The fact that a country has a high gross domestic product (GDP) does not mean that this wealth is well distributed, because this macroeconomic indicator does not allow us to know the real purchasing power of the inhabitants. To prove it, we present you the list of the richest countries in the world according to a study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which takes into account the annual GDP per capita.
If we take a quick look at the list we see that many of the richest countries are those that have oil , a fuel that has become the central axis of the world economy. Others act as tax havens or attract large multinationals.
- To know more: What is the GDP of a country
? How is it interpreted?
The 10 richest countries in the world
These are the countries with the most purchasing power in the world according to the IMF study. Are you surprised to see any of them?
10. Hong Kong
Many define Hong Kong as a nation independent of China, although the more accurate term would be Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China . The income of each inhabitant rises to 64,533 dollars a year, although as we have pointed out before, said income does not end up in the pocket of the ordinary citizen.
Many of the richest countries in the world are in the Persian Gulf, and all that wealth is due to the extraction of oil and its business. Known worldwide for its spectacular architecture (thanks to cheap labor), Kuwait boasts an annual per capita income of $66,673.
8. United Arab Emirates
Another Middle Eastern country that flaunts its wealth thanks to oil . Huge skyscrapers house luxury hotels while a few blue-collar workers survive on base pay. The country is made up of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaywayn.
The first country in Europe that appears on the list, although in this case the wealth is better distributed. Most of it goes to social expenses such as health or education. According to the International Monetary Fund, Norway is among the richest countries with $74,065 in annual per capita income.
Brunei is a small independent territory located in Southeast Asia, north of the island of Borneo. Its wealth is based on the production of oil and natural gas , although its political structure is obsolete and authoritarian. For this reason, the annual GDP per capita (79,726 dollars) does not correspond to the real purchasing power of its inhabitants.
It is the second richest country in the Eurozone, although a large part of that GDP is due to the income of foreign companies and multinationals(such as Facebook) that have their European headquarters in this territory. According to experts, Ireland is little short of an economic miracle, since in the early 1980s it was poorer than Spain. According to the IMF, the annual GDP per capita is 79,924 dollars.
Singapore is one of those small independent states that has generated a huge economy thanks to the export and import of oil , although in recent times it has diversified its market. It has $98,014 dollars per capita per year, a wealth that is (more or less) well distributed. However, civil liberties and freedom of expression are not given much consideration.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a beautiful and prosperous region in the heart of Europe, but the 110,870 dollars per year per capita hides opaque management of investment funds and tax evasion. It has the headquarters of some of the most important multinationals in the world.
As in the case of Hong Kong, it is an administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, although some prefer to define it as “the most emerging country today.” In short, it is the second richest country in the world with 114,430 dollars per year per inhabitant. Its economy is based on tourism and gambling.
The great oil giant in Arabia, the venue for the Soccer World Cup in 2022 and the richest country in the world. All that is Qatar. When pearl collectors AND FISHERMEN discovered the inexhaustible source of oil that was hiding in the desert , the lives of the great tycoons changed forever. It has a GDP per capita of 128,702 dollars per year.
If we compare it with other Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar has one of the most liberal laws, but still leaves much to be desired in terms of the preservation of human rights and freedom of expression.
China and the United States
You will miss a world superpower like China or the United States, but its high population means that the annual GDP of each inhabitant is considerably reduced. Despite not appearing on the list, these two economies remain the most influential in the world, both politically and economically.
If we take the nominal Gross Domestic Product of each country without distributing it among its inhabitants, we observe that China exceeds 11 million dollars and the United States 18 million, ahead of the European Union.
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