The 10 Richest Countries With Small Population

Some countries like the United States and China are not just very big but are also rich and well developed. However, some countries that are not that big when it comes to size but are very rich in both human and natural resources. Using GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which takes into account the relative cost of living of the full-time residents in a country, the following is a list of the widely known 10 small but rich countries in the world.

1. Qatar

GDP Per Capita – $128,647

Qatar is an oil-rich country situated in the continent of Asia. With a per-capita income of $128,647, Qatar is probably one of the richest countries in the world, as it is gifted with the world’s third-largest oil reserves and natural gas reserves. With these numerous crude oil and natural gas reserves, the Qatari economy is one of the biggest in Asia.

Its high-income economy equally relies heavily on foreign labor as 86% of Qatar’s population of 2.3 million is composed of migrant workers, who account for 94% of the workforce.

2. Luxembourg

GDP Per Capita – $107,641

With a Per Capita income of $107,641, Luxembourg is quickly becoming a force to reckon with in the European economy. Surpassing some of the European economic powerhouses, this small country is quickly making a name for itself. Luxembourg is well known for the low unemployment levels and minimal market inflation that has led to solid economic growth for this European Country.

Despite being one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, the country has a stable and high-income market economy. It has a diversified industrial sector, which includes chemicals, rubber, and steel productions. However, the majority of the country’s economic output emanates from the banking and finance sector.

3. Singapore

GDP Per Capita – $94,105

Singapore is generally referred to as the financial and technological hub of Southeast Asia. Singapore has a Per capita income of about $94,105. The country boasts of high electronic and pharmaceutical exports to other countries as its major factor for having this great per capita income. The rising number of foreign investors willing to invest in Singapore also plays a big role in making Singapore’s economy one of the largest in the World.

4. Brunei

GDP Per Capita – $79,003 

Brunei is a small country that is located in the continent of Asia. The Per Capita income of Brunei is about $79,003. The country is well endowed with crude oil reserves that play a major role in making the country one of the richest in the world. Brunei government has also taken advantage of investment opportunities available overseas by owning some of the well-known institutions in the United States and Western Europe. They also offer subsidized health and education services to their citizens.

5. Kuwait

GDP Per Capita – $72,096

small but rich countries

Kuwait’s economy depends largely on the big oil and natural gas reserves available in the country as it has one of the largest oil reserves in the world, which accounts for 90% of its government income and half of its GDP. With a per capita income of $72,096, Kuwait is concretely one of the richest small countries in the world. The country is situated in the Middle East area of Asia and has been regarded as one of the wealthiest in Asia.

It is also one of the Asian countries with a high employment rate, which has primarily attracted expatriates that makes up for 70% of the country’s total population of 4.5 million.

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6. San Marino

GDP Per Capita – $63,549

small but rich countries

San Marino has a per capita income of $63,549. This country depends on tourism as the major economic booster for its citizens. It is believed that San Marino offers the lowest tax rates for financial institutions in the world. Foreign investors have also played a major role in improving the country’s GDP by setting up businesses and industries in this country because of the low tax rates.

With a population of 33,931, San Marino is the fifth smallest country in the world, nevertheless, it has been ranked among one of the world’s wealthiest countries as a result of its GDP Per Capita income. It has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, thus, the small but rich country is said to have a highly stable economy that has additionally been boosted by its agricultural industry, as well as it’s banking and manufacturing sectors.

7. Iceland

GDP Per Capita – $55,322

small but rich countries

Iceland has a per capita income of $55,322. This country’s economy mainly depends on the fishing industry. Fishing accounts for almost 15% of Iceland’s economic income. Foreign companies investing in biotechnology and software industries also play a major role in ensuring that Iceland remains one of the richest small countries.

Although the country has a relatively small population of 364,260, it was ranked by the United Nations’ Human Development Index in 2018 as the sixth most developed country in the world. Hence, the country’s economy is significantly increased by a surge in tourism, especially ecotourism and whale watching.


GDP Per Capita – $29,328

small but rich countries

The Republic of Seychelles is regarded as the richest country in Africa and has a GDP Per Capita income of about $29,328. This small country is an archipelago of more than one hundred small islands located in the Indian Ocean to the East of the African continent. It has a population of less than one hundred thousand people.

This small population together with the various luxurious hotels with great sea beaches constructed on the islands has led to a surge in the number of tourists visiting this country. This has contributed largely to the high Per capita value of the country.

9. Equatorial Guinea

GDP Per Capita – $24,439

small but rich countries

With a per capita income of about $24,439, Equatorial Guinea is regarded as the second wealthiest country in the vast continent of Africa. The discovery of oil in this African country with a population of 1.4 million played a major role in pluming the country’s economy, having been ranked the third-largest oil-producing country in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to its oil reserves, forestry, farming, and fishing also make a significant impact on the country’s economy.

10. Botswana

GDP Per Capita – $17,024

small but rich countries

Botswana has a GDP Per Capita of $17,024, giving it a high status as one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. With a population of about 2.3 million people, Botswana’s booming economy is largely attributed to the ever-busy tourism sector in this country. Cattle rearing and crop farming are also other income-generating sectors that have helped to improve the economy of this country. It is important to note that with the current rate of industrial and infrastructural developments in Botswana, the economy of this South African country is predicted to improve drastically.

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These small but rich countries continue to amaze the world with their strong economies.

Amira Daniel
Amira Daniel
Amira is a personal finance and entertainment writer by trade with several years of experience covering businesses, CEOs, and celebrity profiles, her favourite subjects include business and personal finance, entertainment, celebrities, and travel. When she's not writing, you can find her reading or catching up on any of her favourite series


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