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The 10 Wealthiest Countries in the World

By Rachel Gresh
Read time: 7 minutes

The world’s most affluent countries have more in common than their wealth — many are also home to some of the world’s most famous tourist sites. From the spectacular modern architecture of Singapore Qatar to the natural wonders of Iceland and Norway, these countries are not only great places to live but also great places to visit. To determine what countries are the wealthiest, the International Monetary Fund tracks GDP in U.S. dollars per capita, which is the gross domestic product (the prices of goods and services produced there) divided by the current population. This measures the success of a country’s overall economic activity based on how many people live there. Below, we reveal the 10 richest countries in 2024 and the best places to visit in each one.

10. Australia

Aerial view of waterfront skyline Brisbane, Australia
Credit: Yongyuan Dai/ iStock via Getty Images 

GDP per capita: $66,590

Australia’s GDP per capita is the 10th-highest globally, thanks in large part to it being one of the world’s largest exporters of coal, wheat, and iron ore. But the nation also draws millions of tourists a year, bolstering the country’s already robust economy. New South Wales, the most-visited Australian state, is home to the coastal city of Sydney and its famous namesake opera house. Nearby, Blue Mountains National Park boasts hiking through lush forests to waterfalls and guest houses that line its scenic mountain ridges. Elsewhere in the land Down Under, highlights include snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the red sandy desert of the rugged Outback, and road-tripping along Great Ocean Road. Tourism is also a significant factor in the country’s wealth — in 2023, tourists spent $34.5 billion in Australia. 

9. Denmark

Ships docked in front of colorful row homes in Copenhagen, Denmark
Credit: CHUNYIP WONG/ iStock via Getty Images 

GDP per capita: $68,900

Denmark is a leading exporter of pharmaceuticals, but it also boasts the largest tourism market in the Nordic region. Its capital city, Copenhagen, welcomes visitors to tour its stunning royal palaces, such as Christiansborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle, and to see immaculate gardens and the Danish crown jewels. Nearby, the Tivoli Gardens amusement park and the Little Mermaid statue are also must-sees. Or, head to the Danish countryside to explore charming medieval towns with well-preserved cobblestone streets and half-timbered homes.

8. Qatar

Modern skyscrapers of Doha, Qatar, seen across bay
Credit: Mlenny/ iStock via Getty Images 

GDP per capita: $81,400

Qatar is one of the world’s largest exporters of petroleum gas, accounting for 50% of its total exports and making it an incredibly wealthy country. Located on the Persian Gulf, Doha is its capital city and a major financial hub. Doha’s Hamad International Airport, named the world’s best airport of 2024 (Skytrax Passengers’ Choice Awards) sets the tone for visitors, who come to explore attractions such as the world-class Museum of Islamic Art (designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei) and the Pearl, an artificial island home to luxury villas and high-end shopping. Tourism is one of Qatar’s most important economic sectors as of late. In 2023, it amounted to $22.3 billion, accounting for 10.3% of the country’s total economic output.

7. Iceland

Church towers and other buildings with water and mountains in background in Reykjavik, Iceland
Credit: larigan – Patricia Hamilton/ Moment via Getty Images 

GDP per capita: $84,590

Dotted with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and glaciers, this Nordic island nation is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. Iceland’s economy thrives on tourism, along with exporting aluminum and seafood. Its bustling capital city, Reykjavik, became Iceland’s first permanent settlement in 874 CE. Today, it is home to Iceland’s national museums and two-thirds of the country’s population. The nearby geothermal Blue Lagoon is a bucket-list spot for many visitors to Iceland. Remnants of Iceland’s Viking history are found all around the country, from open-air museums to centuries-old burial grounds and artifacts. 

