To rank the world’s richest and poorest countries for 2016, we consider GDP per capita, adjusted for relative purchasing power.

Author: Jonathan Gregson
Project Coordinator: Edith Updike
A gargoyle looms over Paris. France has known great poverty and great wealth in her history.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A NATION TO BE RICH? 

What do we mean when we apply terms like “richest” and “poorest” to entire countries? If one simply considers gross domestic product (GDP)—the total value of goods and services produced within each nation—then the richest five countries in the world are, in order, the United States, China, Germany, Japan and the UK. Yet those rankings don’t tell us much about relative living conditions.

Similarly, the poorest five are, in order, Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. These countries yield little in annual production largely because they are so very very small—no more than dots in the Pacific Ocean on a world map. Again, aggregate numbers don’t tell us much about living conditions. 

A more accurate picture of living conditions begins with dividing the total production by the number of people, to look at GDP per capita. Per capita GDP tells a little more about how much wealth might be available to each individual person. Still, what about currency fluctuations? Or the varying cost of necessary items such as food, clothing and shelter? To know whether a country’s citizens are wealthy, we want to understand how much they are able to buy. Thus, a final adjustment factors in purchasing power.

Our tables of the World's Richest and Poorest Countries for 2016 use IMF data for per capita GDP, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). GDP-PPP makes for a better comparison of living standards, because PPP takes into account cost of living and inflation rates, rather than just exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income. This is the measure most economists prefer for comparing living conditions and economic strength across countries.

Values are expressed in current international dollars, to the nearest whole dollar, reflecting a single year's (2016) currency exchange rates and PPP adjustments.

Ranking

Country

2016 International Dollars

1
Qatar
129,726
2
Luxembourg
101,936
3
Macao
96,147
4
Singapore
87,082
5
Brunei Darussalam
79,710
6
Kuwait
71,263
7
Ireland
69,374
8
Norway
69,296
9
United Arab Emirates
67,696
10
San Marino
64,443
11
Switzerland
59,375
12
Hong Kong
58,094
13
United States
57,293
14
Saudi Arabia
54,078
15
Netherlands
50,846
16
Bahrain
50,302
17
Sweden
49,678
18
Australia
48,806
19
Germany
48,189
20
Iceland
48,070
21
Austria
47,856
22
Taiwan
47,790
23
Denmark
46,602
24
Canada
46,239
25
Belgium
44,881
26
Oman
43,737
27
United Kingdom
42,513
28
France
42,384
29
Finland
41,812
30
Japan
38,893
31
Equatorial Guinea
38,699
32
Korea
37,947
33
Malta
37,891
34
Puerto Rico
37,722
35
New Zealand
37,108
36
Spain
36,451
37
Italy
36,313
38
Israel
34,833
39
Cyprus
34,386
40
Czech Republic
33,223
41
Slovenia
32,027
42
Trinidad and Tobago
31,933
43
Slovak Republic
31,182
44
Lithuania
29,881
45
Estonia
29,501
46
Portugal
28,515
47
Seychelles
28,148
48
Poland
27,714
49
Malaysia
27,234
50
Hungary
27,210
51
Greece
26,809
52
Russia
26,109
53
Latvia
25,740
54
Kazakhstan
25,669
55
St. Kitts and Nevis
25,371
56
The Bahamas
24,617
57
Antigua and Barbuda
24,050
58
Chile
23,969
59
Panama
22,788
60
Croatia
22,415
61
Romania
22,319
62
Uruguay
21,570
63
Turkey
21,146
64
Mauritius
20,524
65
Argentina
20,170
66
Bulgaria
20,116
67
Gabon
19,252
68
Mexico
18,864
69
Lebanon
18,524
70
Iran
18,135
71
Azerbaijan
17,688
72
Belarus
17,496
73
Turkmenistan
17,347
74
Barbados
17,136
75
Montenegro
17,035
76
Botswana
16,947
77
Thailand
16,835
78
Iraq
16,543
79
Costa Rica
16,141
80
Dominican Republic
15,945
81
China
15,423
82
Maldives
15,287
83
Palau
15,260
84
Brazil
15,211
85
Suriname
15,179
86
Venezuela
15,102
87
Algeria
14,949
88
Macedonia
14,530
89
Libya
14,236
90
Serbia
14,226
91
Colombia
14,161
92
Grenada
14,102
93
South Africa
13,179
94
Peru
13,018
95
Mongolia
12,161
96
Egypt
12,137
97
St. Lucia
11,970
98
Albania
11,860
99
Namibia
11,756
100
Indonesia
11,699
101
Tunisia
11,656
102
Dominica
11,484
103
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
11,266
104
Sri Lanka
11,189
105
Jordan
11,124
106
Ecuador
11,036
107
Bosnia and Herzegovina
11,034
108
Georgia
10,099
109
Swaziland
9,768
110
Paraguay
9,353
111
Fiji
9,353
112
Jamaica
8,973
113
El Salvador
8,914
114
Armenia
8,881
115
Morocco
8,359
116
Ukraine
8,229
117
Belize
8,185
118
Bhutan
8,129
119
Guatemala
7,937
120
Guyana
7,919
121
Philippines
7,696
122
Bolivia
7,190
123
Angola
6,844
124
Republic of Congo
6,786
125
Cabo Verde
6,743
126
India
6,658
127
Uzbekistan
6,452
128
Vietnam
6,421
129
Myanmar
5,953
130
Nigeria
5,929
131
Laos
5,718
132
Samoa
5,368
133
Tonga
5,332
134
Nicaragua
5,280
135
Honduras
5,264
136
Moldova
5,217
137
Pakistan
5,120
138
Sudan
4,452
139
Mauritania
4,404
140
Ghana
4,380
141
Timor-Leste
4,186
142
Zambia
3,898
143
Bangladesh
3,890
144
Cambodia
3,735
145
Côte d'Ivoire
3,581
146
Tuvalu
3,566
147
Papua New Guinea
3,542
148
Kyrgyz Republic
3,467
149
Djibouti
3,369
150
Kenya
3,360
151
São Tomé and Príncipe
3,344
152
Cameroon
3,260
153
Marshall Islands
3,239
154
Lesotho
3,107
155
Tanzania
3,097
156
Micronesia
3,032
157
Tajikistan
2,982
158
Vanuatu
2,631
159
Chad
2,580
160
Senegal
2,578
161
Yemen
2,521
162
Nepal
2,480
163
Mali
2,264
164
Benin
2,184
165
Uganda
2,066
166
Solomon Islands
1,995
167
Afghanistan
1,957
168
Zimbabwe
1,953
169
Ethiopia
1,916
170
Rwanda
1,905
171
Kiribati
1,820
172
Burkina Faso
1,790
173
Haiti
1,784
174
South Sudan
1,670
175
The Gambia
1,664
176
Sierra Leone
1,651
177
Guinea-Bissau
1,568
178
Togo
1,545
179
Comoros
1,529
180
Madagascar
1,504
181
Eritrea
1,321
182
Guinea
1,271
183
Mozambique
1,228
184
Malawi
1,139
185
Niger
1,113
186
Liberia
882
187
Burundi
818
188
Democratic Republic of the Congo
784
189
Central African Republic
656

*Data collected from International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2016 

Comments


dawda Bayo | September 01, 2015 | Reply

i think in terms of GDP estimates the china have taken over USA as the world largest economy but USA will not accept this fact and other economic rating institutions will not report this fact but mislead the world economists. So i thank your media company for report the facts so that business people will not be deceived.

Adriana Miramon | November 30, 2015

I think that United States is the richest country but I'm wrong it's Qatar. Thank you for helping me in my assignment.

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