10 Richest Countries in The World (And How You Can Live There in 2023)

richest countries in the world

The richest countries in the world include Qatar, the United States, and Norway.

As a region, Europe dominates the list. And one small nation – Luxembourg – comes top of the pile.

We’ve put together this list from the latest IMF and World Bank data, using GDP (gross domestic product) per capita as the measure.

GDP per capita measures economic output per person in a country. It provides a more accurate representation of wealth at population level, than just pure GDP.

The downside is that GDP per capita doesn’t show how wealth is distributed and hence it doesn’t accurately portray inequality.

Nevertheless, it’s one of the best ways to measure the richest countries in the world.

Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 richest countries in the world, and explore how you can live there in 2023.

10 Richest Countries in The World (And How You Can Live There in 2023)

#1. Luxembourg

luxembourg

GDP per capita (USD) 141,590

Tiny Luxembourg is the wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita.

In the heart of Europe, Luxembourg offers easy access to markets throughout the region. It’s also an ideal hub for many transcontinental transport routes, including rail lines, roads, and maritime shipping routes (despite being landlocked!).

Strong economic policies in Luxembourg promote business development and foreign investment. There are tax incentives for foreign companies and streamlined immigration procedures for their workers.

Luxembourg has a highly skilled and educated workforce. Over half the population holds a bachelor’s degree or higher.

That’s why so many businesses have set up shop in Luxembourg, bolstering its economic growth and contributing to its high GDP per capita.

How to live there

Luxembourg is an EU member state, so any EU/EEA or Swiss citizen can live freely without a visa. Non-EU citizens will need a residence permit, either from work, study, proof of independent means, or investing a minimum of €500,000 in Luxembourg.

If you’re seeking EU citizenship, then Luxembourg is a good choice. You can apply for Luxembourg citizenship after just five years of residency. What’s more, you can keep your original nationality, as Luxembourg recognizes dual citizenship.

#2. Singapore

Singapore

GDP per capita (USD) 131,430

According to the IMF, Singapore is the second richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. This is due to Singapore’s highly developed free-market economy, low levels of corruption, and a business-friendly environment.

Since gaining independence in 1965, Singapore has worked hard to attract foreign investment and promote growth, using smart policies such as tax incentives.

The tiny city-state also has a thriving manufacturing sector that produces electronic components and pharmaceuticals, as well as a robust financial services industry.

Singapore benefits from its strategic location, serving as a major hub for trade and travel in Southeast Asia. Its port is one of the busiest in the world, handling billions of dollars worth of trade each year.

Another factor is Singapore’s highly educated workforce. Over three-quarters of Singaporeans aged 25 to 64 have completed at least upper secondary education. Almost half have university qualifications.

How to live there

In keeping with its progressive image, Singapore runs several different immigration schemes for foreigners.

  • Employment Pass (work permit), requires a job and sponsorship with a Singaporean company.
  • Entrepreneur Pass, for those wishing to incorporate a new business in Singapore.
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), a special work permit that’s not tied to one specific employer.
  • S Pass scheme, for mid-level technical employees.
  • Global Investor Programme, fast track route to permanent resident status in return for an investment in the country.

#3. Ireland

GDP per capita (USD): 131,030

In recent years, the Irish government has invested heavily in education, producing a highly skilled, university educated workforce with a commitment to innovation.

Over two-thirds of the Irish population aged 15-64 have completed upper secondary education. Almost a quarter have tertiary qualifications. The resulting pool of highly qualified workers is great for businesses in many industries.

What’s more, Ireland has been extremely successful in attracting foreign investment. It attracts multinational corporations –such as Microsoft, Apple and Facebook – with low corporate tax rates and pro-business policies.

Ireland benefits from strong trade ties with other countries, including the United States and the EU countries. It’s also one of the world’s leading exporters in agriculture, food and drink, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery, and software sectors.

How to live there

British citizens can easily move to Ireland because of Common Travel Area rights. As Ireland is an EU member state, citizens of any EU/EEA country, or Switzerland, can also move there freely.

All other nationalities will need a residency permit, typically granted through work or study. Ireland has an investor residency program starting at €1 million.

