Wealthiest Countries in the World 2021

The wealthiest countries in the world 2021, The wealthiest countries in the world 2021 rank based GDP net income and many factors. check more fully wealthiest Countries in 2021

Wealthiest Countries in the World Research

Wealth is measured in many ways. Some see it purely as the money you have, while others may look at net worth or your overall quality of life. The same goes when measuring the wealth of countries. Some countries, like Indonesia or China, may dominate the world in gross domestic product but have unlivable wages and poor living conditions for most. 

To help wade through all the numbers and find the wealthiest countries in the world, we combined three metrics of wealth to see what countries deliver the best overall balance of gross domestic product (GDP), average income and Social Progress Index (SPI).  

Keep reading to see what countries landed on our 50 wealthiest countries list.

50. Costa Rica

GDP Rank: 79

Average Income Rank: 98

Social Progress Index Rank: 33 

This is the methodology for our story. 

Costa Rica Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 70

Bottom Line: Costa Rica

Starting off our list of the 50 wealthiest nations is the tiny Central American nation of Costa Rica. Sure, its $60.1 billion GDP ranks just No. 79 and its $9,645 average income is No. 98, but it squeezes its way onto the bottom of our top-50 list with the help of a No. 33 ranking in SPI.

Costa Rica’s SPI gets boosts from high rankings in water and sanitation, access to nutrition and basic medical care and personal rights. There are a few flaws in its SPI that pull it down to No. 33, and those include a 36.36 score in access to advanced education, 65.66 score in personal safety and a 65.89 score in inclusiveness.

49. Croatia

GDP Rank: 78

Average Income Rank: 94

Social Progress Index Rank: 37

Croatia Quality of Life

Average Rank: 69.3

Bottom Line: Croatia

Croatia is not a country many will look at when thinking about wealth, and we can’t fault them with its $60.8 billion GDP ranking No. 78 in the world and its $10,314 average salary ranking No. 94. Where Croatia makes up ground is its No. 37 SPI ranking, which helps it land at No. 49 on our list of wealthiest nations.

This SPI ranking gets boosts from high scores in clean water and sanitation, access to basic medical care and access to basic knowledge. Like other European nations, Croatia struggles in inclusiveness (47.84 points) and access to advanced education (49.31), which pull its overall score down a fair amount.

48. Latvia

GDP Rank: 102

Average Income Rank: 51

Social Progress Index Rank: 39

Average Rank: 63.7

Latvia Quality of Life

Average Rank: 63.7

Bottom Line: Latvia

This European nation’s $34.8 billion GDP in unimpressive, but its No. 39 ranking in SPI pulls it back into the fold.

High ratings in access to nutrition and basic medical care, clean water and sanitation, and personal rights boost its SPI ratings.

But a 44.34 score in access to advanced education and 51.14 score in inclusiveness drag it down.

47. Algeria

GDP Rank: 56

Average Income Rank: 58

Social Progress Index Rank: 75 

Average Rank: 62.7

Algeria Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 62.7

Bottom Line: Algeria

The only African country on our list is No. 47-ranked Algeria. Algeria has no standout numbers, but its No. 56 ranked 180.7 billion GDP and No. 58 ranked $22,064 average income strike a balance that put it in the lower part of our top 50 wealthiest nations list.

Algeria struggles a bit in SPI at No. 75. While it gets OK scores in access to nutrition and basic medical care and access to basic knowledge, its 20.24 score in access to advanced education and 42.58 score in inclusiveness drag it way down.

46. Turkey

GDP Rank: 19

Average Income Rank: 93

Social Progress Index Rank: 76 

Average Rank: 62.7

Turkey Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 62.7

Bottom Line: Turkey

Turkey boasts a large GDP of $766.5 billion that puts it No. 19 in the world. This type of production should make it far higher in terms of wealth, but it has severe shortcomings in average income and SPI ranking. With the average Turkish worker pulling in just $10,380, Turkey ranks No. 93 in average income.

