What are the Richest Countries in the World?
At a certain point in your life, perhaps now, you may find yourself asking the question"What are the richest countries in the world?" When it comes to wealth, judging a countries value can be done several ways. For the purposes of this list however, I am equating GDP (PPP) per capita as the truest form of wealth in each country. For those of you who fell asleep during Economics 101, GDP or gross domestic product, is simply the market value of all the goods and services produced within a certain country in a certain period of time. PPP, or purchasing power parity, is a technique used to determine the relative value of currencies, making adjustments for exchange rates. In other words, with the help of The International Monetary Fund's & The World Bank's 2013 GDP (PPP) per capita numbers, which included all 183 UN nations, Hong Kong and Taiwan, I present to you the top 10 richest countries in the world (and why you should travel to them).
10 - United States of America
Human Development Index: 3rd
Despite recent time, the United State still cracks the top 10 for richest countries in the world. Voted by myself as the best country in the world, despite my negative-nancy friends who think that traveling to Senegal would be better (if there is no LA, Vegas, Chicago, New York or Miami than how could a country be better?). In all actuality, the United State has the world's largest economy with a GDP that is at almost $16 trillion, doubling that of second ranked China. But since this is a list taking into consideration both per capita and exchange rate measurements, for the purposes of this list I am considering the United States as the tenth wealthiest country in the world. One of the leading countries in technological innovation and scientific research, as well as being an economic, political and cultural force, it is no surprise that the most powerful country on Earth is also one of the wealthiest and best to travel to if you don't live here.
9 - Nation of Brunei, the Adobe of Peace
Human Development Index: 30th
Growing up, I actually heard a lot about Brunei from my father, though I am fully aware that many of you probably have no idea where it is. Located on the north coast of the islands of Borneo, Brunei enjoys the second highest Human Development Index among the South East Asian nations (Singapore is first), which earns it the title of being a "very high human development country". If you don't know what the Human Development Index is, it is an index that takes a country's life expectancy, education and income indices and composites them into a raw score. With 90% of its GDP made up from crude oil and natural gas production, Brunei depends heavily on imports like food, cars and consumer products, although the country continues to take steps to become food self-sufficient. Freedom House ( a U.S.-based non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights) has given this wealthy country a "Not Free" status due to its mainly IslÄmic heritage and the sexist ideologies surrounding that religion. Basically, this country sucks if you are a woman. Enough said. They are rich but treat the most beautiful creatures on Earth like stepping mats at the Oscars. Not my cup of tea though you may want to take a vacation here to see for yourself.
8 - Hong Kong
Human Development Index: 13th
Hong Kong is actually one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China and is located on the south coast. A former British colony in the 17th century, Hong Kong is not only one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it is one of the world's leading financial centres (making it a great place to travel to). My finance professor, as I remember him saying between my naps one class, lived in this country for several years trading bonds for some company that shall remain nameless. This country couldn't be more different from that of mainland China though, using low taxation and free trade to prove that a capitalist economy can be succesful in Asia. Milton Friedman once described this country as the world's greatest experiments in laissez-faire capitalism, though it has since instituted American-socialist regulations like minimum wage. Unlike Brunei, Hong Kong is mainly based on English law, seeing a high level of civil liberties, though freedom of assembly has been largely marginalized by the Public Order Ordinance. So basically, it's a free country, just as long as you don't complain about your freedom.
7 - Kingdom of Norway
Human Development Index: 1st
When I think of Norway, besides all of those bearded bastards who enslaved my relatives in Ireland, I think of really tall blondes. Come to find out, Norway is actually home to the highest HDI ranking in the world, thus proving my theory that the hotter you are, the better you are at life. All Norwegians are given, by the government, 46 weeks of paid paternal leave as well as live in a country that sustains egalitarian values, basically meaning they are trying to even-out the pay of CEO's compared to data entry workers. I think the country motto is "Don't strive to make lot's of money, we will take it from you somehow anyway". At almost 50% of the countries export revenue, oil and petroleum sales have helped Norway rise in the rankings of the world's' richest countries quite easily and quickly.
