The Seven Richest Countries

September 18, 2018


As recently as a few decades ago, most of the world’s richest countries were concentrated in Europe and North America. Some European countries still rank among the world’s richest, but the 21st century has seen the growth of wealth in new parts of the world, especially in Asia and the Middle East.

There are different ways to measure national wealth, but according to GDP per capita these are richest countries in the world.

1. Qatar

Qatar is one of the smallest countries in the Middle East, but that did not stop them from winning the bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The country sits on one of the worst most important reserves of natural gas, which has brought tremendous wealth, including the ability to build some of the world’s most sophisticated stadiums.

2. Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a tiny, mountainous country that has managed to become the wealthiest country in Europe. Much of its wealth comes from the banking sector, which has attracted the world’s financial elite for decades because of the secrecy that the country’s laws afford. Luxembourg also has a strong industrial sector and was once one of Europe’s most important steel producers.

3. Singapore


Very few countries have experienced the long-term economic growth that Singapore has enjoyed for the past three decades. Traditionally, Singapore has benefited from its strategic geographic location along the Strait of Malacca. These days it is known as one of the world’s leading sources of scientific innovation, while it continues to be one its busiest trading ports.

4. Brunei

Brunei is a tiny island nation that has become extremely wealthy from its vast oil reserves. The royal family is one of the oldest dynasties in the world, dating back to the 14th century. The golden domes of the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque are perhaps the most recognizable symbol of the country’s great wealth.

5. Ireland

On a per capita basis, Ireland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. A short time ago it was best known as place of emigration, particularly to the United States and England. During the 1990s, however, Ireland’s economy expanded significantly as some of the world’s biggest companies took advantage of the educated, English-speaking population and opened branches there.

6. Norway

Norway is one of Europe’s most important producers of oil, and the country has capitalized on that status to become one of the richest countries in the world.

Not only is Norway wealthy, it is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live because of its strong commitment to equality. Unlike other wealthy countries, the difference between the wealthiest and the poorest is relatively small.

7. Kuwait

Like many of its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, Kuwait was an undeveloped country in the desert just a few decades ago. Today it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, thanks largely to its tremendous oil and gas reserves. In recent years, Kuwait’s economy has expanded to include international finance and scientific research.