Turkey’s SPI doesn’t do it any favors at No. 76. While Turkey gets high marks in access to clean water and sanitation, and access to nutrition and basic medical care, it has huge issues in inclusiveness (24.33 points), access to advanced education (42.28 points), personal rights (43.07 points), personal safety (54.93 points), and personal freedom and choice (63.03 points).

45. Slovakia

GDP Rank: 63

Average Income Rank: 90

Social Progress Index Rank: 35 

Average Rank: 62.3

Slovakia Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 62.3

Bottom Line: Slovakia

Landlocked Central European country Slovakia checks in at No. 45 on our list, despite a low GDP and average income.

Pulling Slovakia up our list is its No. 35 ranking in SPI, which it owes to its wide access to clean water and sanitation, access to nutrition and basic healthcare, and access to shelter. SPI takes a hit in access to advanced education at 39.97 points, but that is the norm in Europe.

Where Slovakia slides is its No. 63 ranked $106.5 billion GDP and No. 90 rank average income of just $10,653.

44. Romania

GDP Rank: 49

Average Income Rank: 89

Social Progress Index Rank: 44

Average Rank: 60.3

Romania Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 60.3

Bottom Line: Romania

Romania may not be top of mind when thinking of the wealthiest nations in the world, but it checks in at No. 44 on our list thanks to its No. 49 ranked $239.6 billion GDP and No. 44 ranked SPI. The latter score is mostly due to the county’s superior access to nutrition and basic medical care.

Romania’s SPI suffers from a 38.75 score in access to advanced education and a 45.31 score in inclusiveness.

What pulls Romania deep down the list of wealthiest nations is its No. 89 ranked average income of $11,290.

43. Malaysia

GDP Rank: 38

Average Income Rank: 92

Social Progress Index Rank: 50 

Average Rank: 59.7

Malaysia Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 59.7

Bottom Line: Malaysia

Southeast Asia is underrepresented on this list, but Malaysia makes it just under the cut at No. 43 with a relatively high $354.3 billion GDP that places it No. 38 in the world.

Dragging it down the list is what troubles much of this region, average income. On average, workers earn just $10,460 per year, putting Malaysia No. 92 in the world.

Malaysia also falters a bit in the SPI at No. 50. Boosting Malaysia’s SPI score is high ratings in access to water and sanitation, shelter, nutrition and basic medical care.

Malaysia struggles in inclusiveness, access to advanced education and personal rights with scores of 40.98, 45.4 and 58.9, respectively.

42. Estonia

GDP Rank: 104

Average Income Rank: 47

Social Progress Index Rank: 27 

Average Rank: 59

Estonia Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 59

Bottom Line: Estonia

With a $30.2 billion GDP that ranks just No. 104 in the world, Estonia is far from what many may consider one of the wealthiest nations. Its No. 47 ranked $26,898 average income doesn’t help much either. What helps put this European nation at No. 42 on our list is its No. 27 ranking in SPI.

Estonia crushes the SPI with high scores in access to clean water and sanitation, access to nutrition and basic health care, and personal rights.

Like other European nations, its 52.81 points in access to advanced education could use improvement, as could its 55.07 points in inclusiveness.

41. China

GDP Rank: 2

Average Income Rank: 102

Social Progress Index Rank: 66

Average Rank: 56.7

China Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 56.7

Bottom Line: China

China is yet another one-hit-wonder on our list, as it crushes everyone but the U.S. with its No. 2 ranked 13.6 trillion GDP but falls sharply in income and SPI.

The latter rings in at No. 66 on our list, and with all the press China receives, it is easy to guess where it falters: a 27.04 score in personal rights, a 31.02 score in inclusiveness and 39.45 score in access to advanced education. China does get high marks in access to basic medical care.

China’s most significant flaw is in its average income, which ranks 102nd in the world at just $9,470 per year.

40. Russia

GDP Rank: 11

Average Income Rank: 95

Social Progress Index Rank: 66 

Average Rank: 55.7

Russia Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 55.7

Bottom Line: Russia

Russia has a hefty $1.7 trillion GDP that puts it No. 11 in the world, but it falls sharply to No. 40 on our list with its No. 95 ranked $10,230 average income. SPI doesn’t do it any favors either at No. 66.

