North America is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely in the Western Hemisphere. As the third-largest continent on Earth, North America spans over 9.54 million square miles (24.71 million square kilometers) and is comprised of 23 independent states, which are home to about 580 million people. North America comprises about 16.5% of Earth’s total land area and about 4.8% of its total surface.
Wealth varies greatly among North American countries. Below are the richest countries in North America based on GDP per capita. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of the standard of living in a given country since it reflects the average wealth of each resident.
The Cayman Islands are the richest nation in North America. The per capita GDP in the Cayman Islands is $58,490. The absence of an income tax as helped make the Cayman Islands prosperous, which has caused resentment among high-tax nations. The Cayman Islands government brings in through customs duties, tourism, financial services, tourist accommodation taxes, and business licenses.
The United States is the second-richest country in North America in terms of per capita GDP. In terms of GDP, however, the U.S. has the largest economy in the world. The U.S. has a per capita GDP of $56,267 and its GDP is $21.34 trillion. Part of the reason why the U.S. is the wealthiest country in the world is that it has a culture that encourages hard work and long hours. Additionally, the U.S. has a growing population, including millions of people from immigration, which provide the U.S. with a strong workforce. The U.S. also has a culture and financial system that supports entrepreneurship. World-class research facilities and universities help drive this entrepreneurship and attract talented students and individuals from all over the world.
Canada is the third-richest country in North America. Canada’s per capita GDP is $40,532 and is also part of the trillion-dollar club for total GDP at $1.74 trillion. Canada is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of crude petroleum, which accounts for about 14% of Canada’s total export value. Canada also has about $33.2 trillion in natural resources, including petroleum, limestone, rock salt, coal, uranium. Canada is also the third-largest exporter of timber in the world.
Greenland is the fourth-richest country in North America. With a population of just over 56,700, the per capita GDP is $40,214. Greenland’s economy has a large public sector and comprehensive foreign trade. Because Greenland’s economy is small, mixed, and vulnerable to negative fluctuations, the country has a critical dependence on capital inflow from the Danish government. The Greenland economy is held up heavily by fish exports, which is its largest industry. The largest employers in Greenland are in government, including the Kingdom Government in Denmark, and the Local Greenland Self-Rule Government.
5. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is the fifth-richest country in North America with a per capita GDP of $36,714. Puerto Rico’s economy is classified as a high-income economy and is considered to be the most competitive economy in Latin America. Manufacturing, specifically pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics, and petrochemicals, primarily drive Puerto Rico’s economy. The service industry is also a large contributor, especially in finance, insurance, real estate, and tourism.
6. Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten is the sixth-richest country in North America. Sint Maarten’s per capita GDP is $25,004. The economy is primarily based on tourism, including restaurants, hotels, and other sectors. Tourism accounts for about 80% of the country’s economy and employs about 80% of the total labor force.
Aruba’s per capita GDP is $24,980, just below Sint Maarten’s. Aruba’s economy is primarily driven by tourism, which provides the largest percentage of the country’s income. Because tourism has grown rapidly in Aruba in the past decades, the construction industry has also been able to grow to accommodate the influx of tourists. The growth of these industries has not only contributed to the country’s income as a whole but has also provided many jobs for its citizens.
8. Turks and Caicos Islands
The per capita GDP of Turks and Caicos is $23,699, making it the eighth-richest country in North America. The country’s economy is based on tourism, fishing, and offshore financial services. The U.S., unsurprisingly, makes up three-quarters of the tourism to Turks and Caicos. The top three exported goods from Turks and Caicos are printed materials, seafood, and electrical machinery.
The ninth-richest country in North America is Anguilla, which has a per capita GDP of $24,497. Due to Anguilla’s small size, minimal natural resources, and reliance on tourism and remittance from emigrants, Anguilla’s economy is very vulnerable to external economic conditions in the U.S. and Europe. The economy primarily relies on luxury tourism, offshore financial services, fishing (mostly lobster), and remittances from emigrants.
Curaçao finished the list of the ten richest countries in North America. Curaçao’s per capita GDP is $19,022. In the past several years, the island has expanded its infrastructure, allowing for more economic development. Curaçao’s economy is primarily driven by tourism (especially cruise tourism), transshipment of petroleum, and offshore finances. About 90% of the country’ exports are represented by the island’s oil refining company.