US… Norway… Luxembourg… Switzerland, which country do you think is the wealthiest in the world? What makes a country rich? Let’s find out…
When it comes to the concept of richest nation in the world, there can be various views. ‘Richness’ in itself has different interpretations and thoughts. For instance, when viewed culturally, all countries are ‘rich’ in their own ways. Each of them have diverse and rich cultural history. Now, that was an abstract interpretation of the term ‘richest’ for nations. The crux of this article, however, is to focus on the most commonly understood meaning of rich, and that is in terms of earnings and incomes. The concept is linked in terms of materialistic achievements and success that is accurately measured by gross domestic product (GDP).
The Wealthiest Nation
For the uninitiated, GDP is an economic parameter that measures the economic health and standard of living in a country. Now, if we take the GDP alone to be a parameter, it would be ambiguous. The most ideal methods are adopted by international organizations like the United Nations, World bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and others, who come up with their list of richest countries, annually. The GDP per capita, that is also closely termed as Purchasing Power Parity, is used by statisticians the world over. Alone, GDP can’t be considered as the sole criteria for placing a country, because, when only GDP is considered, China competes close to the US. But when you consider GDP per capita, China falls many places behind the US. This is owing to the huge population of China. Interesting, Isn’t it? Arab countries like Qatar have generally scaled up the order because of their smaller population, just like Singapore, though they are very small in size as compared to the US. One also has to take into account the general standard of living, health care of citizens, and literacy rate.
Luxembourg, called the ‘Green Heart of Europe’, located in North West Europe, enjoys the highest GDP per capita, and is always in close competition with the Scandinavian country of Norway, known for its monetary wealth, and Qatar, the country that has rich reserves of black gold, petroleum. Luxembourg’s economy is diversified into banking and industrial sectors, which are major contributors to its economy.
|GDP per capita (in USD approx)
|United Arab Emirates
As we can see, the richest nations have a small population. barring exceptions like the US. Singapore, and other growing economies like China, UAE, Japan, UK, and India, though not among the top ten, have strong economies.