GNI per Capita by Country 2022

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Gross National Income (GNI) is an economic metric that measures the overall income brought into a country by its citizens from anywhere in the world (including foreign investments). GNI is nearly identical to Gross National Product (GNP), which measures the earnings of a country's citizens but also includes overseas earnings that weren't transferred home. Both GNI and GNP are also often evaluated in conjunction with Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and all three are valuable tools in measuring and monitoring the health of a nation's economy.

GNI may be expressed as a single per-country total or as a per person (per capita) value, which divides the per-country GNI by the number of citizens in that country. Per capita values are helpful because they adjust for the impact of population upon a country's GNI.

For example, imagine two countries: Country A has a million people and a GNI of $400 million (USD), while Country B has 200,000 people and a GNI of $200 million (USD). Country A's total GNI is twice as large, so it would seem to have the healthier economy. But converting GNI to GNI per capita reveals that Country B is actually operating much more efficiently, generating half as much income as Country A with only one-fifth as many workers.

Top 13 Countries with the Highest GNI per Capita in the World (2020-21 Atlas method USD):*

  1. Bermuda (UK territory) — 116,540
  2. Switzerland — 90,360
  3. Norway — 84,090
  4. Isle of Man (UK territory) — 83,920
  5. Luxembourg — 81,110
  6. Ireland — 74,520
  7. United States — 70,430
  8. Denmark — 68,110
  9. Iceland — 64,410
  10. Singapore — 64,010
  11. Cayman Islands (UK territory) — 63,370
  12. Sweden — 58,890
  13. Qatar — 57,120

*Liechtenstein would likely also rank in the top 10, but its most recent confirmed World Bank data is from 2009, so it has been excluded for want of more up-to-date data. Due to the presence of several non-sovereign UK territories in the rankings, this list has been lengthened to include the top 10 countries in addition to those territories. For full data for every country with 2020-21 data, see table below page text.

GNI, the Atlas method, and Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

Because most countries in the world have their own currency and the relative values of those currencies are always in flux, GNI is usually converted into a standard monetary unit using one of two techniques. First is the Atlas method, which converts each country's data to U.S. dollars (USD), using either a benchmark year (such as 2017 dollars) or the dollar's current value. Second is the Purchase Power Parity (PPP) method, which converts each country's data into International Dollars (INT$), an imaginary currency designed to make country-to-country comparisons easier.

The actual values computed often differ significantly between the two methods—for instance, Bermuda's 2021 Atlas value was 116,540 (US$) while its PPP value was 87,340 (INT$). However, both methods tend to result in ruggedly similar lists, with countries appearing in the same general section of the list even if the precise ranking changes between the two methods (and also from year to year).

Top 12 Countries with the Highest GNI per Capita in the World (2020-21 PPP method INT$):*

  1. Singapore — 102,450
  2. Qatar — 92,080
  3. Bermuda — 87,340
  4. Luxembourg — 83,230
  5. Norway — 82,840
  6. Ireland — 79,450
  7. Switzerland — 75,860
  8. Macau (China SAR) — 72,260
  9. Hong Kong (China SAR) — 70,700
  10. United States — 70,480
  11. Brunei — 67,580
  12. Denmark — 66,720

What GNI does not indicate

Although GNI is arguably the most accurate at-a-glance measurement of a country's overall economic health, it is not in any way indicative of the average wage of a worker in a given country. GNI cannot track income inequality. A country in which 10,000 residents each earned $100,000 a year would have the same GNI per capita as a country in which one resident earned a billion dollars and the other 9,999 people were penniless.

Selected profiles of countries with high GNIs per capita

Bermuda

Tourists know this British territory for its beautiful beaches, but global economists know it as one of the highest-income countries in the world. While tourism is still a tentpole of Bermuda's economy, the country's financial services, particularly in the international insurance sector, generate the largest portion of its income. This, combined with the country's comparatively tiny population, is a main reason for its massive GNI per capita of $116,540 (US) in 2021.

Iceland

Iceland has a 2021 GNI per capita of about 64,410 USD. Although Iceland's economy was affected by the 2008 global financial crisis (and, like the rest of the world, the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown), the economy has grown, especially in the tourism sector. In the past, Iceland's economy relied heavily on fisheries, but tourism has since become the country's primary export industry.

Ireland

Ireland was the first country in the European Union to fall into a recession during the 2008 financial crisis, and gained a reputation as one of the world's leading tax haven countries starting around 2015. These days, many (but not all) economists have softened their stance on the integrity of the country's financial dealings. Either way, there's no denying the impact that financial services have on Ireland's GNI per capita, which reached $74,520 (US) in 2021. Ireland is also one of the world's leading exporters of pharmaceutical goods and software services.

Luxembourg

As of 2021, Luxembourg has a GNI per capita value of $81,110 USD. Luxembourg is a tiny country, but with an economy focused on highly profitable banking, steel, and industrial business, it has one of the highest per capita measures of GDP, GNI, and GNP in the world.

Macau (China)

Macau had a GNI per capita of $46,730 (US) in 2020. While this was a significant drop-off from previous years, it can be blamed largely upon the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Macau is one of the most popular gambling and gaming destinations in the world, and its tourism sector—a major contributor to its strong economy—was significantly impacted by the global shutdown. All projections point to Macau quickly recovering as travel restrictions roll back, enabling the country to resume its place as one of the richest countries in the world.

Norway

Norway has a GNI per capita of $84,090 as of 2021, signaling that the country remains one of the wealthiest in the world. Norway's economy is strong, with a relatively small gap between the poor and the wealthy, and based largely around significant exports of petroleum and seafood. Norway has one of the highest costs of living in the world, but also enjoys one of the world's highest standards of living and is among the happiest countries in the world.

Switzerland

Switzerland had a 2021 GNI per capita value of 90,360 USD. One of the world's most peaceful nations, Switzerland has a thriving international banking industry, which has contributed to its economic success alongside the country's tourism and export industries. Switzerland is considered one of the world's most innovative countries and is among the richest landlocked countries on the planet.

United States

In 2021, GNI per capita for the United States was $70,430. The U.S. has long been one of the wealthiest countries in the world thanks to its massive cache of natural resources, huge swaths of fertile farmland, strong infrastructure and innovation, and productive workforce. The U.S. also benefits from a thriving entrepreneurial culture and world-class research universities. The U.S. is the world's leading producer of oil and also natural gas (though it is also the leading consumer of both),

Ten Countries with the Lowest GNI per Capita in the World (2020-21 Atlas method US$):*

  1. Burundi — 240
  2. Somalia — 450
  3. Mozambique — 480
  4. Madagascar — 500
  5. Afghanistan — 500
  6. Sierra Leone — 510
  7. Central African Republic — 530
  8. DR Congo — 580
  9. Niger — 590
  10. Liberia — 620

*For full data for every country with 2020-21 data, see table below.

GNI per Capita by Country 2022

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GNI per Capita by Country 2022

Note: Countries whose most recent data update is older than 2020 have been omitted. For example, Liechtenstein posted a GNI per capita of US$ 116,440 in 2009, but that data offers inadequate insight when compared to 2020-21 data from other nations.

GNI per Capita by Country 2022

Sources