There’s also a special program for foreign entrepreneurs, called the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP).

Any nationality can apply for Irish citizenship (which is also EU citizenship) after living in the country for minimum of five years.

#4. Qatar

qatar

GDP per capita (USD): 113,670

2022’s World Cup host Qatar is also the fourth richest country in the world, behind Luxembourg, Singapore and Ireland.

Qatar’s riches mainly come from its large reserves of oil and gas. The country has the third largest reserves of natural gas in the world. It’s also a major producer of oil. Qatar exports both oil and gas to other countries, which provides a significant source of income.

What’s more, the Qatari government has invested heavily in education and healthcare, creating a highly skilled workforce. Qatar’s government also provides generous subsidies and benefits for citizens, further boosting the high standard of living.

Qatar also has a small population compared to other countries, so its wealth is distributed among fewer people.

How to live there

If you want to live in Qatar as a foreigner, you’ll need to find a job with a local employer and get them to sponsor your residence permit.

Qatar is also one of the hardest countries in the world to get citizenship.

You’ll need at least 25 years residency, good Arabic language skills, proof of good conduct, and proof of sufficient financial means to earn your living.

Plus, you’ll also have to convert to Islam and give up your original passport (Qatar doesn’t recognize dual citizenship).

#5. Switzerland

cows in a green swiss field

GDP per capita (USD): 84,470

Switzerland is well known for its picturesque mountain villages, world-class skiing, and delicious chocolate.

But it’s also one of the richest countries in the world, coming in fifth on the list of highest GDP per capita. So why is this tiny Alpine nation so rich?

Well for starters, the Swiss economy is highly diversified, with strong sectors in finance, banking, healthcare, and manufacturing.

The Swiss also have a long history of political stability and neutrality, making Switzerland an attractive destination for both businesses and individuals wishing to avoid conflict.

What’s more, doing business is easy in Switzerland, with its low corporate tax rate and efficient infrastructure.

How to live there

Switzerland is unique in Europe because it’s neither a member of the EU or the EEA. But Swiss citizens still have the same freedom of movement rights throughout Europe. Also, EU/EEA citizens can move freely to Switzerland.

Non-EU citizens are subject to different rules to live in Switzerland, including visas and residency permits. Swiss citizenship is one of the best, but most difficult, citizenships in the world to get as a foreigner.

#6. Norway

norway fjords

GDP per capita (USD): 78,130

Blessed with significant natural resources, Norway easily makes it onto the list of world’s richest countries.

This Scandinavian heavyweight is famous for its stunning fjords, the Northern Lights, and its sovereign wealth fund – one of the world’s largest funds at $1.2 trillion.

Thanks to all these advantages, Norway has invested heavily in education and healthcare, with great results for its citizens.

What’s more, Norway’s stable government and strong business environment have attracted many foreign investors and entrepreneurs, further enhancing the nation’s economic success.

How to live there

Although it’s not an EU member state, Norway is part of the European Economic Area (EEA). So if you hold a passport from any EU country, plus Liechtenstein, Iceland, or Switzerland, you can move freely to Norway whenever you want.

Non-EU citizens are subject to different rules, including visas and residency permits. For Norwegian citizenship, you’ll need sufficient income and at least six years of residence. In 2020, Norway changed the law to recognize dual citizenship.

#7. United Arab Emirates (UAE)

dubai

GDP per capita (USD): 77,270

From its stunning desert landscapes to its ultramodern skyline, the United Arab Emirates is a country that always manages to impress.

But what is the UAE really famous for?

Well, for starters, this little desert nation is one of the richest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of US$77,270.

Rich in oil reserves, the UAE has a diversified economy, including tourism, finance, and construction.

The United Arab Emirates also offers many tax benefits for companies and individuals.

For example, there’s no personal income tax or corporate tax. There’s also a value-added tax (VAT) of only 5%. As a result, the UAE is an attractive destination for businesses looking to reduce their tax burden.

And finally, the country’s construction industry is booming due to the demand for new infrastructure and development projects.

How to live there

Being hired by a local employer is one way of getting a residence permit to live in the Emirates.