Healthy scores in access to basic medical care, access to basic knowledge, and clean water and sanitation boost Russia’s SPI numbers.

But pulling the opposite direction are scores of 33.69, 45.74 and 52.87 in inclusiveness, personal safety and personal rights, respectively.

39. Lithuania

GDP Rank: 86

Average Income Rank: 50

Social Progress Index Rank: 31 

Average Rank: 55.3

Lithuania Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 55.3

Bottom Line: Lithuania

This European nation’s $53.3 billion GDP ranks only No. 86 in the world, and its $26,429 average income is low at No. 50 in the world, but its No. 31 ranking in SPI gives it a boost.

In the SPI, Lithuania gets high marks in access to basic medical care, access to water and sanitation and personal rights.

Like many European nations, it ranks low in access to advanced education at 49.79 points, but it also falls in health and wellness and inclusiveness at 67.84 and 63.54 points, respectively.

38. Saudi Arabia

GDP Rank: 18

Average Income Rank: 61

Social Progress Index Rank: 86 

Average Rank: 55

Saudi Arabia Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 55

Bottom Line: Saudi Arabia

As the world’s largest producer of petroleum, no wealthiest countries list would be complete without Saudi Arabia. According to OPEC, 50 percent of Saudi Arabia’s No. 18-ranked $782.4 billion GDP comes from petroleum.

With that high of a GDP ranking, Saudi Arabia should be higher than No. 38, but its No. 61 ranked $21,540 average income and No. 86 SPI ranking almost pull it off the list altogether.

Saudi Arabia’s SPI gets boosts from easy access to water and sanitation and basic medical care, but it takes enormous hits with three very low scores: 13.87 points in inclusiveness, 17.26 points in personal rights and 36.82 points in access to advanced education.

37. Brazil

GDP Rank: 9

Average Income Rank: 103

Social Progress Index Rank: 49

Average Rank: 39.3

Brazil Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 39.3

Bottom Line: Brazil

Brazil shows how a country can overcome one massive shortcoming with a big rating in another category, as its $9,140 average income ranks No. 103 in the world, but its No. 9-ranked 1.9 trillion GDP pulls it back onto our list.

Balancing everything out is its No. 49 ranking in the SPI. This ranking in SPI owes a lot to the country’s OK marks in access to basic medical care and clean water and sanitation.

But it takes big hits in access to advanced education and personal safety, which received scores of 36.80 and 47.26, respectively.

36. Cyprus

GDP Rank: 112

Average Income Rank: 20

Social Progress Index Rank: 28 

Average Rank: 51.3

Cyprus Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 51.3

Bottom Line: Cyprus

Cyprus, an island nation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, checks in at No. 36 on our list, but it is certainly no thanks to its $24.5 billion GDP that ranks No. 112 in the world.

Where Cyprus excels is its $45,705 average income that ranks No. 20 and its No. 28 ranking in the SPI. The latter is due to the country’s access to clean water and sanitation (though it has struggled with water shortages in the past), access to basic medical care and personal rights.

This score would be better had it not been for its 53.27 points in access to advanced education.

35. Chile

GDP Rank: 43

Average Income Rank: 78

Social Progress Index Rank: 34 

Average Rank: 41.3

Chile Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 41.3

Bottom Line: Chile

At No. 35 in our list of wealthiest countries is another South American country, Chile. Known for its massive coastline but not so much its average income, which checks in at No. 78 at $14,670.

Its $298.2 billion GDP is also relatively low at No 43, but its No. 34 ranking in SPI give it the shot it needs to make its way into the bottom half of our list.

Chile’s SPI gets big boosts from a near-perfect rating in access to water and sanitation, basic medical care and personal rights, but its 43.69 points in access to advanced education pull it down.

34. Argentina

GDP Rank: 24

Average Income Rank: 84

Social Progress Index Rank: 42 

Average Rank: 50

Argentina Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 50

Bottom Line: Argentina

No. 34 on our wealthiest countries list is the large South American country of Argentina. It fails to impress with its $12,370 average income ringing in at No. 84 in the world, but its $518.5 billion GDP ranks No. 24 and gives it a boost.

