The wealth of a country is determined by its GDP and the standard of living of its citizens. Thus, there are two regular methods of determining the wealth of a country.These methods also help to determine about how rich or poor are the inhabitants of a country. The most common and often used method of determining the wealth is Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP of a country represents the size of the economy of that country. Per-capita GDP helps in measuring the average welfare and affluence, or poverty of the residents of a country. However, GDP and per-capita GDP are not considered when we have to compare economies of two countries or other different countries.This is because GDP is expressed in a country’s local currency. Thus, there is another method named GDP (PPP) (GDP based on purchasing power parity) is used to measure economies all across the globe. GDP (PPP) is used to compare the differences in living standards between nations. As PPP calculates the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of countries, it most accurately tells about the richness or poverty of a country.
According to the 2013 GDP (PPP) stats, a few Gulf States, Europe and North America are the regions of the world where some of the richest countries of the world are situated.These countries have a per-capita GDP (PPP) of over 105 thousand dollars. The natural resources and technological advancements of these countries have made these countries reach new heights in economic and social development. In this article we present some of these countries and the facts that make these countries so wealthy.
Located in Western Asia, Qatar is the world’s richest country. Qatar is a sovereign Arab state. It shares its border with Saudi Arabia to the south while rest of the country is surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Doha is the capital of Qatar. Qatar is the world’s third largest natural gas reserve and this country achieved 36th place in human development in the world. It is also the highest human developer in the Arab World. Qatar has a population of around 1.8 million people, with a population density of 176 persons per square kilometer. However, only 250,000 is the population of citizens of the state; the rest of the population is foreigners who work and live in the state. Qatar is also one of the few countries whose citizens do not have to pay any taxes.
Officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, it is the second richest country of the world. Located in Western Europe, it is surrounded by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. It is the smallest sovereign nation of Europe with an area of 2,586 square kilometers. It is also the world’s only remaining grand duchy which is headed by a grand duke. The City of Luxembourg is the capital of Luxembourg. Luxembourg is a member of the NATO, European Union, OECD, Benelux and the United Nations. Luxembourg has a population of 524,853 with a population density of 194.1 persons per square kilometer.
The sovereign city-state of Southeast Asia is the third richest country of the world. Officially known as the Republic of Singapore, it is an island country which lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Singapore is one of the world’s leading commercial hubs. It is also the fourth-biggest financial center and is also one of the five busiest ports. Over five million people live in this city-state out of which two million are foreigners. 75 percent population of Singapore is Chinese while rest 25 percent comprises of Indians, Malyas, Eurasians and other people. Singapore gained independence on 31st August 1963 from United Kingdom. It has a population of 7,540 persons per square kilometer and is world’s third largest densely populated country.
Norway is the fourth wealthiest country of the world. Officially known as the Kingdom of Norway, it is a Scandinavianunitary constitutional monarchy. It is the second least densely populated country in Europe with a population density of 15.5 persons per square kilometer. The total population of Norway is around five million. Norway is surrounded by Russia and Finland to the north-east; to the south it touches the Skagerrak Strait with Denmark on the other side. Capital of Norway is Oslo and it is the largest city of this country. Norway’s wealth is because of the extensive reserves of petroleum, minerals, natural gas, lumber, fresh water, seafood and hydropower. Norway has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World Bank list.
5. Brunei Darussalam:
Officially known as the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, Brunei Darussalam is the fifth richest country in the world. It is a Southeast Asian sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo. Brunei was once under British colonial possession and regained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1st January 1984. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Brunei and Libya were the two countries with a zero percent public debt in 2011. Brunei has rich oil and natural gas reserves which has led this nation to achieve the status of one of the most developed nations of Asia. Brunei has a population of 415,717 with a population density of 67.3 persons per square kilometers.
6. United States:
The federal republic of America stands sixth in the list of the richest countries in the world. Popularly known as the United States, America consists of 50 states, 16 territories and a federal district. With the European colonization in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies. The United States has the world’s largest national economy with a GDP of $16.7 trillion in 2013. However, around 16 percent of the country’s population still lives in poverty. United States is the largest importer and second largest exporter of goods in the world. It is also the leading economic and military power and a prominent political and cultural force in the world. United States has a population of 317,188,000 with a population density of 34.2 persons per square kilometer.
7. United Arab Emirates:
The United Arab Emirates or the UAE is a constitution of seven emirates or principalities. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Quwain. Situated in the Southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, it is the world’s seventeenth largest natural gas reserve. It is also the country with world’s seventh largest oil reserves. These oil and natural gas reserves have made UAE the seventh richest country of the world. UAE has a population of 8,264,070 with a population density of 99 persons per square kilometer. Dubai is the largest city of UAE that has emerged as a global city. Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE.
The heaven on earth is the eighth richest country of the world. Officially known as the Swiss Confederation, it is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 26 cantons. Located in Western and Central Europe, Switzerland is bordered by France to the west, Germany to the north, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. With the Alps occupying most of the region, it is one of the most beautiful and famous tourist destinations of the world. Zurich and Geneva are the two main cities of this small country. Both these cities have been ranked with the second and eighth highest quality of life in the world respectively. Switzerland is the seventeenth largest importer and fifteenth largest exporter of goods. Switzerland has a population of 7,954,700 with a population density of 188 persons per square kilometer. Switzerland is the world’s nineteenth largest economy by nominal GDP.
Another Arab country that has made to the list of world’s richest countries is Kuwait. Officially known as the State of Kuwait, it is located in the northeastern edge of Arabian Peninsula. Kuwait has an area of 17,820 square kilometers. It shares boundaries with Saudi Arabia to the south and Iraq to the north. Kuwait is divided into six governorates or muhafazagh. These muhafazaghs are further subdivided into districts. Kuwait gained independence from United Kingdom in 1961 and in 1990 it was invaded by Iraq. The Iraqi reign was thrown down with the military intervention of the United States. Kuwait City is the capital of this Arabian country that despite of some very bad phases rose up to achieve new heights. It is the eighth richest country and is classified as a high income economy by the World Bank. It is also a major non-NATO ally of the United States.
Officially known as the Republic of Austria, Austria is a federal republic located in Central Europe. It shares its boundary with Hungary and Slovakia to the east, the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. With a very high mountain terrain, this country has only 32 percent of its total land below five hundred meters. Austria comprises of nine federal states with Vienna its capital and largest city. In 2011, it was ranked 19th in the world for its Human Development Index. Austria has a population of 8,414,638 with a population density of 100.3 persons per square kilometer.