The overall success of a country can be determined by many factors, such as citizen health, happiness, equality, military force, and government functions. However, the most used factor in these calculations is measuring GDP (gross domestic product) per capita. The measurement of GDP per capita allows an extremely useful performance measurement of each country. This is accomplished by dividing the total value of goods produced, and services provided, by the total country population.
While there are nearly two-hundred countries existing today in the world, it would be a monotonous task to list each one (and read) in this article. Therefore, for our mutual convenience, we’ll focus on the current rankings for the top ten wealthiest countries in the world.
Note: For further convenience, every value found below has been converted to the American dollar.
10. San Marino
Our first country, San Marino, takes the tenth spot with a GDP per capita of $64,443. One of the world’s oldest republics, San Marino is a relatively small country with an area of 23.63 mi2, and a population of 31,448 (World Bank, 2013). To place that in perspective, San Marino is roughly the same size as Manhattan, New York. Bordering northern Italy, San Marino’s economic priorities focus on apparel, banking, ceramics, electronics, furniture, paints, tiles, and wines.
9. The United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates rests at number nine, with a GDP per capita of $67,696. The United Arab Emirates is much larger than the previous listing, with an area of 32,278 mi2 (slightly larger than South Carolina), and a population of 9.346 million (World Bank, 2013). This country is actually a federation of seven emirates, unified along the Persian Gulf, with Abu Dhabi as the capital. Within the United Arab Emirates is the well-known Dubai, with its impressive Burj Khalifa, an ultramodern skyscraper containing massive shopping centers, and grandiose entertainment attractions. Main industry focuses are petroleum and petrochemicals, fishing, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, commercial ship repair, construction materials, Aerospace parts, financial services, tourism, pharmaceuticals, steel, handicrafts, and textiles.
Next on our list is Norway, with a GDP per capita of $69,296. Nestled in the chilly northern reaches of Europe, Norway boasts an impressive 148,718 mi2 (almost as long as the US East Coast) and maintains a population of 5.084 million (World Bank, 2013). Its main industries consist of petroleum and natural gas, food processing, shipbuilding, timber, wood and paper products, metals and mining, chemicals, textiles, and fishing.
We remain in Europe for this next country, shifting towards Ireland. This politically divided island maintains a GDP per capita of $69,374, an area of 32,595 mi2 (similar to Maine), and a population of 6,378,000 (2011). Ireland’s main industries are chemicals, computer hardware and software, beverages and brewing, food products, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals.
Shifting closer to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait also rests along the Persian Gulf. The country has a GDP per capita of $71,263, an area size of 6,880 mi2 (similar to New Jersey), and a population of 3.369 million (World Bank, 2013). Kuwait’s main industries are petroleum and petrochemicals, cement, construction materials, desalination, food processing, and shipbuilding and repair.
Number five is Brunei, with a GDP per capita of $79,710. Located on the island of Borneo, Brunei spans 2,226 mi2 (slightly smaller than Delaware). The country has a population of 417,784 (World Bank, 2013). Brunei’s main industries are petroleum and petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, and construction.
Moving to the southern tip of Asian, we look at Singapore, a tropical city-state located off southern Malaysia. A global financial center, Singapore retains an impressive GPD per capita of $87,082. The island country is measured at 277.6 mi2 (slightly smaller than New York City), with a population of 5.399 million (2013). Singapore’s economy prioritizes chemicals, electronics, entrepot trade, financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, offshore platform construction, oil drilling, ship repair, processed food and beverages, and tourism.
Also spelled Macao, this autonomous country resides at number three with a GDP per capita of $96,147. It also has an area size of 11.78 mi2 (almost 10 times smaller than Orlando, Texas), and a population of 566,375 (World Bank, 2013). The country’s main industries consist of clothing, electronics, footwear, gambling, textiles, tourism, and toys.
Once more returning to Europe, Luxembourg takes the silver medal with a GDP per capita of $101,936. This country, surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany, refuses a four-digit size of 999 mi2 (twice as large as Los Angeles, California), and maintains a population of 543,202 (World Bank, 2013). Luxembourg focuses on banking and financial services, cargo transportation, iron and steel, information technology and telecommunications, food processing, chemicals, metal products, aluminum, engineering, glass, tires, and tourism.
Taking the number one spot on our list is Qatar, with a GDP per capita of $129,726. Nearly touching the United Arab Emirates, Qatar spans 4,468 mi2 (similar to Connecticut) and consists of 2.169 million citizens (World Bank, 2013). This country’s main industries are liquefied natural gas and GTL (gas to liquids) production, crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, and commercial ship repair.