Leveling everything out is its No. 42 ranking in the SPI. Argentina’s access to water and sanitation, and good basic medical care, give its SPI score a boost.

But its 40.82 points in access to advanced education and 58.37 points in personal safety drag its overall score way down.

33. Qatar

GDP Rank: 55

Average Income Rank: 36

Social Progress Index Rank: 58 

Average Rank: 49.3

Qatar Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 49.3

Bottom Line: Qatar

Like the UAE, Qatar is an oil-rich country that should have one of the highest average incomes in the world. Sadly, its income disparity exceeds that of UAE with the highest earners making 13 times the poorest, according to The Economist, This drags its average income to $36,958, which ranks No 36.

Dragging Qatar down to No. 33 on our wealthiest nations list is its GDP and SPI ratings. With a GDP of just $192 billion and SPI suffering from severe struggles with inclusiveness, personal rights and access to advanced education, these key categories rank No. 55 and No. 58, respectively.

32. Mexcio

GDP Rank: 15

Average Income Rank: 73

Social Progress Index Rank: 59

Average Rank: 49 

Mexico Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 49 

Bottom Line: Mexico

Mexico has a massive GDP of $1.2 trillion, putting it No. 15 in the world. Despite this considerable number, it comes in at just No. 32 on our list of wealthiest nations.

Mexico’s most significant fall from grace comes from its No. 73 ranked average income of only $16,298, but its No. 59 ranked SPI rating does it no favors too.

The SPI rating shows OK scores in water and sanitation and basic medical care, but it falls short in key areas with a 45.80 in access to advanced education, 48.27 in personal safety, and 62.06 in personal freedom and choice.

31. Hungary

GDP Rank: 58

Average Income Rank: 53

Social Progress Index Rank: 36

Hungary Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 48.7

Bottom Line: Hungary

The No. 31 wealthiest nation on our list is Hungary, which boasts a No. 36 ranked SPI thanks to high ratings in water and sanitation, basic medical care and access to basic knowledge.

The SPI numbers weren’t all good, though, as it struggles with a 50.29 score in access to advanced education and 58.56 score in inclusiveness.

Where Hungary loses points is its No. 58-ranked $155.7 billion GDP and No. 53 ranked average income of just $24,455.

30. Slovenia

GDP Rank: 85

Average Income Rank: 35

Social Progress Index Rank: 22 

Average Rank: 47

Slovenia Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 47

Bottom Line: Slovenia

Slovenia is No. 30 on our list, but its No. 85 ranked $54.2 billion GDP may lead many to leave it off any wealthiest country list. Helping pull it back into the fray is its No. 35 ranked average salary of $37,322 and No. 22 ranking on the SPI.

The latter score is thanks to its access to clean water, access to basic knowledge and personal rights. It rings in low with a 52.58 in access to advanced education, but this is similar to its European neighbors.

29. Greece

GDP Rank: 53

Average Income Rank: 48

Social Progress Index Rank: 29

Average Rank: 43

Greece Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 43

Bottom Line: Greece

Like Portugal, our No. 29 wealthiest nation, Greece, will not blow anyone away with its $218 billion GDP or $26,671 average income, which rank No. 53 and No. 48, respectively.

Greece comes back with its No. 29 ranked SPI that it owes to access to clean water, basic medical care and basic knowledge.

Like other European nations, Greece struggles with a 55.79 score in access to advanced education, which drags its overall rating down a bit.

28. Portugal

GDP Rank: 50

Average Income Rank: 52

Social Progress Index Rank: 24

Average Rank: 41.7

Portugal Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 41.7

Bottom Line: Portugal

Portugal’s No. 50 ranked $238 billion GDP and No. 52 ranked $25,487 average income won’t win it any awards, but combined with its No. 24 ranking in SPI, it is enough to place it No. 28 overall.

This high ranking is thanks to its clean water and sanitation, access to basic medical care and personal rights.