6. United States

Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park, seen from above
Credit: Ershov_Maks/ iStock via Getty Images 

GDP per capita: $85,370

The United States is the only country in North America to make the top 10 on the world’s wealthiest countries list. The U.S. is a top exporter of refined petroleum, contributing to its high GDP, and it has long been a top tourist destination, accounting for 14.5% of global tourism spending. Indeed, vacationers spend more here than in any other country. With such diverse cultural regions and contrasting landscapes, America offers visitors seemingly endless things to do and see.  The most popular attractions include Grand Canyon National Park, the Statue of Liberty, Yellowstone National Park, and Niagara Falls. 

5. Singapore

Modern skyline of Singapore, seen across bay
Credit: f9photos/ iStock via Getty Images

GDP per capita: $88,450

The Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore is a leader in technology and innovation and is the world’s top exporter of computer microchips. From the time visitors arrive at the award-winning Changi Airport, they experience state-of-the-art architecture and technology. Singapore’s bayfront skyline boasts the luxury Marina Bay Sands Hotel, with its famous rooftop pool, and the Gardens by the Bay, known for its artificial light-up “supertrees” and the Flower Dome — the largest glass greenhouse in the world. Singapore’s vibrant nightlife is also a favorite pastime of visitors and locals alike — visit a rooftop bar to enjoy skyline views while sipping the country’s national drink, the Singapore sling. 

4. Norway

Homes along fjord in Norway, seen from above
Credit: primeimages/ E+ via Getty Images 

GDP per capita: $94,660

Many visitors come to Norway to spend as much time in nature as possible, taking advantage of the country’s scenic mountain and glacier hikes and picturesque fjord cruises. Norway’s economy is based primarily on oil, gas, and seafood products (the latter of which is fueled by its robust fishing industry). As such, trying local seafood is a must for visitors. Norway’s capital city of Oslo, known for its green spaces and museums, is the country’s most-visited city. Up near the Arctic Circle, lucky visitors are treated to views of the northern lights from fall through spring. Throughout the country, preserved Viking villages give guests a glimpse into the region’s storied past.

3. Switzerland

Bridge over the Limmat River in Zurich, Switzerland
Credit: alxpin/ E+ via Getty Images 

GDP per capita: $105,670

The Swiss Alps are famous for skiing, hiking, gastronomy, and shopping— and it’s no secret that a vacation to this small European nation often comes with a hefty price tag. But for the many tourists who choose to visit, the luxury hotels and spas with sprawling views of the mountains are well worth the price tag. Zurich, Geneva, and Lucerne are among the most famous Swiss cities to visit, but quaint mountain villages such as Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen provide peaceful respite for travelers and locals alike. Gold is Switzerland’s top export, and its economy revolves around its banking and finance industries — along with chocolate, a must-try for visitors. Switzerland’s tourism industry is projected to reach nearly $6 billion in 2024.

2. Ireland

Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
Credit: MNStudio/ iStock via Getty Images 

GDP per capita: $106,060

The tourism industry in the Emerald Isle earned over $5 billion in 2023, making it one of Ireland’s largest employers. The country is a top travel destination, particularly for North American tourists, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Ireland’s strong economy is thanks to its corporate tax policies, which encourage investment from multinational tech and pharmaceutical companies. Its top exports are medicinal and pharmaceutical products. But visitors don’t come for the economy — they visit Ireland for its natural wonders (including the famous Cliffs of Moher), historical monuments, churches, castles, and breweries such as the world-famous Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

1. Luxembourg

Aerial view of church tower in village surrounded by green hills in Luxembourg
Credit: Haykal/ Moment via Getty Images 

GDP per capita: $131,380

This tiny European country — sandwiched between Germany, France, and Belgium — is home to just 660,000 residents but boasts the highest GDP per capita in the world. Luxembourg’s economy is bolstered by its banking, steel, and industrial sectors, with iron being its top export. Its tourism sector continues to grow, and there’s plenty to do and see for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. One of the most-visited places in the country is the city of Luxembourg, the country’s capital and a historic fortified medieval city that’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Luxembourg is also home to one of Europe’s densest networks of hiking trails. The Ardennes region boasts lush forests and several fascinating World War II sites and museums. 

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