Ireland holds the title of the richest country in the world in 2023, boasting a GDP per capita of $145,196
GDP(Gross Domestic Product) per capita measures economic output per person, providing a more accurate view of prosperity.
However, it can’t show wealth distribution or inequality. Still, it’s a useful tool for ranking the world’s richest nations.
Here is a list of top 1o richest countries in the world ranked by GDP per capita (USD):
Ireland, with just 5 million people, faced a tough recovery after the 2008 financial crisis, involving public wage cuts and banking sector reforms.
Despite a remarkable comeback in employment and per capita GDP, it’s essential to note that Ireland’s appeal as a corporate tax haven largely benefits multinational giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Pfizer.
In 2022, these companies contributed 56% to the economy, up from 53% in 2021.
Ireland plans to align its corporate tax rate with the global standard of 15% by 2024.
While Irish families have improved financially, OECD data shows their per-capita income lags behind the EU average.
Income inequality is also notable, with the top 20% earning almost five times more than the bottom 20%, challenging claims of Ireland being the world’s wealthiest country in 2023.
Nestled in the heart of Europe, Luxembourg is a strategic hub for regional markets, despite being landlocked.
It offers vital transport links via railways, roads, and maritime routes.
Luxembourg’s strong economic policies promote business growth and foreign investment ranking it among the richest countries in the world.
The country provides tax incentives and streamlined immigration processes for foreign companies.
With over half the population holding bachelor’s degrees or higher, Luxembourg has a highly skilled workforce.
These factors have attracted businesses to Luxembourg, boosting its economy and elevating its impressive GDP per capita.
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In 1965, when the city-state gained its independence, approximately half of its population lacked basic literacy skills.
Despite its limited natural resources, Singapore managed to uplift itself through diligent efforts and strategic policies,.
This ultimately transformed into one of the world’s most business-friendly destinations.
Today, Singapore stands as a flourishing center for trade, manufacturing, and finance, boasting a remarkable literacy rate of 98% among its adult population.
However, even this success story could not shield Singapore from the adverse effects of the global economic downturn brought on by the pandemic.
In 2020, the nation’s economy contracted by 3.9%, plunging it into a recession for the first time in over a decade.
Although 2021 saw a robust rebound with an 8.8% growth rate, the subsequent slowdown in China, a key trading partner, disrupted this recovery.
Singapore’s manufacturing sector, constituting 21.6% of its total GDP, suffered a severe blow, experiencing a 6% contraction in the first quarter of 2023.
Consequently, Singapore’s economic prospects have dimmed, with projections indicating a modest growth rate of just 1.5% for the year 2023.
4. Qatar: $124,848
Despite recent oil price fluctuations, Qatar’s per-capita GDP took a hit in 2015, dropping below $100,000 after exceeding $143,222 in 2014.
However, it has since been gradually recovering at a rate of approximately $10,000 per year.
Qatar’s wealth is sustained by its vast reserves of oil, gas, and petrochemicals, combined with its small population of just 3 million, allowing it to maintain its status as one of the world’s richest nations for two decades.
Despite only 12% of residents being Qatari nationals, the pandemic initially saw rapid COVID-19 spread among low-income migrant workers living in crowded conditions.
Despite implementing quarantines, curfews, and lockdowns, Qatar had one of the highest regional rates of positive cases.
Nevertheless, Qatar’s economy proved resilient, with a modest 3.5% contraction in 2020, followed by roughly 1.5% growth in 2021.
In 2022, it achieved substantial 4.2% growth, thanks to increased gas and oil revenues and a boost from tourists arriving for the World Cup.
5. Macao SAR: $89,558
Once a part of the Portuguese Empire, this special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China saw a remarkable surge in wealth after the liberalization of its gaming industry in 2001.
With a population of approximately 700,000 and over 40 casinos scattered across a compact area of around 30 square kilometers, this slender peninsula located just south of Hong Kong transformed into a formidable economic powerhouse.
6.United Arab Emirates – $88,221
In the past, the primary economic pillars of this Persian Gulf nation were agriculture, fishing, and pearl trading.
However, a significant transformation occurred when oil was discovered in the 1950s.
Today, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) boasts a highly cosmopolitan population that enjoys substantial wealth.
Apart from the traditionally dominant hydrocarbon sector, significant industries in this region include tourism, construction, trade, and finance.
7.Switzerland – $87,963
Switzerland is home to approximately 8.7 million people.
It has contributed several notable inventions to the world, including white chocolate, the bobsleigh, the Swiss Army knife, the computer mouse, the immersion blender, velcro, and LSD.
The country’s wealth is largely attributed to its banking and insurance services, thriving tourism industry, and the export of pharmaceutical products, gems, precious metals, precision instruments (such as watches), and machinery (including medical devices and computers).
8.Norway – $82,655
Norway’s economic powerhouse has been driven by oil since the late 1960s, following the discovery of substantial offshore reserves.
As the leading petroleum producer in Western Europe, the country has reaped the rewards of increasing oil prices for decades giving it a slot among the richest countries in the world.
9.United States : $80,035
The United States remains in the top 10 richest countries in the world in 2023 due to falling energy prices and increased pandemic-driven state spending.
This affected petroleum-based economies like Qatar, Norway, and the UAE, pushing them down in the rankings, with Brunei dropping out of the top 10.
Government spending on stimulus checks, food stamps, and Medicaid significantly boosted demand, leading to the shortest recession on record in early 2020, lasting only two months.
The American job market has recovered since the pandemic began, but a 40-year high inflation rate has impacted workers’ wages.
10.San Marino – $78,926
San Marino, Europe’s oldest republic and fifth smallest nation ranks the tenth among the richest countries in the world in 2023.
It has a population of just 34,000 and ranks among the world’s wealthiest due to its low income tax rates, around one-third of the EU average.
It’s working to harmonize fiscal laws with the EU and international standards.
Amid the pandemic, tight monetary conditions, and an energy crisis, San Marino showed resilience, with strong showings in tourism and manufacturing bolstering its economy.
Top 10 Countries by GDP per capita (in USD):
- Ireland – $145,196
- Luxembourg – $142,490
- Singapore – $133,895
- Qatar – $124,848
- Macao SAR – $89,558
- United Arab Emirates – $88,221
- Switzerland – $87,963
- Norway – $82,655
- United States – $80,035
- San Marino – $78,926