The World's Richest and Poorest Countries

The most commonly accepted method of determining the wealth of countries and comparing generalized differences in living standards on a whole between nations is to use GDP per capita on a purchasing power parity basis in current international dollars. By that measure it is estimated that in 2013 the richest nation in the world is Qatar, with a per capita GDP (PPP) of over 105 thousand dollars, while the poorest is the Democratic Republic of Congo, with less than 400 dollars.


By Valentina Pasquali. Project Coordinator: Denise Bedell



Figures and estimates are from the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook Database, April 2013.


The Richest and Poorest Countries in the World, 2013

Gross domestic product (GDP) based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) per capita


Darkest red: highest GDP per capita (PPP)
Medium red: medium-high GDP per capita (PPP)
Light red: medium-low GDP per capita (PPP)
Lightest red: lowest GDP per capita (PPP)

 


Figures and estimates are from the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook Database, April 2013.

 

2013 Ranking of Coutries, from Richest to Poorest, According to Gross
Domestic Product Based on Purchasing-Power-Parity (PPP) Per Capita

Country2013Estimates
Start After
1 Qatar 105,091.42 2011
2 Luxembourg 79,593.91 2011
3 Singapore 61,567.28 2011
4 Norway 56,663.47 2012
5 Brunei Darussalam 55,111.20 2011
6 Hong Kong 53,432.23 2011
7 United States 51,248.21 2011
8 United Arab Emirates 49,883.58 2009
9 Switzerland 46,474.95 2011
10 Australia 44,073.81 2011
11 Canada 43,593.74 2012
12 Austria 43,344.79 2012
13 Ireland 42,806.38 2011
14 Netherlands 42,493.49 2011
15 Sweden 42,037.48 2012
16 Iceland 40,401.63 2011
17 Taiwan 40,392.86 2012
18 Germany 39,993.34 2012
19 Kuwait 39,861.23 2011
20 Denmark 38,521.26 2011
21 Belgium 38,286.44 2012
22 Japan 37,525.38 2012
23 United Kingdom 37,501.70 2010
24 Finland 37,012.46 2011
25 France 35,941.52 2011
26 Korea 33,580.49 2011
27 Israel 33,282.21 2012
28 Saudi Arabia 32,469.34 2010
29 The Bahamas 32,397.94 2008
30 New Zealand 30,803.76 2011
31 Spain 30,620.15 2012
32 Italy 30,094.06 2012
33 Oman 29,924.88 2009
34 Bahrain 29,832.89 2010
35 Slovenia 28,013.94 2011
36 Malta 27,786.99 2008
37 Czech Republic 27,662.99 2010
38 Seychelles 26,168.91 2011
39 Barbados 25,854.24 2010
40 Equatorial Guinea 25,117.18 2010
41 Slovak Republic 24,971.88 2012
42 Greece 23,930.22 2011
43 Portugal 23,185.21 2012
44 Lithuania 22,787.84 2011
45 Estonia 22,731.03 2012
46 Poland 21,005.39 2012
47 Trinidad and Tobago 20,746.28 2010
48 Hungary 19,998.05 2011
49 Chile 19,474.74 2009
50 Latvia 19,384.91 2012
51 Argentina 18,709.31 2010
52 Russia 18,670.53 2012
53 Antigua and Barbuda 18,625.96 2009
54 Croatia 18,066.82 2010
55 Malaysia 17,775.70 2012
56 Botswana 17,595.63 2008
57 Gabon 17,586.34 0
58 Panama 16,993.82 2010
59 Uruguay 16,728.30 2005
60 St. Kitts and Nevis 16,495.30 2003
61 Mauritius 16,350.47 2011
62 Belarus 16,307.68 2010
63 Lebanon 16,126.73 2007
64 Mexico 15,931.75 2012
65 Turkey 15,578.38 2011
66 Bulgaria 14,870.19 2012
67 Kazakhstan 14,750.46 2012
68 Dominica 14,579.73 2011
69 Libya 14,474.75 2008
70 Grenada 13,948.43 2009
71 Venezuela 13,633.61 2010
72 St. Lucia 13,381.42 2011
73 Romania 13,251.92 2011
74 Costa Rica 13,205.99 2011
75 Islamic Republic of Iran 13,008.37 2010
76 Suriname 12,989.56 2007
77 Brazil 12,340.18 2010
78 Montenegro 12,101.08 2011
79 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 12,081.34 2001
80 South Africa 11,750.37 2011
81 Peru 11,403.04 2009
82 Colombia 11,284.22 2009
83 Azerbaijan 11,003.54 2011
84 FYR Macedonia 10,945.61 2011
85 Thailand 10,848.74 2011
86 Serbia 10,787.58 2011
87 Timor-Leste 10,783.70 2009
88 Ecuador 10,517.91 2010
89 Tunisia 10,200.29 2010
90 China 10,011.48 2012
91 Dominican Republic 9,845.60 2004
92 Maldives 9,579.23 2006

