When you think of the wealthiest countries in the world, you are probably taking the GDP per capita by country into account. In this article, we list the top 10 richest countries in the world by GDP per capita ranking 2023, as estimated by Global Finance. However, if you are watching out for the GDP per capita of China or the GDP per capita US, this list may surprise you since the countries to emerge on top are also some of the smallest countries on the map.
Methodology for ranking richest countries in the world
GDP, or the gross domestic product, is a parameter for the value of all goods and services produced in a country. Now, once you divide this number by the number of full-time residents in a country, you get an idea of how rich or poor a country’s general populace is. However, what gives a much more precise idea of the wealth held by a nation is when you also take into account the inflation rates and costs of local products and services.
Considering both factors, we get a figure called the PPP or the purchasing power parity. While this may still not be absolute statistics to accurately rank the richest and poorest countries in the world (for instance, some of the wealthiest countries can be tax havens, which artificially increases their GDPs with wealth generated outside of these countries), the GDP per capita ranking 2023 (accounting for PPP) still gets us close to understanding the wealth held by various nations.
Top 10 economies by GDP per capita ranking 2023
When you go by GDP per capita PPP, these 10 countries come up as the richest as of July 2023:
Rank Country GDP-PPP per capita (in USD)
1 Ireland 145,196
2 Luxembourg 142,490
3 Singapore 133,895
4 Qatar 124,848
5 Macao SAR 89,558
6 United Arab Emirates 88,221
7 Switzerland 87,963
8 Norway 82,655
9 United States 80,035
10 San Marino 78,926
While smaller countries like Luxembourg and Singapore benefit from well-regulated financial sectors and tax regimes ideal for foreign investments into their economies, bigger and more powerful countries like the US and China rank lower in the list of wealthiest economies. Now, let’s explore each of the top 10 more closely
GDP: $499 billion
Population: 5.03 million
After the great financial crisis of 2008, Ireland put a lot of effort into reforming its banking industry. It initiated measures like cuts to public-sector wages to get its economy where it is today. Further, Ireland is one of the largest corporate tax havens in the world, with multinational companies (such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft) adding over 50 percent to the Irish economy in recent years.
GDP: $86.7 billion
Population: 639 thousand
Luxembourg is one of the relatively unscathed European countries to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic. The nation is known for using wealth to ensure better living standards, healthcare, and education for the general populace. Further, the country is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, with its idyllic castles, abundant greenery, and picturesque canals.
Also Read: Top 10 highest-valued currencies in the world in 2023
GDP: $397 billion
Population: 5.45 million
Singapore is one of the world’s biggest hubs for businesses and trading centres. The nation has many high-net-worth individuals among its population. The economy has taken a few consecutive hits in recent years, with the pandemic at first and then the Chinese sputtering economy (a crucial trading partner, especially for Singapore’s manufacturing sector, making up 21.6 percent of the total GDP in Singapore).
GDP: $180 billion
Population: 2.93 million
Qatar (and also the UAE) are on this list of the top 10 economies by GDP per capita ranking for 2023, benefit largely from their reserves of natural resources. For example, Qatar’s oil and natural gas reserves are significantly huge compared to its population, contributing to its high ranking among the richest countries.
GDP: $22 billion
Macao SAR is a special administrative region under China, and its wealth mainly emerges from its over 40 casinos, which make it one of the biggest travel destinations around the world. Even though Macao took a tremendous hit during the Covid-19 crisis with travel restrictions and frequent lockdowns, the economy is already on its way to rapid economic recovery
United Arab Emirates
GDP: $359 billion
Population: 9.99 million
The UAE, as mentioned above, benefits greatly from its natural resources. Only 20 percent of the total population in this region is truly native, the rest being attracted by economic benefits like tax-free salaries. Aside from its hydrocarbon sector, tourism, finance, and construction are lucrative sectors in the UAE.
GDP: $813 billion
Population: 8.70 million
One of the biggest tourist hotspots globally, Switzerland also has a bustling financial sector. The country further benefits from exports of precious metals, precision instruments, and machinery like computers and medical devices. About 74 percent of the Swiss GDP comes from the services sector and 25 percent from industry, with less than one percent from the agricultural sector. Switzerland further has the lowest VAT rate in Europe.
GDP: $482 billion
Population: 5.41 million
Norway is again a top petroleum provider in the Western European territories. The country has made good financial progress after the economy crashed during the Covid-19 crisis. Further, Norway has a $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund to deal with any crises urgently, which also happens to be the largest of its kind in the world.
GDP: $23.0 trillion
Population: 332 million
If you were wondering about GDP per capita US at the beginning, the country definitely makes it to the list of the top 10 economies by GDP per capita PPP, albeit at one of the lower ranks. Along with being a dominant economic entity, America is also powered by its military capacities.
GDP: $1.86 billion
San Marino is the oldest republic in Europe and the fifth smallest on the continent. Income tax rates are meagre here, which contributes to the wealth held by citizens.