Many people who swear that they have discovered the secret to overall happiness claim that it has nothing to do with money. There is an incredibly high chance that you have heard the phrase, "Money cannot buy happiness," at some point in your life. It is one of the most common cliches ever to exist, and while there is a truth behind this blanket statement, there is also a boatload of evidence that shows money can lead you to feel happier overall.
The reason behind this counterargument is that a lot of negative feelings and situations arise from a less-than-ideal fiscal standing. When your credit score is low due to unpaid credit card balances, things like leasing a car, purchasing a home, or renting an apartment are difficult or impossible. Your monetary affairs can severely impact the ability to provide for yourself on a luxurious level or buy the bare necessities human beings need to get by.
Everything in the world costs money, and there really is no exception to such a bold claim. People are quick to retort with the notion that you cannot buy experiences or memories, but the truth of the matter is that you need to have a source of finances in order to go anywhere and experience new cultures, places, or any other travel-related endeavor whatsoever.
You can create memories doing things that don't require money. Still, the options are painfully limited, and you can only make the same memory of hanging out in your backyard before it becomes dull and not worth storing in your long-term memory. While it is not necessarily true that wealthier people are happier, they are far more capable of paying for anything they need and preventing any stress, anxiety, or depressive symptoms resulting from an inability to afford something you need.
By looking at the GDP per capita, or gross domestic product per capita, of each country around the globe, it is possible to rank countries based on wealth and then compare them to each other. From there, you can determine which states are wealthiest and then list the countries in descending order, from richest to poorest. Here is the definitive ranking of 194 countries of the world, in order from most to least wealthy.
Here's a sneak peek at the top 10 as of April 2021 (scroll down for the full list):
- Luxembourg (GDP per capita: $118,001)
- Singapore (GDP per capita: $97,057)
- Ireland (GDP per capita: $94,392)
- Qatar (GDP per capita: $93,508)
- Switzerland (GDP per capita: $72,874)
- Norway (GDP per capita: $65,800)
- United States of America (GDP per capita: $63,416)
- Brunei Darussalam (GDP per capita: $62,371)
- Hong Kong SAR (GDP per capita: $59,520)
- Denmark (GDP per capita: $58,932)
Location is a major player in the overall wealth of a country. For example, developing countries do not rank very well when GDP is the variable in consideration. If access to certain items and necessities is restricted, people are already working with a substantial disadvantage. Places that are not war-stricken or already burdened with a less-than-ideal economy are not set up to do well in the competition of gross domestic products between countries.
This is why, when looking at the list of the wealthiest countries in the world, you'll find that places where trade or massive production is the primary source of income rank higher on the list. The poorer countries are less involved in global trading, and they are more independent in the sense that their direct involvement in international affairs is lesser than the wealthier nations. This is because money and power are so naturally interwoven, contributing to the overall wealth and GDP of a country.
Additionally, these numbers should be taken with a grain of scrutiny. For example, some countries are regarded as "tax havens" thanks to pro-business government tax rules. For these countries, a significant amount of what registers as GDP may be money that international companies are funneling through that country, as opposed to domestic product. Moreover, it's crucial to remember that these numbers are averages. Wealth is never distributed evenly. There will be individuals in every nation who fall substantially above and below these numbers. As such, even the richest countries in the world will have residents who qualify as poor.
Five countries are regarded as the wealthiest countries globally, and we will talk about each one below.
The European country of Luxembourg has been classified and defined as the wealthiest country in the world. These findings are based on the gross domestic product per capita values of the countries. The GDP per capita is calculated by dividing the country's total GDP by the population size, with the result being the GDP value per capita within a country.
The GDP value per capita of a country is an excellent way of measuring a country's wealth because it considers the standard of living. By taking the GDP per capita of a country and comparing it to the GDP per capita of another country, you'll be able to accurately determine which country is more prosperous than another, with a few other factors being taken into consideration as well.
Looking at Luxembourg in particular, the GDP per capita reached a chart-topping $118,001 in the April 2021 report.
The GDP per capita of Singapore ranks as the second-largest in the world, rising to 97,057 as of April 2021.
The GDP per capita of Ireland is 94,392 USD. For reference, Ireland's GDP in 2017 was 70,220 USD. So things are definitely looking up in Ireland. Perhaps the Irish have found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after all.
Rich in oil and natural gas, Qatar has a current GDP per capita of 93,508 USD. It also has one of the lowest tax rates in the world, with no national income tax.
Switzerland is yet another European country that made the list of top five wealthiest countries based on its GDP per capita, which sat at a very healthy 72,874 in April 2021.