Country2013Estimates
Start After
93 Turkmenistan 9,394.35 2007
94 Jamaica 9,323.34 2010
95 Belize 8,963.61 2012
96 Marshall Islands 8,793.02 2011
97 Guyana 8,488.39 2002
98 Bosnia and Herzegovina 8,406.07 2010
99 Albania 8,290.46 2008
100 Namibia 8,159.88 2008
101 Tonga 7,753.90 2006
102 Algeria 7,736.90 2011
103 El Salvador 7,648.21 2007
104 Iraq 7,604.93 2004
105 Ukraine 7,532.92 2011
106 Micronesia 7,532.58 2011
107 Bhutan 7,187.72 0
108 Paraguay 6,787.73 2011
109 Egypt 6,652.92 2010
110 Angola 6,650.29 2000
111 Sri Lanka 6,550.22 2011
112 Georgia 6,355.74 2011
113 Samoa 6,282.41 2011
114 Jordan 6,198.91 2010
115 Mongolia 6,134.48 2011
116 Armenia 6,128.16 2011
117 Kiribati 6,125.06 2009
118 Swaziland 5,806.66 2008
119 Morocco 5,537.51 2011
120 Guatemala 5,335.95 2005
121 Bolivia 5,330.64 1981
122 Indonesia 5,302.03 2010
123 Vanuatu 5,093.80 2009
124 Fiji 4,947.38 2007
125 Republic of Congo 4,937.41 2004
126 Honduras 4,741.16 2001
127 Philippines 4,691.15 2011
128 Nicaragua 4,641.61 2007
129 Cape Verde 4,313.48 2008
130 India 4,060.22 2010
131 Uzbekistan 3,820.65 2010
132 Vietnam 3,750.00 2010
133 Moldova 3,613.35 2012
134 Ghana 3,501.53 0
135 Solomon Islands 3,458.50 2010
136 Tuvalu 3,423.06 2011
137 Lao P.D.R. 3,260.59 2011
138 Pakistan 2,969.68 2011
139 Papua New Guinea 2,896.83 2010
140 Nigeria 2,883.44 2006
141 Djibouti 2,778.25 1999
142 Cambodia 2,579.06 2008
143 Kyrgyz Republic 2,567.82 2010
144 Sudan 2,550.10 2006
145 Cameroon 2,473.13 2010
146 Sao Tome and Principe 2,432.93 2010
147 Tajikistan 2,373.96 2011
148 Yemen 2,351.46 2008
149 Lesotho 2,244.10 2006
150 Mauritania 2,230.44 2009
151 Bangladesh 2,174.32 2010
152 Senegal 2,086.38 2011
153 Chad 2,061.63 2004
154 The Gambia 2,008.23 2010
155 Kenya 1,884.57 2010
156 Zambia 1,841.64 2010
157 Ivory Coast 1,839.67 2009
158 Benin 1,717.82 2011
159 Tanzania 1,670.21 2006
160 Rwanda 1,591.71 2010
161 Sierra Leone 1,559.95 2011
162 Myanmar 1,490.53 2006
163 Burkina Faso 1,488.33 2010
164 Uganda 1,459.62 2010
165 Haiti 1,358.10 0
166 Nepal 1,347.62 2011
167 South Sudan 1,324.10 2008
168 Comoros 1,296.77 2003
169 Guinea-Bissau 1,268.46 2004
170 Mozambique 1,262.96 2010
171 Ethiopia 1,258.60 2008
172 Guinea 1,162.18 2009
173 Togo 1,145.94 2010
174 Mali 1,136.77 2010
175 Afghanistan 1,072.19 2007
176 Madagascar 972.07 2006
177 Malawi 893.84 2009
178 Niger 853.43 2009
179 Central African Republic 827.93 2004
180 Eritrea 792.13 2006
181 Liberia 716.04 2009
182 Burundi 648.58 0
183 Zimbabwe 589.46 2008
184 Democratic Republic of the Congo 394.25 1983

There are two standard methods of measuring the wealth of countries and how rich or poor its inhabitants are. The measure most often used is Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which represents the size of a country's economy. A refinement of this is per-capita GDP, which is a measure of the average welfare and affluence, or poverty, of residents of a country. However, GDP and per-capita GDP are less useful when comparing economies across national boundaries - which one must do to determine the richest or poorest countries in the world - because GDP is expressed in a country's local currency.

 

The measure that most economists prefer, therefore, is GDP (PPP) ["GDP based on purchasing power parity"] per capita. GDP (PPP) per capita compares generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of countries, rather than using just exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income. The indicator measures GDP converted to a common set of prices in a common currency (international dollars, also called Geary-Khamis dollars) so that real quantity comparisons can be made both between countries and over time.

 

In 2013, wealth continues to be highly concentrated in a few Gulf states, Europe and North America. With a per-capita GDP (PPP) of over 105 thousand dollars, Qatar dominates the ranking. Luxembourg comes a distant second with close to 80 thousand dollars and Singapore third with just more than 61 thousand dollars. The drop of per-capita GDP from the top of the ranking to almost all other countries is precipitous. Norway, which comes fourth with nearly 57 thousand dollars, has a per-capita GDP (PPP) that's almost half that of Qatar.

 

Poverty remains extensive throughout the world, particularly in South Asia and Africa. In fact, Africa dominates the bottom of the ranking, occupying 9 of the last ten spots. The Democratic Republic of Congo is last with a per-capita GDP (PPP) of less than 400 dollars. Zimbabwe, Burundi and Liberia come just before it. The first non-African country to be found among the world's poorest nations is Afghanistan, with just over a thousand dollars.


GDP is not a perfect measure to describe the wellbeing and quality of life of populations, and there are other indexes that take into account other variables such as life expectancy, income distribution, literacy, etc. - for example, 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 the 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 and "Beyond GDP" from the European Commission). Still, when taken with PPP, it is a useful tool for comparing economies across national boundaries.


For a further discussion of Gross Domestic Product Purchasing Power Parity (GDP PPP), click here.

 

For definitions of other indicators, click here.

 

For a list of countries in the regions listed in the regional table, click here.


alt Sources
 

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