Other ways include the following:

  • UAE Golden Visa (a great choice for those holding a PhD)
  • Freelancer permit
  • Opening a business
  • Own property with a value over 1 million AED
  • Residence visa for retirees

#8. United States

united states

GDP per capita (USD): 75,180

In the shattered wake of World War 2, the United States emerged as the world’s greatest superpower.

Ever since then, the country has gone from strength to strength. It now boasts one of the highest GDPs in the world.

But in terms of GDP per capita, the US comes in further down the list. That’s because it’s a much larger country compared to, say, Luxembourg or Qatar.

Much of the United States’ wealth comes from its abundant natural resources, including coal, oil, gas, timber, and productive farmland. It boasts the world’s more advanced military, plus many top universities and innovative companies.

As a result, many people around the world dream of starting a new life in the United States, but immigrating there isn’t easy.

How to live there

There’s a whole host of options for emigrating to the United States, all of them with stringent requirements.

Some people start with a temporary ‘non-immigrant visa’, such as a student visa or an exchange visa, while others go straight in with a longer-term ‘immigrant visa’.

It all depends if you can qualify for the latter. That usually starts with getting hired by a US-based company.

Emigrating to the United States is a challenge, so we recommend you consult a specialist immigration service to guide you through the process.

#9. Brunei Darussalam

brunei

GDP per capita (USD): 74,200

Brunei Darussalam is a small country located in Southeast Asia, nestled between the South China Sea and the island of Borneo.

Despite its size, Brunei is one of the richest countries in the world, with abundant natural resources and a well-developed economy based on natural resources, particularly oil and gas.

Quality of life in Brunei is excellent, with high salaries, full state healthcare and government subsidies for both food and housing.

How to live there

Like many small, rich nations, it’s not easy to move to Brunei.

Most foreigners need an employment visa followed by a work permit, involving sponsorship from a local company. There’s a quota system in place and your work permit will usually only be valid for a specific period.

You’ll also require a series of medical tests to prove you’re fit for work and free of certain diseases (such as HIV or Hepatitis C).

#10. San Marino

san marino

GDP per capita (USD): 72,070

The tiny country of San Marino, perched on the Italian Peninsula, has an extremely impressive financial sector for its small size.

Many international banks have set up shop in the country, in turn attracting a whole host of international businesses. Combined with its strong emphasis on tourism, this strategy has helped San Marino become one of the world’s richest countries.

The country’s thriving tourism industry brings in millions of visitors each year, who come to experience its beautiful scenery and historic landmarks, such as the Guaita Tower.

All this wealth for such a small population means that San Marino residents enjoy top-notch healthcare, excellent infrastructure, and access to an abundance of high-end consumer goods.

How to live there

Despite being physically surrounded by an EU member state (Italy), San Marino isn’t an EU member itself.

If you want to live in San Marino, one of the best routes into the country is by opening a company there. You’ll also need to invest a minimum of €150,000, alongside any investment in the company itself. There are also options for foreign retirees.

But don’t count on San Marino as a pathway to second citizenship. It’s one of the world’s most difficult countries to get citizenship, requiring 30 years of residence plus giving up your original nationality.

FAQs: The Richest Countries in The World

Which country has the best economy in 2022?

The United States has the best economy in 2022, in terms of GDP.

Where is the United States among the richest countries in the world?

The United States is the richest country in the world in terms of GDP. But it’s the eighth richest in the world in terms of GDP per capita (which measures a country’s economic output per person).

Which are the richest countries in the Islamic world?

The richest countries in the Islamic world are Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Brunei Darussalam.

What is the richest city in the world?

New York City is the richest city in the world, as it has the highest number of millionaires.

Where do rich people live?

Rich people live in New York City, Tokyo, and San Francisco Bay, followed by London and Singapore.

Before you go…

Living in a rich country can bring a number of benefits, namely better quality of life and access to high level services.

But not all rich countries make it easy for foreigners to move there.

Ireland and Luxembourg are two of the easiest countries to move to (especially if you’re a Brit in the case of Ireland).

Plus, both offer successful émigrés the chance to apply for citizenship after just five years of residence – giving you full EU rights and a powerful passport.

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