List of richest to Poorest countries in the world. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita shows a country’s GDP divided by its total population. The table below lists countries in the world ranked by GDP at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) per capita, along with the Nominal GDP per capita. PPP takes into account the relative cost of living, rather than using only exchange rates, therefore providing a more accurate picture of the real differences in income. The world’s richest nations are no longer as surprising as they were 20 years ago. They are the countries that are usually also 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.
Income and purchasing power
Earned capital is a figure measured and published annually by the vast majority of 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 certainly not measurable over various countries if the money cannot be used to buy the same things.
An income can therefore only be compared if the price structure in the respective countries is taken into account. A rented apartment for $500 per month may be normal in many countries, but in a poor developing country you can get half a palace for the same money, and in a rich country like Singapore at best a sparse little room. If we now adjust incomes for purchasing power, we obtain an internationally comparable fictitious currency: the PPP dollar. PPP stands for Purchasing Power Parity.
The calculations in this table are based on data for the year 2020. Evaluations for 2021 are expected as usual next spring, when the economic data have been collected and published.
Wealth in small countries
It is not surprising that so many small countries are in the top ranks. The top 20 richest countries include 12 countries with fewer than 10 million inhabitants. Most of the small countries are not internationally positioned industrial nations, but generate most of their money from financial products. Qatar and the Arab Emirates sit on huge oil reserves. In Europe, Luxembourg and Ireland are known for providing a safe and tax-efficient home 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 a completely different undertaking than in the US or Australia.
From this point of view, the good rating of the USA (7th place) is surprising, but Germany (15th place) and Australia (16) are also well placed.
Macau, Las Vegas of the East
Macau, however, 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 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.