Portugal comes up short with a 46.78 rating in access to advanced education, but all other ratings are a 72.89 or higher. 

27. Iceland

GDP Rank: 110

Average Income Rank: 6

Social Progress Index Rank: 2

Average Rank: 39

Iceland Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 39

Bottom Line: Iceland

Iceland is No. 27 on our list of wealthiest nations, but its 110th ranked $25.9 billion GDP is not a good indicator of its wealth.

Where Iceland excels is its No. 2 ranked SPI thanks to near-perfect rankings in water and sanitation and basic medical care. It also is a world leader in access to basic knowledge and personal rights, but it comes up short with a 61.91 rating in access to advanced education. 

Iceland is also a leader in average salary with its $66,504 yearly wage ranking No. 6 in the world. This, combined with the high SPI ranking, is enough to overcome its lack of GDP and earn a spot at the table of wealthiest nations.

26. Czech Republic

GDP Rank: 48

Average Income Rank: 34

Social Progress Index Rank: 26

Average Rank: 35.7

Czech Republic Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 35.7

Bottom Line: Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is known for cranking out hockey players but not so much in finished products, leading to its No. 48 ranked $244.1 billion GDP. It doesn’t do much better with its No. 34-ranked $26,962 average wage.

Despite its lower GDP and average wages, the Czech Republic still ranks No. 26 on our list thanks to its No. 26 ranked SPI. The Czech Republic’s SPI gets a boost due to high ratings in water and sanitation, basic medical care and personal rights.

Like most other European nations, the Czech Republic struggles with just 56.14 of 100 points in access to advanced education.

25. United Arab Emirates

GDP Rank: 30

Average Income Rank: 26

Social Progress Index Rank: 45 

Average Rank: 33.7

United Arab Emirates Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 33.7

Bottom Line: United Arab Emirates

The UAE checks in at No. 25 on our list with the No. 30-ranked GDP at $414.2 billion and No. 26-ranked average income of $41,010.

That income may seem quite low for such an oil-rich nation, but a 19.5 percent poverty rate and one of the worst wealth gaps in the world create this low average, according to the Borgen Report.

UAE’s restrictive laws lead to a 54.72 score in personal rights, and limited advanced education results in a 39.39 in access to advanced education, pushing it to No. 45 in SPI ranking.

UAE received high ratings in clean water and sanitation, access to shelter and basic medical care, but even those can’t overcome the aforementioned low ratings.

24. Israel

GDP Rank: 34

Average Income Rank: 34

Social Progress Index Rank: 30

Average Rank: 32.7

Israel Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 32.7

Bottom Line: Israel

Israel ranks in the 30s in all three of our key measurements, making it even keel across the board and earning it the No. 24 overall spot on our list.

Its GDP and average income rank No. 34 in the world at $369.4 billion and $37,655, respectively. Its place on the Social Progress Index pushes it up slightly.

Areas where Israel shines in the SPI include its perfect 100 score in water and sanitation, and high marks in basic medical care and basic knowledge.

It falls short in inclusiveness at 43.11 and access to advanced education at 59.46 points.

23. Poland

GDP Rank: 21

Average Income Rank: 43

Social Progress Index Rank: 32

Average Rank: 32

Poland Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 32

Bottom Line: Poland

Poland is near the midway point of our wealthiest nations list at No. 23. There are no real glaring good or bad numbers for Poland, as it is very average in most areas.

Its $585.8 billion GDP ranks No. 21 in the world, and its SPI checks in at No. 32. Poland’s SPI gets a boost from high rankings in water and sanitation, medical care and access to basic knowledge, but its 48.74 score in access to advanced education is meager.

Income ranks No.  43 at $29,109 per year.

22. New Zealand

GDP Rank: 54

Average Income Rank: 25

Social Progress Index Rank: 10

Average Rank: 29.7

New Zealand Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 29.7

Bottom Line: New Zealand

Though not as significant as Luxembourg, New Zealand also overcomes a tiny GDP to land on our list at No. 22.

