What Are the Richest Countries in the World for 2017?

Richest CountriesCurrent List of the Top 10 Wealthiest Countries

What is the richest country in the world for the year 2017?

Our 2017 list of the 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 among the 10 richest country in the world either.

Check out the following list of the 10 richest countries in the world for 2017. This list has been ordered 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.

Rank Country Per Capita Income (USD)
10 Hong Kong 58,000
9 Switzerland 60,000
8 United Arab Emirates 68,000
7 Ireland 69,000
6 Norway 69,000
5 Kuwait 72,000
4 Brunei 77,000
3 Singapore 90,000
2 Luxembourg 104,000
1 Qatar 128,000


10. Hong Kong

Hong KongPer capita 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 a 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

9. Switzerland

SwitzerlandPer capita income: $60,000.00

This 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. It has a population of more than eight million.

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. Previously, in December 2014, the Swiss central bank introduced sub-zero interest rates in an effort to make the safe-haven franc less attractive and to boost the economy.

8. United Arab Emirates

United Arab EmiratesPer capita income: $68,000.00

The economy of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) 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 eighth-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 have affected the U.A.E.’s ranking in the richest countries in the world 2017 list.

7. Ireland

IrelandPer capita income: $69,000.00

Ireland is ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It has a population of 4.8 million. The economic center is Dublin, where the highest-paying jobs can be found.

One of Ireland’s largest economic industries is alcoholic beverages, and it is estimated that 92,000 workers are employed in this lucrative sector. But this is not where the country flourishes. Ireland’s riches come from its exports, specifically in agriculture and raw materials. This sector accounts for roughly five percent of the country’s GDP and eight percent of its employment.

6. Norway

NorwayPer capita income: $69,000.00

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, 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 to other European countries, as well as a strongly integrated welfare system.

5. Kuwait

KuwaitPer capita income: $72,000.00

Kuwait has nearly 10% of the world’s oil reserves, and it is the fourth-biggest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Oil accounts for nearly half of the country’s GDP, as well as 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% of the population and the rest being expatriates.

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

4. Brunei

BruneiPer capita income: $77,000.00

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’s population is estimated at 418,000.

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

3. Singapore

SingaporePer capita income: $90,000.00

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 for its “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

LuxembourgPer capita income: $104,000.00

Luxembourg, the second-smallest state in the European Union (EU), enjoys a degree of economic prosperity that is very rare among industrialized democracies. It is seen as a diversified industrialized nation, largely dependant on its 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

QatarPer capita income: $128,000.00

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 (LNG). Petroleum and LNG are the cornerstones of this nation’s economy, and they represent more than 70% of Qatar’s total revenue: more than 60% of its 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.