While global poverty is declining faster than ever before, the distribution of wealth around the world is far from even. North America is home to less than 5% of the global population and accounts for about 27% of the world’s gross domestic product. Meanwhile, South Asia is home to 24% of the world population and accounts for less than 4% of global GDP.
While gross domestic product provides an accurate picture of the size of a nation’s economy, gross national income, or GNI, is a more precise measure of the financial well-being of a country’s citizens. GNI includes GDP as well as the net income generated by a country’s residents earned outside of national borders. If an entrepreneur from France owns a factory in Germany, for example, the factory’s profits would be included in France’s GNI, but not its GDP. Similarly, profits of foreign-owned companies within France would be excluded from the French GNI.
To identify the richest countries in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed GNI per capita for 131 countries and special administrative regions with data from the World Bank.