Special Report

The 25 Richest Countries in the World

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5. Luxembourg
> GNI per capita: $74,310
> 2020 GDP: $74.8 billion
> Population: 632,275
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 82.4 years

Luxembourg is a small country located between Belgium, France, and Germany. Though it has just 630,000 residents, it is an economic powerhouse. Its GNI per capita of $74,310 is the fifth highest in the world, and the nation’s GDP per capita is by far the highest in the world, at $118,360. No other country’s GDP per capita exceeds six figures.

GNI differs from GDP in that it measures income earned by the country’s businesses and individuals in other nations. Luxembourg is known as a tax haven, with a top tax rate of less than 25%, which helps the country to attract $4 trillion in foreign direct investments. Therefore, much of the economic activity in the country is measured in the GNI of other nations. Luxembourg exports tens of billions of dollars worth of financial services annually. The size of its export economy is actually more than double its GDP, the only country in which this is the case.

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4. Bermuda
> GNI per capita: $86,450
> 2019 GDP: $5.4 billion
> Population: 63,903
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 81.9 years

Bermuda is the world’s fourth richest country, with a GNI per capita of $86,450 — over $12,000 more than the next closest country. It also happens to be the smallest country to rank among the world’s richest, with less than 64,000 residents.

Bermuda is considered one of the world’s foremost tax havens — a place where businesses and individuals can set up shop to lower their taxable profits and incomes, even when primarily operating in other places. Income generated in other countries is then measured in the country’s GNI.

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3. Singapore
> GNI per capita: $86,480
> 2020 GDP: $560.2 billion
> Population: 5.7 million
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 83.5 years

With a GNI per capita of $86,480, Singapore ranks as one of the three richest countries in the world. Higher incomes help residents access education and health care. In Singapore, more than 97% of residents are literate, and the country has the fifth highest life expectancy at birth in the world, at 83.5 years.

Though Singapore’s GNI per capita ranks third in the world, at over $86,000, its GDP per capita ranks second, at over $98,000. This indicates that much of the economic activity taking place in the country financially benefits people and companies headquartered outside of Singapore.

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2. Qatar
> GNI per capita: $88,070
> 2020 GDP: $259.1 billion
> Population: 2.9 million
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 80.2 years

Qatar has the second highest GNI per capita in the world, at just over $88,000. It is one of several nations on this list that derives much of its wealth from its oil and natural gas industry.

Qatar had $77 billion worth of exports in 2019, more than 88% of which came from crude and refined petroleum as well as petroleum gas. Qatar’s oil industry accounts for almost 17% of its GDP, one of the highest percentages in the world.

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1. Macau
> GNI per capita: $117,340
> 2020 GDP: $37.5 billion
> Population: 649,342
> Avg. life expectancy at birth: 84.2 years

Macau is by far the richest country in the world, with a GNI per capita of $117,340 — nearly $100,000 higher than the worldwide GNI per capita and almost $30,000 more than the next closest country. Macau also ranks as one of the world’s healthiest countries with the average life expectancy at birth at 84.2 years, the third longest in the world.

A special administrative region of China located at China’s southern tip, Macau is known as the gambling capital of the world. Its economy relies heavily on tourism, though it is also considered a tax haven as foreign earnings are not taxed.

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