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Most Productive Countries 2024

Which countries are the most economically productive? The answer can be challenging to determine because different countries specialize in different industries. One country may be a global leader in manufacturing, another at agriculture, and a third in financial services and tourism. In order to create an even and objective basis of comparison, economists use metrics such as Gross domestic product (GDP) and Gross National Income (GNI), which measure the monetary value of all of the goods and services of any type created by a country (GDP) or its people (GNI).

GDP is typically measured in U.S. dollars (USD) or international dollars (INT$), an imaginary currency used to make country-to-country comparisons easier. However, GDP is a measure of total output. In order to arrive at a measure of efficiency, GDP must be divided by the number of people in the country (or, even more accurately, by the number of people actually employed) to determine the country's output per person (typically referred to as per capita).

Top 10 Most Productive Countries in the World (unit: GDP per Capita, PPP INT$)*

Country
GDP per capita (INT$)
Luxembourg$134,754
Singapore$116,487
Ireland$106,456
Qatar$93,521
Bermuda$85,192
Norway$79,201
Switzerland$77,324
Macau$73,802
Cayman Islands$72,481
United States$69,288

While most industries are profit- and efficiency-focused, some are more efficient than others, and a few likely played a large role in helping their respective countries land in the top 10. Luxembourg, Singapore, Bermuda, Switzerland, and the Cayman Islands are all among the world's leading tax haven countries (as is Ireland by many definitions), which generates substantial business in their financial sectors. Qatar has a tiny population but is one of the world's leading exporters of oil and natural gas. Qatar also benefits from a strong tourism industry, as do Macau, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands.

Helpful as it is, GDP per capita alone does not provide a complete impression of productivity because it does not consider the number of hours worked in an average work week varies significantly between countries, which is vital when measuring productivity. To provide a more complete economic analysis, economists have devised measures such as GDP per hour worked, which is a measure of a country's productivity, excluding unemployment or hours worked per week.

Top 10 Most Productive Countries in the World (unit: GDP per Hour Worked, USD)**

Country
GDP per hours worked (USD)
Ireland$119.10
Luxembourg$110.80
Denmark$87.70
Belgium$86.80
Norway$85.60
Switzerland$81.40
France$79.70
United States$79.60
Austria$79.40
Sweden$79.10

Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the total monetary value of the goods and services produced within one country. Purchasing power parity (PPP) is a macroeconomic metric used to compare economic productivity and living standards between nations. GDP (PPP) uses nominal GDP adjusted for the relative cost of local goods, services, and inflation rates of the country, rather than using international market exchange rates.

GDP (PPP) per hour worked measures how efficiently labor input, the total hours worked all of the persons engaged in production, is combined with other factors of production and used in the production process. We can refer to GDP (PPP) per hour as productivity per hour. Below are the ten most productive countries and their average work weeks.

1. Ireland

Ireland’s productivity per hour is the highest of any country at $119.10. Full-time Irish employees work about 39.7 hours per week. Ireland’s high concentration of multinationals drives its largest productivity gains. Labor productivity grew an average of 4.5% between 2000 and 2016.

2. Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s productivity per hour is $110.80. The average workweek in Luxembourg is about 40 hours. It is believed that the main reason for Luxembourg’s high productivity levels is its financial sector. If Luxembourg were to adopt the Scandinavian work-life balance, it is believed that productivity would increase even more.

3. Denmark

Denmark is the seventh-most productive country in the world at $87.70 per hour worked. Denmark has the shortest average workweek of just 37.2 hours for full-time employees of the OECD member countries. Denmark will need to continue to grow its worker productivity to keep up with its welfare system and aging population.

4. Belgium

Belgian workers contribute $86.80 to Belgium’s GDP (PPP) per hour worked, making Belgium the tenth-most productive country in the world. The average workweek for full-time employees in Belgium is about 38.8 hours. Employees have strong skills and are highly educated, allowing them to enjoy high wages, relatively low inequality, and an excellent work-life balance.

5. Norway

Norway’s productivity per hour is $85.60. Norway has the third-lowest average workweek in the world of 38.0 hours per week. Additionally, work-life balance is highly valued, and family is a greater priority than work. Parents are often allowed to leave work early to pick up their kids from school. Norwegians are known for being extremely efficient and task-oriented at work and can shut out their jobs from their lives once the clock hits 4 p.m. (the typical end time of a Norwegian workday)

6. Switzerland

Switzerland is the third-most productive country. Per hour worked, Swiss workers add $81.40 to the economy. The average workweek for full-time employees is 40.5, and only 0.4% of employees work over 50 hours per week.

7. France

France ranks eighth globally. French workers contribute $79.70 to the GDP (PPP) per hour worked. France’s workweeks are the fifth-shortest among OECD countries at 38.9 hours. France’s productivity is about 25% higher than the OECD average and EU averages.

