What Are the Richest Countries in the World for 2017?

Richest CountriesWhat is the richest country in the world for the year 2017?

Our 2017 list of the top 10 richest countries in the world includes two tiny countries and three oil-producing states overlooking the Persian Gulf. None of the emerging economies of the “BRICS” group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are among the 10 wealthiest countries. And you might be shocked to see that the United States isn’t the richest country in the world.

Check out our following list of the top 10 richest countries in the world for 2017. This list has been organized by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, using the purchasing power parity in U.S. dollars. We have rounded the per capita numbers to the closest 1,000 for ease of reading.

10. Switzerland

Per capita income: $56,000.00

The producer of gourmet chocolate and luxury watches is one of the world’s richest economies. Its policy of long-term monetary security and political stability has helped it remain the biggest center for global offshore wealth.

Over a year ago, Switzerland’s central bank shocked financial markets by abandoning the cap of 1.20 francs per euro that it had defended for three years to shield its economy from the pain of an overvalued currency. In December 2014, the Swiss central bank introduced sub-zero interest rates in an effort to make the safe-haven franc less attractive and boost the economy.

9. United States of America

Per capita income: $57,000.00

The United States is the world’s largest economy, with GDP estimated at $18.45 trillion as of mid-2016. (Source: “Gross Domestic Product,” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, last accessed October 5, 2016.)

The U.S. is currently one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas. It is one of the largest trading nations in the world, as well as the world’s second-largest manufacturer. It hosts the New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization.

The United States has a total population of 322 million, making it the third-most-populous country in the world after China and India.

8. Hong Kong

Per capital income: $58,000.00

Hong Kong is an autonomous territory in the People’s Republic of China. It was a British Colony until 1997. The country has population of over 7.3 million and it’s one of the most densely populated states in the world. Among investors and businesses, Hong Kong is considered to be one of the most capitalist economies. It hosts the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, one of the biggest stock markets in the world.

7. United Arab Emirates

Per capita income: $67,000.00

The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) economy is the second-largest in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia, with a GDP of $370.0 billion in 2015. It is extremely reliant on its oil industry, with more than 85% of its economy based on oil exports.

Although the U.A.E. is the seventh richest country in the world when looking at its GDP per capita, over the past two years, the oil market has seen its fair share of volatility. Oil prices are down significantly from where they stood in early 2015. This could affect the U.A.E.’s ranking in the richest countries in the world 2017 list.

6. Norway

Per capita income: $68,000.00

Norway has the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.

Much of Norway’s economic growth has been fueled by an abundance of natural resources, including petroleum exploration and production, hydroelectric power, and fisheries.

With a population of just a little more than five million, the country has a very high standard of living, compared with other European countries, and a strongly integrated welfare system.

5. Kuwait

Per capita income: $72,000.00

Kuwait has nearly 10% of the world’s oil reserves and it is the fourth-biggest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Oil accounts for nearly half of the country’s GDP and 95% of its export revenues and government income.

The Kuwaiti currency is the highest-valued currency unit in the world. One Kuwaiti dinar buys US$3.30.

This Persian Gulf state has a population of 3.3 million, with Kuwaitis accounting for only 30% and the rest being expatriates.

With all this said, it wouldn’t shock us to see Kuwait’s ranking in the world richest countries drop a bit. This would be mainly due to oil prices.

4. Brunei

Per capita income: $80,000.00

Oil revenue accounts for more than half of the GDP of this tiny, wealthy country. Substantial income from overseas investment, as well as income from domestic production, helps boost the economy.

Brunei is the third-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia. It is also the fourth-largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world.

Brunei’s population is estimated at 418,000.

Just like Kuwait and United Arab Emirates, Brunei could see its ranking drop because of oil prices.

3. Singapore

Per capita income: $85,000.00

The world’s only sovereign island city-state is noted for its pragmatic and incorrupt governance, which, together with its rapid development policies, is widely cited as the “Singapore model.”

The nation’s highly developed trade-oriented market economy has been ranked as the most open in the world and the most pro-business in terms of low tax rates.

Singapore is also a major foreign direct investment (FDI) outflow financier.

With a population estimated at 5.4 million, Singapore is the second-densest sovereign state in the world, after the microstate Monaco.

2. Luxembourg

Per capita income: $94,000.00

Luxembourg, which is the second-smallest state in the European Union, enjoys a degree of economic prosperity very rare among industrialized democracies. It is seen as a diversified industrialized nation, largely depending on the banking, steel, and industrial sectors.

With a population of a little more than 500,000, Luxembourg is one of the least-populous countries in Europe.

1. Qatar

Per capita income: $146,000.00

When it comes to the 2017 list of richest countries, Qatar wins by a landslide.

The oil boom was the major monetary source of this southwest Asian state, which is ranked as the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. Petroleum and LNG are the cornerstones of the nation’s economy, and they represent more than 70% of Qatar’s total revenue: more than 60% of GDP.

Qatari nationals account for a mere 12% of the total population of 2.2 million.

Before the emergence of its petroleum-based industry, Qatar was a poor pearl-fishing country. Today, Qatar is a significant power in the Arab world.

Rank Country Per Capita Income
1 Qatar 146,000
2 Luxembourg 94,000
3 Singapore 85,000
4 Brunei 80,000
5 Kuwait 72,000
6 Norway 68,000
7 United Arab Emirates 67,000
8 Hong Kong 58,000
9 United States of America 57,000
10 Switzerland 56,000