One of the richest countries: Macao

The 50 richest countries in the world

The world's richest nations are no longer as surprising as they were 20 years ago. They are the countries that are often considered global financial centers and attract numerous companies with low tax rates. This money, combined with small populations, generates large per capita revenues that the vast majority of countries can never match.

Our ranking shows the 50 wealthiest countries, measured by gross domestic product per capita and adjusted by the purchasing in the respective country.

The USA is the only country with a large surface area and population among the highest-ranking nations, ranking eleventh. The richest country in the world is Luxembourg.
Richest countries in the world

RankCountryAdjusted GDP/capita
1Luxembourg132,675 $
2Singapore116,486 $
3Ireland107,551 $
4Qatar102,018 $
5Bermuda *88,185 $
6Norway79,158 $
7United Arab Emirates76,609 $
8Switzerland76,111 $
9Cayman Islands *74,155 $
10Macao *71,186 $
11United States of America70,249 $
12Brunei66,055 $
13Hong Kong *65,892 $
14Denmark64,846 $
15Netherlands63,445 $
16Sweden60,102 $
17Austria58,833 $
18Germany58,386 $
19Belgium58,338 $
20Iceland57,936 $
21Australia56,281 $
22Finland54,673 $
23Bahrain54,257 $
24Canada52,022 $
25France50,892 $
26United Kingdom48,810 $
27Saudi Arabia48,711 $
28Malta48,581 $
29South Korea47,243 $
30New Zealand46,400 $
31Italy46,073 $
32Czechia45,004 $
33Israel44,351 $
34Slovenia43,760 $
35Estonia43,217 $
36Lithuania43,193 $
37Japan42,970 $
38Aruba *42,698 $
39Spain40,759 $
40Poland37,837 $
41Oman37,676 $
42Hungary36,665 $
43Portugal36,340 $
44Romania35,870 $
45Puerto Rico *35,850 $
46Latvia35,314 $
47Croatia34,314 $
48Slovakia33,486 $
49Russia33,416 $
50Bahamas33,189 $

Income and purchasing power

Earned capital is a figure measured and published annually by most countries. It is the gross domestic product, the sum of all domestically generated income. If you convert this income to the number of inhabitants, you get a value that is hardly comparable. This is because income is not measurable over different countries if the money cannot be used to buy the same things.

An income can, therefore, only be compared if the respective countries' price structure is considered. A rented apartment for $500 per month may be standard in many countries, but in a poor developing country, you can purchase half a palace for the same money but buy a sparse little room, at best, in a rich country like Singapore. If we now adjust incomes for purchasing power, we obtain an internationally comparable fictitious currency: the PPP dollar, which stands for Purchasing Power Parity.

The calculations in this table are based on data from 2021. Evaluations for later years are expected in the first months of the following year when the economic data have been collected and published.

Wealth in small countries

It is unsurprising that so many small countries are in the top ranks. The top 20 richest countries include 15 countries with fewer than 10 million inhabitants. Most small countries are not internationally-positioned industrial nations, but generate most of their money from financial products. For example, Qatar and the Arab Emirates sit on huge oil reserves. In Europe, Luxembourg and Ireland are known for providing safe and tax-efficient homes for global players, such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and many others. Many of the countries ranked highly here are also considered tax havens.

At the same time, many small states are much less expensive to supply to the population because transport routes or cables are quickly laid. Providing a country like Luxembourg with nationwide high-speed Internet is completely different than in the US or Australia.

From this point of view, the fantastic rating of the USA (eleventh place) is surprising, but Germany (18th) and Australia (21st) are also well placed.

Macau, Las Vegas of the East

One of the richest countries: Macao Macau is an exception. There is no oil, and financial products are not a focus of the economy. The country consists of two small islands that, together, are just half the size of Manhattan. Instead, dozens of huge casinos are spread out here, making many times the revenue of Las Vegas. Since gambling is banned in China and Hong Kong, some 3 million tourists flock to the small country monthly.

In 2020, the gross domestic product in Macau dropped drastically. Due to the travel restrictions attributable to Covid19, hardly any tourists came to the country. Of the previous 55.20 billion USD, only 25.46 billion USD remained in 2020.

* The marked countries are not independent and sovereign states, but dependent territories of other states. Cf. also our article What is a country?
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