for the world. It has an oil-based economy with strong government control over major economic activities that enjoy high GDP. Its PPP per capita is $52,010 thanks to it possessing more than 18% of the world’s petroleum reserves and also being the largest exporter of petroleum. The petroleum sector is one of the primary reasons for all of the revenue and export earnings of the country.
9. The United States of America – $54,629 PPP per capita
It might be hard to believe, but U.S.A., one of the biggest and most powerful countries in the world is just the 9th richest country in the world. However, one of the main reasons for its 9th rank is that while most of the countries have relatively lesser population but U.S.A. has a huge population which makes this ranking quite special as even after a population of more than 310 million, they have managed to maintain a GDP (PPP) of $54,629. The chief reasons behind the success of this country include the technological sector, intellectual property sector, sector that fosters innovation and a large domestic automotive industry.
8. Switzerland – $57,235 PPP per capita
Switzerland is one of the most beautiful and a prime holiday destination. Its GDP (PPP) per capita is $57,235 which is really impressive. Swiss Banking as well as the financial institutions keeps the country and its economy afloat. A point worth noting is that most of the wealthiest people in the world and few of the biggest companies own Swiss bank accounts; this means always Switzerland has excess capital if they want to use any for investment purposes. Geneva and Zurich has been known as two of the most well-known cities in the world and have been ranked consistently among the best highest living standard cities in the world.
7. The United Arab Emirates – $67,202 PPP per capita
This Middle Eastern country also known as UAE has a population of more than 9 million people and a GDP per capita of $67,202. With a land area of more than 32,278 sq. miles, UAE can easily fit within the New York state of U.S.A (54,556 sq. miles) but its population is a bit more than New Jersey State of U.S.A which means even though the country has lesser population, yet their average income and production value is more. One-third of $67,674 per capita comes from service sectors, oil revenues and telecommunications.
6. Norway – $67,619 PPP per capita
This small nation which has a population of mere 4.97 million people has a GDP per capita of $67,619 which helps the people reap the benefits of small yet robust economy. Some of the major sources of economy of this country are natural resources, fishing and major petroleum exploration. Norway is the world’s eighth largest exporter crude oil, 3rd largest exporter of natural gas and the 9th largest exporter or refined oil. According to happiness rankings, Norway currently leads the ranking of happiest citizens.
5. Kuwait – $71,601 PPP per capita
Kuwait is a relatively small country in Western Asia with a relatively open economy. Its citizens enjoy a GDP (PPP) per capita of around $71,601. The Kuwaiti dinar is also famous worldwide for being the highest-valued currency unit in the world currently. Almost 10% of the world’s oil reserves are located here which makes petroleum account for nearly half of GDP of Kuwait while export revenues and government income make for the other half.
4. Brunei – $80,335 PPP per capita
Brunei is a tiny country located in the south-east Asia. It has a wealthy economy with a mixture of domestic and foreign entrepreneurship, welfare measures, government regulation and a village tradition that has led to the GDP (PPP) per capita of $80,335. Most of it is completely supported by exports of natural gas and crude oil. Like most other oil-rich countries in this list, the government here has shown progress in diversifying the economy away from just gas and oil.
3. Singapore – $84,821 PPP per capita
This amazing country has recently moved from the 5th position to the 3rd when it comes to GDP per capita. Its GDP (PPP) per capita is around $84,821 which is basically five times the average per capita income of an ordinary citizen in the world. The chief reasons for Singapore’s wealth are its chemical export industry, financial services sector and the liberal economic policies which encourage growth and innovation. Singapore also has the second busiest port in the world exporting more than $400 billion of goods per year.
2. Luxembourg- $94,167 PPP per capita
Luxembourg is a symbol of wealth and is placed number two in this list. It has a GDP (PPP) per capita of around $94,167 which is basically nine times the income of an average citizen around the world. The chief factors that contribute to the economy of this country are its vibrant financial sector, dynamic industrial and steel sector and prudent fiscal policies. Banking in this country is also the largest sector of the economy of this country with an asset base of more than $1.24 trillion alone.
1. Qatar – $146,011 PPP per capita
Qatar is undoubtedly the rich country in the world because of its mammoth GDP (PPP) per capita of $146,011. Qatar is known worldwide for its oil exploration industry where petroleum industries account for more than 70% of the government revenue, 60% of the GDP and more than 85% of its export earnings. Because of the massive wealth and economic success, Qatar was chosen as the host of 2022 FIFA World Cup which makes Qatar the first Arab nation to get the opportunity to host a football world cup.
So there they are, 12 of the richest countries 2018 in the world with the highest GDP (PPP) per capita. These countries are flourishing their trades through industrial work, tourism, and farming or even by natural reserves like natural gas, petroleum or crude oil. All of these help generate high revenues for the economy of respective countries which help them stay afloat and succeed.