8. United States

The United States comes in at six for productivity with $79.60. American full-time employees work 41.5 hours per week, and about 11.1% of employees work over 50 hours per week. While the U.S. is still the sixth-most productive country per hour, this shows that many Americans live to work instead of working as a means to live.

9. Austria

One of the richest countries in the EU, Austria's score of $79.40 per hour worked comes courtesy of a well-rounded economy. In addition to a highly developed industrial sector, the country also enjoys a burgeoning tourism industry (winter sports enthusiasts are increasingly drawn to the country's slopes) and a massive financial services trade.

10. Sweden

Rounding out the top 10 is Sweden, whose $79.10 per hour score is delivered in large part by the country's export-oriented economy. Sweden produces a vast range of products, including timber and other forestry products, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel products, hydroelectric power, motor vehicles, telecommunications equipment, other industrial machines and precision equipment, home appliances, and more. Also, like so many other top 10 countries, Sweden features an expansive financial services sector.

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Country
GDP per Capita (INT$) 2022
GDP per Hours Worked 2022 (USD)
GDP per Person Employed 2022 (USD)
2019 Productivity ($/hr)
GDP per capita (INT$)
GDP per hours worked (USD)
GDP per person employed (USD)
Luxembourg$137,947$131$190,754$80.33$134,754$110.80$157,338
Singapore$118,888$54.55$116,487
Ireland$114,121$163$269,404$125.09$106,456$119.10$207,604
Qatar$102,506$93,521
Norway$86,892$162$230,723$100.33$79,201$85.60$120,701
Bermuda$86,699$85,192
Switzerland$81,603$101$153,689$82.92$77,324$81.40$122,048
United Arab Emirates$77,273$66,766
Cayman Islands$76,581$72,481
Macau$73,734$73,802
United States$70,220$92$160,484$73.70$69,288$79.60$139,307
Denmark$69,879$104$145,259$76$64,651$87.70$117,784
San Marino$67,983$59,572
Netherlands$67,693$92$129,907$69.78$63,767$77$108,309
Brunei$66,348$66,620
Hong Kong$66,249$49.12$65,973
Austria$63,421$95$137,352$65.15$58,428$79.40$111,200
Sweden$63,375$96$137,757$65.54$59,324$79.10$112,579
Belgium$62,107$100$156,511$66.27$58,931$86.80$125,219
Germany$61,940$91$122,429$68.85$57,928$76.70$101,584
Iceland$61,481$90$131,433$64.24$57,646$70.40$101,912
Finland$57,849$85$126,970$58.44$55,007$70.10$107,352
Australia$57,406$79$133,333$61.44$55,807$65$109,872
Canada$55,635$72$121,167$57.24$52,085$61.20$100,564
Bahrain$54,902$45,411
France$53,835$87$130,196$68.63$50,729$79.70$112,175
Malta$53,387$40.63$47,715
United Kingdom$52,842$77$117,527$54.35$49,675$70.30$96,065
Saudi Arabia$51,607$49,551
Kuwait$50,295$47,303
Italy$49,913$74$127,579$56.09$45,936$64.30$99,942
South Korea$48,595$50$94,963$40.77$46,919$45.80$87,136
New Zealand$48,556$54$95,142$44.55$46,420$48.30$84,033
Cyprus$48,469$42.39$42,556
Czech Republic$48,418$57$101,472$40.93$44,261$48.90$83,353
Slovenia$46,502$62$100,071$42.50$43,625$52.40$80,324
Lithuania$46,410$61$99,344$34.45$42,665$49.80$79,505
Israel$46,127$59$110,697$40.87$43,722$48.80$86,929
Estonia$45,047$55$97,248$37.10$42,192$47.40$78,458
Japan$44,292$53$85,816$42.56$42,940$50$77,867
Spain$43,621$69$113,682$56.31$40,775$58.30$91,583
Sint Maarten$42,329
Aruba$41,196$31,183
Poland$40,463$56$101,657$37.08$37,503$44.90$79,246
Portugal$38,783$56$91,951$35.15$35,888$44.90$72,396
Hungary$38,644$52$87,965$34.83$36,753$42.90$69,060
Romania$37,971$34.72$35,414
Oman$37,843
Slovakia$37,795$57$91,779$35.83$33,010$45.40$71,348
Croatia$36,954$32.26$33,801
Latvia$36,778$58$89,984$33.54$34,469$43.10$68,035
Puerto Rico$36,157$34,334
Bahamas$33,615$34,108
