Richest Country in the World – Yesterday I wrote about the worst country (Somalia– more specifically Mogadishu, Somalia) to live in the world and today I thought I’d spend some time on the opposite of the spectrum examining richest and therefore the “best” place to live on planet Earth. Theoretically anyway. There’s always the debate that money doesn’t buy happiness, which we’ll get to later.
The richest country in the world in 2012 is none other than Qatar. With a relatively small population (1.8 million, 300,000 of which are civilians), this oil rich nation was of the few to have an economy that grew in the last year.
Richest Country in the World
Yes, Qatar tops the list of the richest countries in the world:
** The following information was sourced from Forbes (2-2012). **
#1 Qatar – GDP per capita $88,222
#2 Luxembourg – GDP per capita $81,466
#3 Singapore – GDP per capita $56,694
#4 Norway – GDP per capita $51,959
#5 Brunei – GDP per capita $48,333
#6 United Arab Emirates – GDP per capita $47,439
#7 United States – GDP per capita $46,860
#8 Hong Kong – GDP per capita $45,944
#9 Switzerland – GDP per capita $41,950
#10 Netherlands – GDP per capita $40,973
While I’m not particularly surprised at which countries made the list, I am surprised that it doesn’t correspond with the world’s happiest countries. You’d think that with the average person raking in $80k + a year that every day in Qatar would be filled with smiles. Not so.
Who you will find to be happy around the world depends so much on the study. A Forbes study didn’t just straight up ask people if they were happy, but instead found the following countries to be the happiest by the following qualities:
“the ingredients of prosperity: economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety, personal freedom and social capital.”
Their list looked liked this:
#4 New Zealand
Another study done more recently (2012) found that when asking people around the world simply if they were “very happy”. Money and employment had little to do with their reply. They found that 22% of the world’s population claim to be “very happy”. The following were the top percentages of people in countries who claimed to be “very happy”.
#1 Indonesia - 51% of people are “very happy”
#2 India - 43% of people are “very happy”
#3 Mexico - 41% of people are “very happy”
#4 Turkey - 30% of people are “very happy”
#5 Brazil - 30% of people are “very happy”
To give you some perspective– Americans had 28% of people claim to be “very happy”. So did Australia and Argentina.
The results vary so much! On the surface the Forbes study found countries with levels of liberty and prosperity that SHOULD indicate higher levels of happiness. In reality, when just asking people whether or not they’re “very happy” it’s mostly the countries that aren’t super rich.
Richest Country in the World