6 - State of Kuwait
Human Development Index: 54th
Kuwait, the land of my first girlfriend's father (who hated me obviously), is home to lots of oil but also lots of media transparency. In fact, this country has one of the most vocal and transparent media outlets in the Arab World, which isn't saying much but still. Kuwait places much attention on Inclusive Education, with the after effects being a 94% literacy rate. In terms of dress, it's very popular for the youth of the country to dress as a typical American would, while the older generations still hold-on to their desert values. With about 10% of the world's crude oil reserves, or about 104 billion barrels, Kuwait is not only on of the richest countries in the world but it is also tax-free. If you are going to plan a vacation to the Middle East, Kuwait is your best bet.
5 - Republic of Singapore
Human Development Index: 19th
Where and what is Singapore? For starters, it's a set of 63 islands separated by water from Indonesia and Malaysia. It also has the second-largest casino gambling market in the world , has not exceeded 4% unemployment in over a decade and houses the highest percentage of millionaires in the world, with one in every six residents having at least one million U.S. dollars in disposable income. Singapore makes a great travel destination and is the most diverse country in Asia, with over one-third of its population not being originally from Singapore. It's a great ex-pat place and is as cosmopolitan as New York City.
4 - Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Human Development Index: 26th
Probably one of the most forgotten countries in Europe to vacation to due to its size, Luxembourg is a secular state (although predominantly Roman Catholic) with cultural fusions from both Greece and Germany. The military of this cute country is 900 people strong, with no Air Force or Navy, obviously relying heavily on the UN and its allies. Luxembourg is notoriously known for its banking secrecy and tax loop-holes, where Kim Jong-Il has a $4 billion secret stash as well as where Amazon.co.uk channels a large part of their revenues through. They say great things come in small packages (small people do) so perhaps Luxembourg needs to be added to your travel destination bucket list.
3 - Principality of Liechtenstein
Human Development Index: 24th
It almost doesn't seem fair to bring on a state ruled by a prince, because they are so small, but I'm a very thorough person so I can't omit a place simply due to its size or lack there of. For that reason, Liechtenstein, the country with more registered companies than citizens, makes our list at number three. When it comes to GDP, it seems that the lower-income tax a country has, the more prosperous it is. This, in fact is constituted in Liechtenstein's 12.5% flat rate business income tax and the basic personal tax rate of 1.2%. Take note Obama! Although I know you won't.
2 - State of Qatar
Human Development Index: 36th
In the desert country of Qatar, sometimes known as "gutter" (I wonder why), is home to Al Jazeera and all of their screaming fame. In my sophomore year of college I wrote a paper about the evils of the propaganda machine of Al Jazeera, but I will not go into that for everyone's sake. If you are going to take a vacation to the Middle East, note that in Qatar alcohol is legal! Enough said. They have thrown Sharia law to the way side for Western rule for the most part, except for personal status, where women are still seen as the inferior sex. Petroleum and natural gas make up 85% of the exports in Qatar and over half of the entire GDP of the country. Oil, no income tax, and no Sharia law? Sign me up!
1 - Principality of Monaco
Human Development Index: N/A (1st in 1997)
Ah, the land of the rich and famous! You may not know how much I love Monaco so let me tell you. I love Monaco! This is where, as soon as I make enough money, I am buying a vacation home. I listed Monaco as the #1 travel place for the rich in one of my other articles and for good reason. So why does Monaco have so much money? Well, its immigrants for one. It's substantial income compared with population helps boost its placement to the top spot, and unlike the United States and many other countries, Monaco levies no income tax! Talk about a home run. This place is boss. Real boss.
Well there you have it. The 10 richest countries in the world! Maybe some of these countries are surprising, maybe some of these countries you've never heard of. Both understandable since small suburbs are bigger than some of these countries. If you are short on places to travel to, why not make one of these countries your next vacation. International travel is fun! I have listed similar articles I have written below for you to read, and read you will!