With a $205 billion GDP, this island nation is No. 53 in the world, but its No. 10 ranking in SPI — which it owes to a perfect 100 score in water and sanitation, and high rankings in basic medical care and personal rights — pulls it way up.

Balancing it all out is its No. 25-ranked average salary of $42,325.

21. Luxembourg

GDP Rank: 74

Average Income Rank: 7

Social Progress Index Rank: 8

Average Rank: 29.7

Luxembourg Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 29.7

Bottom Line: Luxembourg

Small European country Luxembourg checks in at No. 21 and shows how a country can overcome one weak rating with a few high rankings.

With a tiny population just south of 600,000 people, this country’s $69.5 billion GDP is barely a drop in the global bucket. Dragging it from the basement in terms of total wealth is its surprisingly high $65,449 average income that ranks No. 7 in the world.

Solidifying its place near the middle of the pack is its No. 8 ranking in SPI, which it owes to sky-high rankings in water and sanitation, basic medical care and personal rights.

20. Finland

GDP Rank: 44

Average Income Rank: 24

Social Progress Index Rank: 5

Average Rank: 24.3

Finland Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 24.3

Bottom Line: Finland

According to the World Happiness Report, Finland is the world’s happiest country, so it is shocking to see it isn’t higher than No. 20.

As its ranking in the WHR would indicate, Finland ranks well in SPI at No. 5, thanks to its near-perfect ratings in water and sanitation and basic medical care. It comes up low in advanced education at just 55.14, but no other ratings fell below 82.28 of 100 points.

Where Finland falters is its No. 43-ranked $275.7 billion GDP and No. 20-ranked $44,111 average income. Maybe money doesn’t equal happiness. Go figure.

19. Singapore

GDP Rank: 36

Average Income Rank: 10

Social Progress Index Rank: 23

Average Rank: 23

Singapore Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 23

Bottom Line: Singapore

Tiny nation-state Singapore is a surprising entry at No. 19 on our list of the 50 wealthiest countries. What pushes it so high on our list is the country’s $58,770 average income, which is No. 10 in the world.

In SPI, Singapore ranks No. 23 — two spots above the U.S. — thanks to its perfect 100 score in water and sanitation and 98.25 in access to basic knowledge. On the flip side, Singapore comes up low in personal rights at 70.88 points of 100.

With restrictive punishments like three months in jail for singing in public, $10,000 for connecting to someone else’s Wi-Fi, up to two years in prison for homosexual relations, and up to a $100,000 fine and two years in jail for selling gum or smuggling it into the country (yes, chewing gum), it’s no wonder it ranks so low in this area.

18. Spain

GDP Rank: 14

Average Income Rank: 31

Social Progress Index Rank: 19

Average Rank: 21.3

Spain Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 21.3

Bottom Line: Spain

Spain sits at No. 18 in the top 50 wealthiest nations, and it owes a lot to its $1.4 trillion GDP that ranks No. 14 in the world. It also doesn’t hurt that its high rankings in water and sanitation, basic medical care and environmental quality push its SPI to No. 19 in the world.

The only downside Spain has: its $38,761 average yearly income, which is No. 31 in the world. Then again, Spain is one of the cheapest European countries, so you may find that average salary is plenty.

17. Ireland

GDP Rank: 32

Average Income Rank: 19

Social Progress Index Rank: 12

Average Rank: 21

Ireland Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 21

Bottom Line: Ireland

It’s more than just the luck o’ the Irish that lands Ireland at No. 17 of the 50 wealthiest nations. It is also Ireland’s No. 12 ranking in the SPI, which it can attribute to high marks in access to basic medical care, clean water and sanitation, and personal rights.

Its 69.43 points in access to advanced education are low relative to the rest of the world, but they are high compared to other European nations.

GDP is the only sore spot for Ireland, as its $375.9 billion GDP is No. 32 in the world.

16. Austria

GDP Rank: 27

Average Income Rank: 16

Social Progress Index Rank: 20

Average Rank: 21

Austria Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 21

Bottom Line: Austria

At No. 16 on our list of the top 50 wealthiest nations is Austria. This land-locked European nation falls short with its $455.7 billion GDP checking in at No. 27 and SPI ringing in at just No. 20.

