Special Report

Richest Countries In The World

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15. Iceland
> GNI per capita: $59,590
> 2020 GDP: $20.2 billion
> Population: 366,425
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 82.6 years

Exports accounted for just 34.1% of Iceland’s GDP in 2020, higher than the 29.5% share of exports in worldwide GDP but one of the lowest shares among the world’s richest countries. Though it is not a member of the European Union, Iceland has a free trade agreement with the EU.

Iceland has been a popular tourist destination in recent years, but this aspect of its economy has been struggling even before the COVID-19 pandemic brought travel to a halt in 2020. Tourism began contracting in 2019, and Iceland’s WOW Air filed for bankruptcy that year.

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14. Netherlands
> GNI per capita: $59,700
> 2020 GDP: $1.0 trillion
> Population: 17.4 million
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 82.0 years

The Netherlands is one of 25 countries in the world with a GDP of over $1 trillion. It also has the 14th highest GNI per capita in the world, at $59,700.

The Netherlands has one of the lowest Gini indexes in the world, indicating that incomes are relatively evenly distributed. Income inequality can reduce economic growth in a country because it can reduce demand for goods and services from low-income residents, while the wealthier residents save a larger share of their income rather than spend it.

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13. Denmark
> GNI per capita: $62,180
> 2020 GDP: $352.2 billion
> Population: 5.8 million
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 81.2 years

Denmark is one of just 13 countries with a GNI per capita of over $60,000, at $62,180. It is one of the five Nordic countries, all of which rank among the world’s richest.

One of the aspects boosting Denmark’s economy is the lack of corruption. According to Transparency International, it ranks as the least corrupt country on Earth, tied with New Zealand. This lack of corruption allows people and businesses to operate freely, boosting competition and ultimately economic growth.

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12. Hong Kong
> GNI per capita: $62,510
> 2020 GDP: $443.2 billion
> Population: 7.5 million
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 85.1 years

Hong Kong is the 12th wealthiest country in the world, with a GNI per capita of $62,510. As one of the world’s busiest port cities, Hong Kong is one of the major exporters in the world as billions of dollars worth of electronics, precious metals, and machinery go through its port to destinations around the world each year.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. Though it has its own legal and economic systems, it is still largely under the control of China — residents are only allowed to vote for representatives pre-selected by China.

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11. Norway
> GNI per capita: $66,020
> 2020 GDP: $340.0 billion
> Population: 5.4 million
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 82.9 years

Norway has a GNI per capita of just over $66,000 — higher than all but 10 other countries in the world. It is the wealthiest of the Nordic nations, due in part to its nearly $60 billion of annual petroleum exports.

GNI per capita tends to correlate with health outcomes, and Norway is one of the prime examples. It has among the lowest rates of child mortality, maternal mortality, and tuberculosis per capita of any country in the world. Norwegians have a life expectancy over a decade longer than the average worldwide, at 82.9 years.

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