The Richest Countries in the World OLD

There are two standard methods of defining the richest countries in the world. One takes into account the economies that are the largest, as measured by total gross domestic product (GDP). However, the most commonly accepted definition of the wealthiest countries is to determine how rich the average resident of a country is. For this reason, the best method is to use GDP data per capita.

 

Moreover, using a PPP (purchasing power parity) basis is arguably more useful when comparing generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations. This is because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using just exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita wealth and when comparing economic strength between countries and living conditions or use of resources across countries.

 

The figures below include data and forecasts for the wealth of countries and regions for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Source: the IMF (unless otherwise specified).


Ranking

Country

GDP (PPP) per capita per year
Current international dollars

2010

2009

2008

1 Qatar

90 149

83 841 84 350
2 Luxembourg 79 411 78 395 81 990
3 Norway 52 964 52 561 53 361
4 Singapore 52 840 50 523 51 846
5 Brunei Darussalam 48 714 49 110 49 750
6 United States 47 702 46 381 47 393
7 Hong Kong SAR 44 840 42 748 43 754
8 Switzerland 43 903 43 007 43 196
9 Netherlands  40 601  39 938  40 558
10 Australia 39 841 38 911 38 356
11 Austria 39 561 38 839 39 887
12 Canada 39 037 38 025 39 080
13 Ireland 39 009 39 468 42 110
14 Kuwait  38 984  38 304  39 941
15 Iceland  36 750 38 023 40 576
16 Sweden 36 503 35 965 37 334
17 Denmark 36 336 35 757 37 465
18 United Arab Emirates 36 176 36 537 37 442
19 Belgium 35 825 35 422 36 345
20 United Kingdom 35 083 34 619 36 233
21 Germany 34 905 34 212 35 539
22 France 34 250 33 679 34 204
23 Finland 34 044 33 556 36 128
24 Taiwan 33 831 31 834 32 175
25 Japan 33 478 32 608 33 957
26 Spain 29 649 29 689 30 815
27 Greece 29 420 29 882 30 189
28 South Korea   29 351 27 978 27 681
29 Italy 29 347 29 109 30 520
30 Israel 28 869 28 393 28 474
31 Slovenia 28 118 27 654 29 537
32 Cyprus 27 714 28 544 28 986
33 Bahrain 27 649 27 068 34 662
34 New Zealand 27 365 26 708 27 106
35 Bahamas, The  26 230 26 474 27 737
36 Oman 25 630 25 110 24 799
37 Czech Republic 24 833 24 093 25 061
38 Saudi Arabia 23 701 23 221 23 489
39 Malta 23 662 23 584 23 971
40 Slovak Republic 22 246 21 245 22 044
41 Portugal 22 027 21 859 22 251
42 Seychelles  21 298 20 411 21 874 
43 Trinidad and Tobago 20 329 19 818 20 338
44 Hungary  18 730  18 567  19 522
45 Poland 18 706 18 072 17 556
46 Equatorial Guinea 18 372 18 600 17 958
47 Estonia  18 275 17 908 20 561 
48 Barbados  18 110 18 131 18 977
49 Croatia 17 857 17 703 18 575
50 Antigua and Barbuda 17 462 17 893 19 153
51 Lithuania  16 481 16 542 19 090 
52 Russia 15 738 14 920 15 941
53 Argentina  15 030 14 561  14 408 
54 Lebanon  14 988  14 226 13 006 
55 Gabon 14 971 14 318 14 562
56 Chile 14 940 14 341 14 592
57 Libya 14 884 14 328 14 192
58 Botswana  14 784 13 992 14 907 
59 Malaysia 14 275 13 769 14 082
60 Mexico   14 151 13 628 14 528 
61 Uruguay 13 961 13 163 12 688
62 Latvia 13 834 14 255 17 111
63 Belarus  13 135 12 737  12 313
64 St. Kitts and Nevis 13 124 13 429 14 320
65 Turkey 13 051 12 476 13 107
66 Mauritius 13 033 12 527 12 292
67 Panama  12 242 11 788 11 582
68 Romania 12 131 11 917 12 638
69 Bulgaria 12 067 11 900 12 322
70 Kazakhstan 12 044 11 693 11 434
71 Venezuela 11 727 12 201 12 717
72 Iran, Islamic Republic of 11 396 11 172 11 026
73 Brazil  11 066 10 514 10 512 
