Special Report

Richest Countries in the World

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20. Canada
> GNI per capita: $43,559
> 2017 GDP: $1.6 trillion (15th out of 196 countries)
> Population: 36.7 million
> Life expectancy at birth: 82.5 years

With a GDP exceeding $1.6 trillion, Canada is one of the wealthiest and most economically productive countries in the world. Canada is the world’s fourth largest exporter of crude petroleum, behind Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Iraq. In 2017 crude petroleum, accounting for 14% of Canada’s total export value.

This relative prosperity has helped make Canada a desirable destination for immigrants. Though Canada has the world’s 38th largest population with 36.7 million residents, it had the fourth highest net migration total in 2017, with a total of 1.1 million new residents.

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19. Austria
> GNI per capita: $45,375
> 2017 GDP: $400.2 billion (45th out of 196 countries)
> Population: 8.8 million
> Life expectancy at birth: 81.6 years

Austria was the 30th largest exporter in the world in 2017, despite being just the 96th largest country in terms of population. Machines and transportation vehicles accounted for much of the country’s exports worth.

Austria encourages innovation to bolster its economy. Like several other countries that rank among the richest in the world, research and development accounts for a significant percentage of Austria’s GDP. Austria is one of just six countries in which research and development spending is equal to more than 3% of GDP.

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18. Germany
> GNI per capita: $46,422
> 2017 GDP: $3.8 trillion (5th out of 196 countries)
> Population: 82.7 million
> Life expectancy at birth: 81.0 years

Germany has one of the largest economies in the world, with a GDP of nearly $3.8 trillion. Germany ranked as the third largest exporter in the world in 2017 after China and the U.S., exporting more than $1.7 trillion worth of goods that year.

Though Germany exports a wide array of goods, automobiles are the main industry, accounting for 12% of all German exports in 2017. Germany is well known for its automotive prowess. German auto manufacturers BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Volkwagen are some of the best known car brands in the world.

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17. Sweden
> GNI per capita: $47,346
> 2017 GDP: $469.5 billion (40th out of 196 countries)
> Population: 10.1 million
> Life expectancy at birth: 82.3 years

Sweden invests more on education as a share of its GDP than almost any other country in the world. The country spends the equivalent of 7.6% of its GDP on education. This investment in education appears to be paying off as Sweden has among the highest primary school enrollment rates and primary school completion rates, setting its young residents up to be well educated and productive members of the economy in the future.

The Swedish economy is also driven by innovation. Research and development spending is equal to nearly 3.3% of Sweden’s GDP, the fourth highest share of any country in the world.

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16. Denmark
> GNI per capita: $48,260
> 2017 GDP: $272.5 billion (55th out of 196 countries)
> Population: 5.8 million
> Life expectancy at birth: 81.0 years

Denmark has one of the highest GNIs per capita, at more than $48,000. The country has a diverse economy, exporting billions of dollars worth of machines, chemical products, animal products, and other foodstuffs. Packaged medicaments make up the largest segment of Denmark’s exports.

The wealth in Denmark tends to be distributed relatively evenly among people as measured by the Gini coefficient. Denmark has one of the lowest Gini coefficients in the world. Likely contributing to the high level of equality is Denmark’s rank as the least corrupt country in the world, according to the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index.

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