The richest countries in the world in 2022 mark ideal locations to live, raise a family, and retire, but also denote locales where the price of living is extremely high.
In our survey of the top 10 richest countries in the world, we found many European countries at the top, but our readers might be surprised by the appearance of unexpected countries from across the world.
Richest Countries in the World: Criteria
Our criteria for the richest countries in the world is based on GDP per capita. In other words, we’ve divided the total estimated GDP for each country by the number of its citizens in order to assess the relative affluence of the country on a per-person basis.
And now, without further delay, here are the richest countries in the world in 2022.
Still hailing the Queen of England as the one omnipotent sovereign, Australia is one of the many English-speaking countries that rank in the richest cities of the world. In terms of GDP per capita, however, Australia is the wealthiest of all the English-speaking countries.
The Land Down Under is famous for its unique mammalian life, which include platypuses, kangaroos, koalas and more, the charming and sometimes outrageous accent of its inhabitants, and its world famous cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
Many in the Northern Hemisphere love Australia in the winter, as the December and January months represent some of the hottest in the year for Australians.
Though Australia gets its name and language from the original British criminals who were sentenced there, the aboriginal inhabitants are the Australian Aborigine, who, despite a dwindling population, remain culturally vital to the makeup of Australian life.
Australia is projected to have a GDP of 57,300 USD in 2022.
It should come as no surprise that Scandinavian countries do very well in a list of top country by GDP. Sweden, the land of the Vikings, dark black coffee and to-die for cinnamon buns, ranks number nine on our list.
Sweden certainly captures the popular imagination. Many point to Sweden as an example of a successful post-industrial capitalist society, while others simply fantasize back to the days when Vikings threatened the seas.
Swedish history is fascinating, and it may surprise some readers that when the Vikings were expanding their reach, they didn’t exclusively use boat travel. In fact, during the little ice age, the Swedish Vikings invaded Poland on foot, marching across a fully frozen-over Baltic Sea to do so.
Today, Sweden is a beautiful place to visit, with Stockholm’s old town being a particular draw for tourists. Enhancing this popularity, Sweden’s largest metropolis is the backdrop for one of the most celebrated crime novel series in recent memory, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Sweden is projected to have a GDP of 60,590 USD in 2022.
After our sojourn in Europe, we return to the Eastern hemisphere with a look at Singapore. The modern city-state of Singapore, located just south of Malaysia and Thailand, is one of the highest-performing economies per capita in the world.
Though the island that is Singapore has long been inhabited by native Pacific Islanders, the city state of Singapore that we know today was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles. He founded Singapore as an advantageous trading post for the British Empire, which began a long ladder of ascent for what is now regarded to be the most expensive city in the world.
What Singapore lacks in natural resources, it makes up for in external trade, and it is now a highly developed and modern nation, earning it the reputation as one of the Four Asian Tigers.
Singapore is projected to have a GDP of 61,000 USD in 2022.
Glittering in gold and jewels along the Persian Sea, Qatar ranks seventh on our list. With a population of just 2.6 million (with only an estimated 300,000 being native Qatarites), Qatar is small but mighty.
Like many well-developed countries today, Qatar began its modern history as a British colony. It was only by treaty in 1868 that the country was allowed to operate independently of the British Crown.
For a small country, Qatar has a lot of might, and in 2022 it will host the FIFA World Cup.
Qatar is projected to have a GDP of 62,100 USD in 2022.
After our trip round the world, we return to the very expected Denmark as the number six richest country in the world in 2022 by GDP per capita.
Denmark, home of the Danes, is a beautiful place to live in. In fact, Copenhagen is undergirded by the crystalline waters of the manmade Nyhavn.
In the days of the Renaissance, Denmark was a major world power, uniting the kingdoms of Sweden and Norway under the Kalmar Union. Though Sweden and Norway flourish independently, the three countries support one another tremendously today.
Greenland and the Faroe Islands today still remain part of the country of Denmark, though the greatest influence, power, and wealth lies on Jutland.
