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The richest countries in the world

Last updated on: August 25, 2014 16:35 IST

The richest countries in the world

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India’s exponential growth in the last decade has made it the 10th largest economy in the world. But it lacks far behind (ranks 163) when you look at the richest economies in the world. China, on the other hand, comes at 89th position.

A country’s wealth is the GDP per person. This means, if the population is large the chances of developing nation to be wealthy are low. India's GDP per capita is $1498.87 (Rs 90,606.69) and China's $6807.43 (Rs 411,509.14).

Recently, The World Bank has come up with the latest figures on the wealthiest countries in the world. Let’s take a look at the top 20.

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Image: Bathers at the Blue Lagoon hot springs swim in hot mineral waters amid a chilly wind as a thermal electricity plant looms in the background.
Photographs: Reuters

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New Zealand

GDP per capita: $40,842

GDP: $181.1 billion

Population: 44.01 lakh (4.40 million)

The country’s economy is mainly focussed on tourism and agriculture. Industries and services sector are small. it's main trading partners include Australia, Japan, China and the US.

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Image: A view of the city skyline from Westhaven in Auckland.
Photographs: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

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France

GDP per capita: $41,421

GDP: $2.739 trillion

Population: 6.63 crore (66.26 million)

France is the fifth-largest economy in the world. The country was affected severely with the global economic meltdown and European crisis but has managed to turnaround faster.

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Image: People ice skate on an artificial rink built for the Christmas holiday season across from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters
Tags: GDP , France

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Germany

GDP per capita: $45,085

GDP: $3.593 trillion

Population: 8.1 crore (81 million)

Germany has the fourth largest economy globally and biggest in Europe. The country strikes a balance between capitalism and social policies making it a social market economy. Germany is also the founding member of European Union.

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Image: Visitors cheer with mugs of beer during the opening day the 180th Oktoberfest in Munich.
Photographs: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

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Iceland

GDP per capita: $45,263

GDP: $14.59 billion

Population: 317,351

The economy of Iceland is small and it can get really volatile. This was seen in the global financial crisis. That’s why government has retained control in some industries despite being the market economy.

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Image: Bathers at the Blue Lagoon hot springs swim in hot mineral waters amid a chilly wind as a thermal electricity plant looms in the background.
Photographs: Chris Helgren/Reuters
Tags: GDP , Iceland

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Belgium

GDP per capita: $45,387

GDP: $507.4 billion

Population: 1.04 crore (10.45 million)

Belgium economy relies heavily on exports as the country has little natural resources. Exports form about two-third of the country’s GNP.

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Image: A giant balloon of Betty Boop floats during the Balloon Day Parade in central Brussels.
Photographs: Yves Herman/Reuters
Tags: GDP , Belgium , GNP

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Finland

GDP per capita: $47,219

GDP: $259.6 billion

Population: 52.68 lakh (5.27 million)

Finland’s economy is dominated by the services sector. It ranks second, after Ireland, in high-technology manufacturing.

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Image: A child slides on snow in front of the Santa Claus' Office in Santa Claus' Village on the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, northern Finland.
Photographs: Kacper Pempel/Reuters
Tags: GDP , Finland

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Ireland

GDP per capita: $47,400

GDP: $220.9 billion

Population: 48.33 lakh (4.83 million)

Some of the biggest companies in the world such as Apple and Google have their offices in Ireland and they cater to the entire European Union from the country. Ireland's policies help the multinationals in better tax planning. The economy of Ireland is called as knowledge economy that focuses on high-tech industries.

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Image: Youths walk past a shop, which has been covered with artwork to make it look more appealing, in the village of Bushmills on the Causeway Coast.
Photographs: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

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Netherlands

GDP per capita: $47,617

GDP: $722.3 billion

Population: 1.69 crore (16.88 million)

Netherlands is the 18th largest economy in the world. The country’s economy is dependant on foreign trade. Major sectors include food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery.

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Image: The Distilleerketel, a windmill built in 1727 and used to grind rye, can be seen at Delfshaven, an area of Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Photographs: Michael Kooren/Reuters

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Austria

GDP per capita: $49,074

GDP: $417.9 billion (2013 est.)

Population: 82.23 lakh (8.22 milion)

Austria’s economic is similar to that of Germany’s - a social market economy. In this model the country tries to strike a balance between capitalism and social policies.

In fact, Germany has been Austria’s biggest trading partner historically and since the latter joined European Union it has increased trade with other countries.