74 Serbia 10 898 10 635 10 822
75 Grenada 10 872 10 712 11 464
76 Costa Rica 10 687 10 579 10 772
77 South Africa  10 466  10 244  10 442
78 Dominica 10 390 10 177 10 088
79 Montenegro  10 286 10 393 11 049 
80 St. Lucia  10 269 10 178 10 710
81 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 10 085 9 977 10 121
82 Azerbaijan 9 810 9 564 8 717
83 Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of 9 390 9 171 9 154
84 Dominican Republic  9 139 8 896 8 619
85 Peru 9 108 8 638 8 595
86 Colombia  9 092 8 936  8 928 
87 Suriname  8 948 8 642  8 429
88 Jamaica 8 771 8 777 8 968
89 Tunisia 8 559 8 254 8 002
90 Thailand 8 479 8 060 8 232
91 Ecuador  8 022 7 881 7 869 
92 Belize 7 621 7 719 7 955
93 El Salvador  7 443 7 366 7 599
94 Bosnia and Herzegovina 7 428 7 361 7 550
95 Albania 7 342 7 164 6 921
96 China 7 240 6 567 5 999
97 Tonga  7 134  7 061  7 030 
98 Algeria  7 124  6 869   6 753
99 Guyana  7 005 6 688 6 418 
100 Namibia 6 717 6 614 6 639
101 Ukraine  6 651 6 339  7 342 
102 Turkmenistan   6 627  5 971  5 757
103 Angola   6 401  6 117  6 252 
104 Egypt   6 347 6 123 5 897
105 Kiribati  6 182 6 049 6 020
106 Swaziland 5 788 5 709 5 639
107 Jordan 5 759 5 620 5 529
108 Samoa 5 641 5 782 6 031
109 Bhutan  5 534  5 212  4 761 
110 Maldives  5 098  4 894  4 988 
111 Syrian Arab Republic 5 043 4 887 4 758
112 Armenia 5 040 4 966 5 792
113 Sri Lanka  5 026 4 769  4 589
114 Georgia  4 882 4 757  4 901
115 Guatemala  4 875  4 840 4 874 
116 Vanuatu  4 826  4 737  4 650 
117 Morocco  4 745  4 604  4 362 
118 Paraguay  4 711  4 533 4 787 
119 Bolivia 4 576 4 455 4 347
120 Congo, Republic of 4 549 4 146 3 919
121 Fiji   4 446 4 359  4 455 
122 Indonesia 4 380 4 157 3 980
123 Honduras 4 175 4 151 4 269
124 Iraq 3 758 3 570 3 477
125 Cape Verde 3 720 3 588 3 472
126 Mongolia 3 703 3 481 3 549
127 Philippines 3 604 3 521 3 515
128 India 3 176 2 941 2 790
129 Vietnam 3 104 2 942 2 794
130 Uzbekistan 3 016 2 807 2 599
131 Moldova  2 937 2 843  3 000 
132 Solomon Islands 2 854 2 819 2 928
133 Pakistan 2 713 2 661 2 624
134 Timor-Leste, Dem. Rep. of 2 677 2 522 2 368
135 Nicaragua 2 636 2 627 2 694
136 Yemen, Republic of 2 590 2 458 2 411
137 Djibouti 2 549 2 484 2 397
138 Sudan 2 465 2 380 2 309
139 Lao People's Democratic Republic 2 401 2 266 2 121
140 Nigeria  2 358 2 249  2 162
141 Kyrgyz Republic 2 341 2 253 2 201
142 Papua New Guinea 2 302 2 167 2 095
143 Tajikistan  2 190  2 104  2 023 
144 Cameroon 2 163 2 147 2 139
145 Mauritania 2 095 2 037 2 084
146 Cambodia 2 084 2 015 2 082
147 São Tomé and Principe 1 878 1 814 1 752
148 Kenya 1 782 1 730 1 703
149 Senegal 1 773 1 743 1 737
150 te d'Ivoire  1 685 1 674  1 643 
151 Chad 1 653 1 612 1 659
152 Zambia  1 612 1 542 1 461
153 Ghana 1 591 1 551 1 518
154 Bangladesh 1 527 1 465 1 398
155 Tanzania 1 484 1 416 1 353
156 Gambia, The 1 480 1 438 1 395
157 Benin 1 460 1 445 1 429
158 Burkina Faso  1 341 1 304  1 278 
159 Myanmar 1 244 1 197 1 151
160 Lesotho 1 241 1 218 1 209
161 Nepal 1 238 1 205 1 149
162 Uganda 1 227 1 196 1 143
163 Mali 1 214 1 173 1 135
164 Haiti 1 212 1 339 1 309
165 Rwanda  1 195  1 150  1 114 
166 Comoros 1 161 1 160 1 157
167 Guinea-Bissau  1 081  1 068  1 048 
168 Ethiopia  1 004 954 880
169 Afghanistan, Rep. of.  996 935 774 
170 Guinea  996  991  1 014 
171 Mozambique 981 934 885
172 Malawi 925 885 826
173 Madagascar  905  932  996 
174 Togo   832  826  817 
175 Sierra Leone 781 759 740
176 Central African Republic  764  745  738 
177 Niger 733 719 739
178 Eritrea 676 680 669
179 Liberia  434  424  420 
180 Burundi 410 400 390
181 Zimbabwe  365  355  337 
182 Congo, Democratic Republic of 342 332 329

