The richest countries in the world are a diverse bunch, with some nations gaining their wealth through oil and natural resources while others attained prosperity through international banking and finance. This list ranks the richest countries in the world based on per capita gross domestic product (GDP).
GDP is calculated by adding the value of all of the good and services produced within the country on an annual basis. This number is divided by the total population to create per capita GDP. All statistics come from the CIA World Factbook.
Highest Per Capita GDP #1: Qatar - $179,000
Qatar is the richest country in the world thanks to tremendous oil and natural gas reserves. While overly reliant on natural resources for government revenue, Qatar is trying to diversify its economy. Oil and natural gas reserves were discovered in Qatar in the mid 1940's, which vastly improved the standard of living.
Highest Per Capita GDP #2: Liechtenstein - $141,000
Liechtenstein is a tiny European country with a population of only 35,000. Low corporate taxes and ease of incorporation contribute to Liechtenstein's business friendly climate. Liechtenstein has an unemployment rate of only 1.5%.
Highest Per Capita GDP #3: Luxembourg-$82,000
Luxembourg is a major private banking and insurance center. Luxembourg is also known as a tax haven, attracting many international companies wishing to lower their overall tax liability. Unlike Liechtenstein, Luxembourg is a member of the European Union.
Highest Per Capita GDP #4: Bermuda-$69,900
While primarily known as a tourist destination, Bermuda's largest industry is finance. International corporations like Bermuda's favorable tax structure and regulatory atmosphere. The tiny island attracts 500,000 visitors annually. Although the Bermudian dollar features Queen Elizabeth, the currency is pegged to the U.S. Dollar.
Highest Per Capita GDP #5: Singapore-$62,100
Per capita, Singapore has more millionaires than any country in the world. Singapore boasts a diverse economy, anchored by shipping, services, refining, and especially finance. Singapore is characterized by competent government, non-existent corruption, and a stable and growing economy. Singapore has recently attempted to market itself as a tourist destination.