Panama$33,564$31,680
Russia$33,186$29.55$32,803$33$61,858
Greece$33,018$45$84,460$33.03$31,295$37.40$64,548
Turkey$31,638$61$106,131$43.69$30,472$49.60$85,938
Seychelles$30,818$29,838
Bulgaria$29,407$26.55$26,705
Saint Kitts and Nevis$29,198$26,256
Chile$29,148$36$69,701$28.42$29,104$35.30$64,378
Malaysia$29,139$24.75$29,617
Kazakhstan$28,812$28,600
Uruguay$25,663$28.38$24,626
Trinidad and Tobago$25,420$26,868
Montenegro$24,511$22,795
Guyana$24,194$24,494
Argentina$23,835$29.43$23,627
Costa Rica$23,700$20.02$23,387$30.70$59,241
Curacao$23,273$20,681
Mauritius$23,079$22,240
Antigua and Barbuda$22,622$19,838
Serbia$22,575$21,432
Libya$22,371$23,357
Belarus$21,929$21,699
Turks and Caicos Islands$21,808
Mexico$21,124$24$53,402$20.34$20,037$22.20$47,221
Maldives$20,698$18,232
Dominican Republic$20,553$17.53$20,769
North Macedonia$19,903$17,918
China$19,485$11.69$19,338$32,338
Thailand$18,855$15.17$19,210
Bosnia and Herzegovina$18,380$16,847
Colombia$17,587$21$49,330$16.96$16,894$19.50$38,286
Georgia$17,089$16,997
Iran$16,557$15,791
Botswana$16,449$17,604
Suriname$16,344$16,676
Albania$16,263$15,646
Brazil$16,260$19.20$16,056
Equatorial Guinea$16,255$18,127
Azerbaijan$15,927$15,843
Armenia$15,676$14,630
Palau$15,573$16,319
Barbados$15,304$14,817
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines$15,271$14,021
Gabon$15,253$15,598
Moldova$15,122$15,637
Grenada$15,105$16,680
Paraguay$15,091$13,976
South Africa$14,718$17.97$14,420$47,381
Sri Lanka$14,622$18.02$14,127
Saint Lucia$14,396$14,051
Lebanon$14,331$10,691
Ukraine$14,289$14,220
Peru$13,831$11.01$13,895
Egypt$13,441$13,316
Indonesia$13,086$11.84$12,904$25,704
Mongolia$12,876$12,863
Bhutan$12,795$11,129
Algeria$12,170$12,038
Nauru$12,127$15,103
Dominica$12,027$11,974
Ecuador$11,773$15.26$11,661
Vietnam$11,728$6.74$11,553
Tunisia$11,472$11,595
Fiji$11,453$12,060
Jamaica$10,599$10,026
Jordan$10,351$10,952
Namibia$10,161$9,805
El Salvador$10,141$9,669
Eswatini$10,027$9,816
Guatemala$9,851$9,769
Belize$9,740$6,913
Iraq$9,696$10,409
Philippines$8,933$9.93$9,120
Morocco$8,901$8,144
Bolivia$8,886$9,030
Laos$8,659$8,674
Uzbekistan$8,608$8,497
India$7,368$8.68$7,334$18,732
Cape Verde$7,014$7,028
Tonga$6,779
Marshall Islands$6,594$4,182
Angola$6,524$6,581
Bangladesh$6,523$4.79$6,613
Nicaragua$6,281$6,332
Palestine$6,225$6,200
Honduras$6,149$6,253
Samoa$6,107$6,420
Ghana$5,982$6,178
Ivory Coast$5,867$5,940
Pakistan$5,775$8.77$5,878
Mauritania$5,674$5,592
Timor Leste$5,560$4,418
Nigeria$5,432$5,459
Kyrgyzstan$5,418$5,288
Djibouti$5,413
Kenya$5,237$5,024
Tuvalu$5,081$5,082
Cambodia$4,805$3.43$4,683
Myanmar$4,540$5.15$4,345
Tajikistan$4,315$4,288
Nepal$4,252$4,261
Sudan$4,084$4,217
Republic of the Congo$4,083
Cameroon$4,071$4,065
Papua New Guinea$4,014$4,445
Senegal$3,875$3,769
Sao Tome and Principe$3,865$4,446
Benin$3,665$3,789
Micronesia$3,665$3,544
Zambia$3,628$3,624
Comoros$3,563$3,284
Haiti$3,179$3,127
Vanuatu$3,090$3,105
Guinea$2,914$2,879
Tanzania$2,852$2,933
Solomon Islands$2,645$2,656
Ethiopia$2,559$2,600
Uganda$2,479$2,398
Lesotho$2,471$2,682
Rwanda$2,469$2,494
Burkina Faso$2,401$2,462
Togo$2,351$2,380
Mali$2,340$2,447
Zimbabwe$2,334$2,445
Gambia$2,291$2,434
Kiribati$2,216$2,172
Guinea Bissau$2,021$2,057
Sierra Leone$1,782$1,816
Afghanistan$1,673$2,079
Malawi$1,645$1,658
Madagascar$1,636$1,635
Somalia$1,609$1,303
Chad$1,573$1,591
Liberia$1,571$1,553
Mozambique$1,359$1,342
Niger$1,309$1,310
DR Congo$1,185$1,219
Central African Republic$925$1,021
Burundi$788$793
Taiwan$46.01
showing: 193 rows

What is the most productive country in the world?

Based on the country's GDP, the country of Luxembourg is currently considered the world's most productive country.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources