What is GDP per Capita?
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can be described as the total monetary value of all goods produced and services provided within a particular country during a specific period. However, the period for which GDP is most commonly expressed is overwhelmingly as an annual amount. While GDP is a strong indicator of a country’s economic health, it obviously must also consider population size. Thus, measuring both average incomes and living standards, it is GDP per capita rather than GDP per se, which gives a true reflection of a nation’s wealth.
Of the world’s 194 globally recognised countries which have the highest nominal GDP per capita for 2023? Here’s a brief narrative on the five leading countries:
No. 5 Norway
Norway is a long, narrow, mountainous country in northern Europe that forms the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The country shares a border with Sweden, Finland and Russia. Norway is arguably most famous for its many deep coastal fjords (sea inlets). The country has a total land area of 385,207 sq km (148,729 sq mi) and an estimated population of 5,674,199.
Norway’s economy is largely based on its abundant natural reserves, which include petroleum and natural gas. Other major industries include hydropower, fish exports, forestry, and mineral extraction. Norway’s nominal GDP for 2023 is predicted to be around US$547 Billion, while its GDP per capita is forecast at US$92,646. This places Norway fifth in the world index ratings of GDP per capita.
No. 4 Switzerland
Switzerland is a mountainous landlocked country in central Europe. The country borders Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria/Liechtenstein to the east. Recognised as one of the world’s most developed countries, it has the highest nominal wealth per adult of any country. Switzerland has a total land area of 41,285 sq km (15,940 sq mi), which is home to a population of 8,820,672.
The majority (around 70%) of Switzerland’s workforce are employed in the service sector. Most of the rest of the workers are involved in the manufacturing industry. Switzerland’s nominal GDP for 2023 is predicted to be US$684.3 Billion, while its GDP per capita is forecast at US$98,800. This places Switzerland fourth in the world index ratings of GDP per capita.
No. 3 Republic of Ireland
Ireland is an island off the east coast of Great Britain, which together make up the British Isles. The Republic of Ireland extends over an area of approximately 5/6th of its landmass, with Northern Ireland (part of the UK) constituting the remainder. The island is bound to the north, south, and west by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Irish Sea to the east. The Republic’s landmass constitutes a total area of 70,273 km2 (27,133 sq mi), which currently accommodates a population of 5,071,304.
The country’s economy primarily depends on its status as a global hub for technology, pharmaceuticals and other large multinational corporations. The nominal GDP for the Republic of Ireland for 2023 is predicted at almost US$590 Billion, while its GDP per capita is forecast as US$100,172. This places Ireland third in the world index ratings of GDP per capita. However, if territories are considered, Ireland would be 4th to Bermuda, whose GDP per capita for 2023 is forecast at US$114,090.
No. 2 Luxembourg
Luxembourg, officially entitled the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is the world’s only surviving Grande Duchy. The small landlocked central European country is bordered by France, Germany and Belgium. It has a total landmass of 2,590 km² (1,000 sq mi²), which currently makes it the 179th largest country in the world.
The country’s population is currently estimated at 657,708 of which almost 90% live in an urban environment, with a fifth living in Luxembourg city alone. The banking and financial sectors account for the vast majority of Luxembourg’s economic output, with heavy industry and agriculture making up most of the rest. The country’s predicted GDP for 2023 is expected to reach some US$83.5 Billion giving it a nominal GDP per capita for 2023 of US$133,372.
No. 1 Monaco
The tiny state of Monaco is renowned as being a global financial hub, attracting wealthy patrons from around the world. With an area of just 2.1 sq km2 (0.81 sq mi), after Vatican City, it is the smallest sovereign state in the world. Monaco’s current population of 36,297 equates to 17,284 people per sq km, making it the globe’s most densely populated sovereign state.
The mainstays of the country’s economy are banking and tourism. Monaco lays claim to having the world’s highest number of millionaires/billionaires per capita and a zero poverty rate. The country’s GDP for 2023 is expected to be around US$9.4 Billion. Thus, it may come as no surprise that Monaco is expected to record the world’s highest GDP per capita for 2023 at US$234,316. The forecast sees Monaco outstrip its nearest rival Luxembourg by more than 75%.
*All population and GDP figures based on the latest available data
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