 

 

 

DEFINITIONS:

GDP (gross domestic product)
is the sum of the gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources.
GDP PPP (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GDP as a U.S. dollar has in the United States. Purchasing power parities (PPPs) are the rates of currency conversion that eliminate the differences in price levels between countries.
GDP (PPP) per capita is GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by population. Please note: Whereas PPP estimates for OECD countries are quite reliable, PPP estimates for developing countries are often rough approximations.

 

 

GNI (gross national income) is gross domestic product (GDP) plus net receipts of primary income (employee compensation and investment income) from abroad. GDP is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output.
GNI per capita is gross national income divided by mid-year population.
PPP GNI is gross national income converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GNI as a U.S. dollar has in the United States.
 

Definitions from the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and IMF.

 

 

 

BEYOND GDP
It is important to notice that GDP is not a perfect measure to describe the well-being and quality of life of populations, and, in fact, there are other indexes that take into account other variables such as life expectancy, income distribution, literacy, etc., such as the UN Human Development Index and the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare. In fact, GDP is often considered imperfect even to measure overall economic strength; see a report released in 2009 by a commission chaired by Nobel Prize-winning economists Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz and Professor Amartya Sen, and by Professor Jean-Paul Fitoussi [DOWNLOAD PDF]
See also: http://www.beyond-gdp.eu/

 

 

 

WEALTH DISTRIBUTION MAP
For a wealth distribution map, with historical data and current data, see: http://www.gfmag.com/tools/the-world-as-you-have-never-seen-before/wealth-distribution-map.html

 

 

 

A background on Gross Domestic Product Purchasing Power Parity (GDP PPP) from the World Bank - World Development Indicators:

 

Comparable measures of economic activity, wealth and living standards are useful for many purposes. Foreign investors, traders, and potential immigrants want to know an economy’s market size, productivity and prices. The globalization of markets for goods, services, finance, labor and ideas reinforces the interdependence of economies and the need to measure them on a common scale. Countries cannot share responsibilities for global public goods—the environment, security, development assistance and global governance—without meaningful assessments of the real size of their economies and the wealth of their people.

