World's Richest Countries List / Rankings

According to a recent rankings released by Forbe's, Qatar is the richest country in the world in terms of wealth:

  •  The Persian Gulf emirate - Qatar of 1.7 million people ranks as the world’s richest country per capita thanks to a rebound in oil prices and its massive natural gas reserves. Adjusted for purchasing power, Qatar booked an estimated gross domestic product per capita of more than $88,000 for 2010. Qatar has the third-largest reserves of natural gas in the world, and it has invested heavily in infrastructure to liquefy and export it, as well as to diversify its economy, without overreaching as much as nearby Dubai. Qatar has lured multinational financial firms to the country, as well as satellite campuses of U.S. universities. The government is pouring money into infrastructure, including a deepwater seaport, an airport and a railway network, all with an eye to making the country a better host for businesses and the 2022 World Cup.
  • The mighty minnow Luxembourg occupies the second place on this list of richest countries in the world.  Its per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity basis is just over $81,000. The country of half a million people became a financial hub in the latter half of the 20th century, in part thanks to strict banking secrecy laws that earned it the reputation of a tax haven. 
  • The city-state of Singapore is at No. 3 in this list of richest countries in the world. Singapore which thrives as a technology, manufacturing and finance hub with a GDP (PPP) per capita of nearly $56,700.
Countries in the richest list due to their natural resources (primarily oil) reserves

Apart from Qatar which is at the top of the list, the following countries also rely on their natural reserves to grab a place in the world's richest countries list:
  • Norway, which ranks #4, petroleum accounts for nearly half of exports and is the main contributor to its PPP-adjusted GDP per capita of nearly $52,000; the country is also one of the world’s largest gas exporters. 
  • Brunei, located on the island of Borneo, reaps the benefits of extensive petroleum and natural gas fields and comes in at #5 with a PPP-adjusted per capita GDP of just over $48,000. 
  • United Arab Emirates, #6, looks to its oil and gas for about 25% of its GDP, which is nearly $47,500 per capita (PPP).
  • Australia, ranking at No. 11; Canada, at No. 14; and Kuwait, at No. 15, which relies on its crude oil reserves for at least half of GDP, and almost all of its export revenues and government income.
Remaining countries among the top 10 in the list of world's richest countries:
  • United States occupies #7 place with GDP (PPP) per capita: $46,860 
  • Hong Kong occupies #8 place with GDP (PPP) per capita: $45,944 
  • Switzerland occupies #9 place with GDP (PPP) per capita: $41,950 
  • Netherlands occupies #10 place with GDP (PPP) per capita: $40,973 
The Poorest Countries in the list:
A trio of politically and economically fragile African nations: Burundi, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where GDPs (PPP) per capita are $400, $386 and $312, respectively.

Forbe's Word's Richest Countries Ranking Methodology
  • To rank the world’s wealthiest countries, Forbes looked at GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power for 182 nations. 
  • They used International Monetary Fund data from 2010, the most recent available (GDP figures for some countries were projections). 
  • The PPP-adjusted GDP—preferred by economists when making international comparisons—takes into account the relative cost of living and inflation rates, rather than just exchange rates, which may distort real differences in worth.