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Image: Women in traditional Dirndl dresses watch a boat parade during Narzissenfest (Daffodil Festival) at Grundlsee lake in the village of Grundlsee.
Photographs: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

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Canada

GDP per capita: $51,911

GDP: $1.825 trillion (2013 est.)

Population: 3.48 crore (34.83 million)

The 14th largest economy in the world, Canada growth comes from services industries. According to Wikipedia, the sector employs three quarters of the population.

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Image: Jerome Poulin competes during the Grande Viree dog sled race in the streets of the Old Quebec at the Quebec Winter Carnival in Quebec City.
Photographs: Mathieu Belanger/Reuters

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United States

GDP per capita: $53,143

GDP: $16.72 trillion (2013 est.)

Population: 31.89 crore (318.89 million)

The country has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services in the private marketplace, according to CIA’s The World Factbook.

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Image: A woman walks along a promenade next to the Hudson River across from the skyline of New York in Weehawken, New Jersey.
Photographs: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

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Singapore

GDP per capita: $55,182

GDP: $295.7 billion

Population: 55.67 lakh (5.57 million)

Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment and stable prices.

The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals, and on a growing financial services sector, according to CIA’s The World Factbook.

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Image: A five-metre-high (16 ft) sculpture "Pentateuque" by contemporary French artist Fabien Merelle.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Sweden

GDP per capita: $58,164

GDP: $552 billion (2013 est.)

Population: 97.24 lakh (9.72 million)

Sweden’s economy is mainly dependant on exporting its natural resources. The main sectors include auto, telecom and pharma. 

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Image: A 36-metre tall Christmas tree is lit up in central Stockholm.
Photographs: Claudio Bresciani/Reuters
Tags: GDP , Sweden

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Denmark

GDP per capita: $58,930

GDP: $211.3 billion (2013 est.)

Population: 55.69 lakh (5.57 million)

Denmark has a diverse, mixed economy, but one that relies almost entirely on human resources, as there are few mineral resources available, except mature oil and gas wells in the North Sea, according to Wikipedia.

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Image: Denmark's Crown Princess Mary gestures as she helps former Lego employees with the annual packing of backpacks for children at women's shelters at Lego's Ole Kirk Foundation in Billund.
Photographs: Henning Bagger/Reuters

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Australia

GDP per capita: $67,468

GDP: $1.488 trillion

Population: 2.25 crore (22.51 million)

The Australian economy has experienced continuous growth and features low unemployment, contained inflation, very low public debt, and a strong and stable financial system.

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Image: Boats are docked at Vaucluse bay (R) on a sunny winter afternoon in Sydney.
Photographs: Daniel Munoz/Reuters

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Switzerland

GDP per capita: $80,528

GDP: $646.2 billion (2013 est.)

Population: 80.62 lakh (8.06 million)

Switzerland has been one of the most stable economies historically. The stability of economy and it’s currency has made it one of the save haven for investors. And this means the services sector is the biggest contributor to the economy.

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Image: A general view of the Emosson dam is seen during a visit to the Nant de Drance hydropower plant near the village of Finhaut.
Photographs: Pierre Albouy/Reuters

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Macao SAR, China

GDP per capita: $91,376

GDP: $51.68 billion

Population: 587,914

The region, administered by China, is completely dependant on tourism and casinos are the major contributor to its economy.

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Image: A night view of the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel is seen in Macau.
Photographs: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

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Qatar

GDP per capita: $93,352

GDP: $213.1 billion

Population: 21.23 lakh (2.12 million)

Like most countries in the Middle East, the country’s economy is highly dependant on oil.

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Image: Sun reflects off the glass and steel buildings on the Doha skyline.
Photographs: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

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Norway

GDP per capita: $100,819

GDP: $515.8 billion

Population: 51.47 lakh (5.15 million) 

The Norwegian economy is a prosperous mixed economy, with a vibrant private sector, a large state sector, and an extensive social safety net.

The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector, through extensive regulation and large-scale state-majority-owned enterprises, according to CIA’s The World Factbook.

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Image: The Royal Palace is seen at the end of Karl Johans Gate in Oslo.
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

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Luxembourg

GDP per capita: $111,162

GDP: $60.54 billion

Population: 520,672

The driving force behind the country’s economy is banking and steel sector. It also benefits due to its proximity to France, Belgium and Germany.

(All GDP and Population figures are based on CIA's the World Factbook)


Image: The Petrusse river is seen near old fortifications of the city of Luxembourg.
Photographs: Laurent Dubrule/Reuters

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