 

But comparing the real size of economies is not easy. Even in an integrated global economy, large differences in the costs of goods and services persist. Exchange rates can be used to convert values in one currency to another, but since they do not fully reflect differences in price levels, they cannot measure the real volume of output. Exchange rates are determined by the demand for and supply of currencies used in international transactions, ignoring domestic economic sectors where prices are set in relative isolation from the rest of the world—thus the familiar experience of international travelers, who discover that they can buy more, or less, of the same goods in different countries when converting their money using the prevailing exchange rates.

 

To measure the real size of the world’s economy and to compare costs of living across coun­tries, we need to adjust for differences in purchasing power. Finding a way to adjust for those differences has given rise to the efforts to measure purchasing power parities (PPPs), which convert local currencies to a common currency, such as the U.S. dollar. Purchasing power parities are needed because similar goods and services have widely varying prices across countries when converted to a common currency using market exchange rates. Differences are greatest in sectors not commonly traded in­ternationally, such as housing, construction and health and education services. Price differences are smaller for widely traded products, such as machinery and equipment, af­ter allowing for taxes, distributor margins and transport costs. PPPs include the prices of tradable and nontradable goods, us­ing weights that reflect their relative importance in total GDP.

 

Since 1970 the International Comparison Program (ICP) has conducted eight rounds of PPP estimates for the major components of countries’ gross domestic product (GDP)—the most recent for 2005. High-income countries regularly take part in such programs, but 2005 was the first time since 1993 that comprehensive price surveys were carried out in developing economies. An unprecedented number, 101, took part. These new PPPs provide a better and more complete view of the world economy.

 

In 2005 the ICP report brought together the results of two separate PPP programs. The first is the global ICP program conducted by the ICP Global Office within the World Bank. The program was organized in five geographic areas: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America and Western Asia. In parallel, the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted its 2005 PPP program that included 46 countries. Eurostat covered 37 countries—the 25 EU member states, the EFTA countries and other European countries. The OECD part of the program included nine other countries.

 

The ICP Global Office has combined the results from each of the five regions with those from the OECD/Eurostat PPP Program into an overall global comparison.

 

Please note: The IMF is not a primary source for purchasing power parity (PPP) data. For primary source information, please refer to one of the following sources: the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank, Eurostat.

Ranking Region Descriptor 2010 2009 2008
1 Euro area GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 32 388 31 970 33 081
2 Central and Eastern Europe GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 14 296 13 877 14 323
3 Commonwealth of Independent States GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 11 156 10 639 11 275
4 Western Hemisphere GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 11 022 10 654 10 858
5 World GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars  - Data from World Bank - 10 614 10 357
6 Latin America & Caribbean GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars  - Data from World Bank - 10 338 10 309
7 Middle East and North africa
GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 8 806 8 546 8 425
8 Emerging and developing economies GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 5 954 5 636 5 529
9 East Asia & Pacific GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars  - Data from World Bank - 5 948 5 399
10 Developing Asia GDP (PPP) per capita / Current international dollars 4 821 4 456 4 180
11 South Asia GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars  - Data from World Bank - 2 951 2 733
12 Sub-Saharan Africa GNI (PPP) per capita / International dollars - 1 996 1 991

 

 

 

Central and Eastern Europe
Composed of 14 countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.
   
Commonwealth of Independent States
Composed of 11 CIS countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Georgia and Mongolia, which are not members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, are included in this group for reasons of geography and similarities in economic structure..

Developing Asia
Composed of 26 countries: Republic of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos), Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor), Tonga, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Western Hemisphere
Composed of 32 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Middle East

Composed of 14 countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and Republic of Yemen.
   
Emerging and Developing Economies
Composed of 149 countries: Republic of Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos), Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Republic of Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.   

Euro Area

Composed of 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain.   

East Asia and Pacific

Composed of 22 countries: Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Dem. Rep. Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos), Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, American Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor), Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

South Asia

Composed of 8 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

Sub-Saharan Africa
Composed of 45 countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

 


 

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