Special Report

The Richest and Poorest Countries

The Richest Countries in the World

25. France
> GNI per capita:
> 2014 GDP: $2.8 trillion
> Population: 66,206,930
> Life expectancy: 82.0 years

With a GDP of $2.8 trillion, France has the sixth largest economy in the world. It is the leading exporter of planes, helicopters, and spacecrafts worldwide, and the industry makes up the bulk of its trade revenue. Like just five of the world’s 25 richest nations, France imports more than it exports. The country’s 66.2 million population is the 21st largest in the world, and with a GNI per capita of $39,720, it is the 25th wealthiest in the world.

Government spending accounts for 47% of France’s GDP, the fourth highest share of any country. As a result, French citizens enjoy a high standard of living. As many as 98.5% of primary school-aged children attend school, the 12th highest share worldwide. The average France resident can expect to live 82 years, also the 12th best in the world.

24. Finland
> GNI per capita:
> 2014 GDP: $270.7 billion
> Population: 5,463,596
> Life expectancy: 80.8 years

Finland’s GNI per capita of $40,000 is the 24th highest in the world. The Nordic country’s top export is refined petroleum, which it primarily trades to Sweden. Finland is also the world’s top exporter of coated paper.

The Finnish people have some of the highest standards of living on the world. Due in part to its tuition-free higher education system, 21.1% of Finland citizens have at least a bachelor’s degree, one of the highest attainment rates worldwide. Like most wealthy European nations, Finland’s government is also among the most ethical. On Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Finland was ranked the third least corrupt country.

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23. Ireland
> GNI per capita:
> 2014 GDP: $245.9 billion
> Population: 4,612,719
> Life expectancy: 81.0 years

Like many of the world’s wealthiest countries, Ireland has a positive trade balance, with a trade surplus of 25%. Ireland is the world’s top exporter of nitrogen heterocyclic compounds, products of the country’s growing pharmaceutical industry.

With a GNI per capita of $40,820, Ireland’s citizens are the 23rd wealthiest in the world and enjoy a standard of life slightly better than the rest of Europe and Central Asia. Irish residents can expect to live to be 81 years old, 4.2 years longer than the average life expectancy for the rest of the region.

22. Iceland
> GNI per capita:
> 2014 GDP: $17.1 billion
> Population: 327,589
> Life expectancy: 83.1 years

Iceland’s economy is just the 115th largest in the world, but this is largely because of its relatively small size — it is one of the world’s least populous countries. Despite this, Iceland has a GNI per capita of $42,530, the 22nd highest of any nation. The Nordic island’s top exports are aluminium, fish fillets, and other frozen fish.

The majority of Iceland’s residents live in its capital city, Reykjavik, where the standard of living is among the world’s highest. For every 100 people in Iceland, 98 have access to the Internet, the highest share of any country. Icelanders can also expect to live to be 83 years old, the fourth longest life expectancy in the world.

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21. Australia
> GNI per capita:
> 2014 GDP: $1.5 trillion
> Population: 23,490,736
> Life expectancy: 82.2 years

Australia’s economy is the 12th largest in the world and its residents rank as the 21st wealthiest in the world. The Oceanian country supplies almost half of the world’s iron ore, three-fourths of which it trades to China. Across the country, citizens enjoy some of the best educational and health outcomes worldwide. More than one fourth of Australians have at least a bachelor’s degree, the sixth highest attainment rate in the world. The life expectancy at birth in the country is 82.2 years, the 10th longest of any country.

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