March 18, 2010, 5:00 am
by: The Financial Blogger
Category: Assets and Net Worth
This guest post comes from Michael, a contributing editor of the Dough Roller, a personal finance and investing blog, and Credit Card Offers IQ, a credit card review site.
Different people can tell you different definitions of the word “rich”. Most would define being rich as having more money than you can count. Some would suggest that doing what you love to do in life makes you rich. And a select few can argue that having a family that loves you makes you the richest person in the world. When it comes to countries though, there’s only one-way to determine “richness” and that’s with the GDP, or Gross Domestic Product.
Gross Domestic Product is a measure of all the goods and services made within a country for an entire year. GDP is used in correlation with standard of living assessments to determine how wealthy a specific region is and in this case how wealthy a particular country is. Simply listing the countries with the largest GDP wouldn’t do us justice in this case as countries with extremely high populations (China for example) would simply have a higher GDP because they have a higher population. If you take the GDP one further step and divide by the estimated population, known as GDP per capita, then you have something that I believe can define just how rich a country is.
Without further adieu, I present the 10 richest countries in the world (GDP per capita listed in US Dollars (estimated), based on 2009 projected data).
- Qatar / $87,716 – This tiny Middle-Eastern nation has been able to transform itself from a poor, British ruled country to an economic powerhouse through its production of oil and gas. As long as Qatar continues to pump out oil at its current rate, you can expect this country to be on the top-ten list for a long, long time
- Luxembourg / $78,723 – Located in Europe, the half a million population of Luxembourg had once ruled the world in steel production. Now that steel has fallen off a bit, Luxembourg has compensated by becoming a world leader in the financial industry. Currently, it serves as the second largest investment fund center in the world, trailing only the United States.
- Norway / $53,268 – The Scandinavian nation of Norway quite frankly has more resources than it knows what to do with. Petroleum, minerals, fishing and hydropower keep Norway on the top of this list.
- Brunei / $50,102 – It would be difficult to locate Brunei on a map of the world because it is an extremely small country located in Southeast Asia. In 1984 they were able to regain independence from the United Kingdom, and its main exports consist only of crude oil and natural gas. Fearful that their exports will run out, Brunei is working diligently on the banking and travel sector of their economy.
- Singapore / $49,433 – Southeast Asia is the place to be as Singapore uses only the water for its boarder. The island’s strength in economy lie within its manufacturing plants, which are responsible for electronics, refining petroleum, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical science equipment.
- United States of America / $46,442 – The good ole United States continues to trade with many countries and its leading import and export is automobiles. While the US has its hands in almost every sector, it focuses on transportation and banking and will always be the largest importing country in the world.
- Switzerland / $42,948 – More than just a nation full of chocolate, the Swiss are widely known as the most competitive nation when it comes to the economy. Over half of all the watches made in the world come from Switzerland and its primary economical efforts are focused on pharmaceuticals, banking (every movie with a villain seems to want a wire into his Swiss bank account), insurance and musical instruments.
- Hong Kong / $42,573 – The Asian nation of Hong Kong is the re-export capital of the world. Generally, products are first imported from China, refurbished and then exported. Most of the world’s goods will find the stamp “Made in Hong Kong” one way or another. In addition to their re-exporting business, Hong Kong is also a world leader in financial centers.
- Ireland / $39,441 – Ireland exports more than four leaf clovers and Guinness I assure you. This green country is responsible for a high amount of iron ore and zinc exports and also is a leading producer of software and all related software services.
- Netherlands / $39,277 – Last on our list is the Netherlands, Holland, the Dutch or whatever you want to call them. The three most popular brands that come from the Netherlands are Shell, ING Direct and Heineken and the country also excels in food processing, chemicals and electrical machinery.
No list would be complete, however, without showing who’s on the bottom and that dubious honor goes to:
182.Zimbabwe / $8.54 – Over 30 times poorer than the country that is second to last on this list (The Congo), Zimbabwe relies on two major trades for its economy. Unfortunately, tourism to the African Nation is not doing so well so the only good export Zimbabwe has is its platinum. The metal is mined and exported at a very cheap rate, and even though Zimbabwe continues to be the poorest nation in the world, there are good signs that its economy will continue to grow.
Note From The Financial Blogger:
Darn! I don’t live in one of the richest country in the world! However, GDP per capita doesn’t tell everything; while it is great measure, it doesn’t tell how wonderful living in Canada is 😉
image source: p22earl
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