Despite the relative size and spread of the nation, Copenhagen remains the most popular place to live and visit in all of Denmark. Freetown, or Christiania, is an autonomous anarchist district in the heart of Copenhagen, whose so-called “Green Light District” is a special favorite of college students everywhere.
Denmark is projected to have a GDP of 64,200 USD in 2022.
5. Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands, a self-governing but technically British-owned territory in the Caribbean, has an outsized fame for its relatively small islands. Famously (or infamously, depending on who you ask), the Cayman Islands are featured frequently in Hollywood movies as the place for offshore financial interests, as the Cayman Islands charges no interest on income gained by any of its residents.
Despite the murky waters of its residents’ finances, the Cayman Islands remains a glorious and beautiful locale in its own right. Located near Jamaica, its climate is sunny and the water is warm and clear. Tourism is very popular, and many hotels, marine resorts, and wildlife sighting companies operate in and around the main Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands is projected to have a GDP of 74,700 USD in 2022.
Most known for its neutrality during World War II, Switzerland ranks number four on our list.
Its people, situated between France, Germany, and Italy, are typically at least tri-lingual, often knowing four to five languages as the basis of an upper-class education. A special cross of Swiss German and French, known as Schwitzerdeutsch, is also spoken by many of the rural workers of Switzerland.
If its notion of neutrality is of any indication, Switzerland has always been a highly independent country full of highly independent people. Though it is part of the European Free Trade Association, Switzerland has famously declined membership in the European Union, preferring independence to groupthink.
Switzerland is projected to have a GDP of 83,400 USD in 2022.
Perhaps surprising to many of the people reading this article, Ireland ranks number three on the list of richest countries in the world by GDP per capita. With an average income of about 83,000 USD per person, Ireland is a land with not just a wealth of beauty and culture, but also cold hard cash as well.
The famous seat of The Troubles, formerly a long-oppressed colony of the British Empire, Ireland has exerted a profound influence over the shape of art and culture, especially in literary history, and is today a devoutly Catholic Country.
Famous artists like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and WB Yeats (to name a few) originated on the Emerald Isle.
Dublin, Ireland’s capital, is a great place for a visit. Tourists love to visit the old Guinness storehouse and take a tour to learn the history that fittingly culminates with a pint of Guinness. Beyond Dublin, Ireland is noted for its natural beauty, with the Cliffs of Moher in the West being of particular interest.
Ireland is projected to have a GDP of 83,800 USD in 2022.
Also known as the Land of the Fjords, the long thin stretch of land called Norway is the penultimate country on our list.
Like Denmark and Sweden, the Nordic Nords from Norway represent the startling power of ingenuity and commerce wielded by Scandinavians in the 21st century. Oslo, with its highly pervasive biking culture and commitment to clean air, ranks as the second-healthiest city to live in the world.
North of Oslo, the long glacier lakes, the fjords, represent a stunning natural beauty nearly unrivaled on Earth.
Famously, Norway was the birthplace of the playwright Henrik Ibsen, whose belief in the equal primacy of art and life inspired many 20th century modernists, including Ireland’s James Joyce.
Norway is projected to have a GDP of 92,100 USD in 2022.
The monarchy of Luxembourg is the richest country in the world. On the European continent, Luxembourg is a German principality that never merged with the German Volk of the 19th century. Now operating independently, it is the current seat of the European Union’s high court, The Court of Justice of the European Union.
A highly beautiful country, the Capital, Luxembourg City, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as of 1994 for the stunning preservation and natural beauty of its old town.
Luxembourg is projected to have a GDP of 111,500 USD in 2022.
In this list, we’ve run through the richest countries in the world. From the lush greens of Ireland to the scenic fjords of Norway, from the stunning skyscrapers of Singapore to the rugged beauty of Luxembourg, all 10 of the countries on our list represent a place where the average life is one of the best in the world.
Also read: Richest Countries in Africa