In SPI, Austria excels in access to clean water and sanitation and its basic medical care, but its 46.27 points in access to advanced education are low, even compared to its European neighbors that struggle in this category.

15. Italy

GDP Rank: 8

Average Income Rank: 33

Social Progress Index Rank: 21

Average Rank: 20.7

Italy Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 20.7

Bottom Line: Italy

Italy is a solid No. 15 in our list of wealthiest nations with a healthy $2.1 trillion GDP that ranks No. 8 in the world. Dragging it down is the average Italian worker’s salary, which checks in at just $37,752, and its No. 21 ranking in the SPI.

The boot-shaped country’s SPI ranking gets help from its high rankings in access to water and sanitation, basic medical care and personal rights, but its 66.7 points in access to advanced education and 74.41 points in personal freedom and choice drag it way down.

14. South Korea

GDP Rank: 12

Average Income Rank: 29

Social Progress Index Rank: 18

Average Rank: 19.7

South Korea Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 19.7

Bottom Line: South Korea

Not to be confused with its reclusive and oppressed northern rival, South Korea comes in at No. 14 on our list. Its $39,472 average income is less than impressive, but its $1.6 trillion GDP is No. 12 in the world.

South Korea’s No. 18 SPI gets a boost from the country’s clean water and sanitation, basic medical care, and access to information and communication, though it’s on the lower side in personal freedom and choice at 78.94 of 100 points.

Of course, that’s significantly better than North Korea’s 3.62 of 100 points in the same category.

13. Sweden

GDP Rank: 22

Average Income Rank: 23

Social Progress Index Rank: 11

Average Rank: 18.7

Sweden Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 18.7

Bottom Line: Sweden

Sweden’s $551 billion GDP and average yearly salary of $44,196 place No. 22 and No. 23 in the world, respectively, but the country’s No. 11 rating in the SPI gives it a healthy boost in our overall rankings.

Sweden’s SPI ranking gets a big hand from the country’s access to clean water, basic medical care and environmental quality.

But like its European neighbors, it ranks low in access to advanced education at 58.99 points out of 100.

12. Belgium

GDP Rank: 23

Average Income Rank: 14

Social Progress Index Rank: 17

Average Rank: 18

Belgium Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 18

Bottom Line: Belgium

Belgium strikes a delicate balance in all rankings, topping out at No. 14 with a $52,080 average salary and No. 17 in the SPI, which results in a No. 12 ranking on our list.

Belgium shines in water and sanitation, basic health and medical care, and access to shelter in the SPI, but its 59.78 rating in access to advanced education mirrors many other European countries and drags it down a bit.

Belgium’s $531.7 billion GDP rings in just above the halfway point on the top 50 list.

11. Denmark

GDP Rank: 39

Average Income Rank: 11

Social Progress Index Rank: 4

Average Rank: 18

Denmark Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 18

Bottom Line: Denmark

Like Norway, No. 11-ranked Denmark also gets high marks around the world for its social awareness.

Some of the biggest wins on its way to a No. 4 ranking in the SPI include water and sanitation, access to shelter, and medical care, but it struggles at delivering advanced education with its 56.82 of 100 rating.

Average income also rings in high at $55,253, which makes it No. 11 in the world, but its $351.2 billion GDP is in the lower third of our top 50 at No. 38.

10. Norway

GDP Rank: 29

Average Income Rank: 15

Social Progress Index Rank: 1

Average Rank: 15

Norway Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 15

Bottom Line: Norway

Norway is often looked upon as one of the most socially aware countries in the world with low pollution, outstanding medical care and great support programs, and it shows this off with its No. 1 ranking in the SPI.

It comes up light with its 53.31 of 100 points in access to advanced education, but even that’s not enough to drag it down. Norway’s No. 29-ranked GDP of $434 billion and No. 15-ranked average income of $50,966 pulled its overall ranking on our list of wealthiest nations to No. 10.

But it is still quite high for these shortcomings.

9. France

GDP Rank: 6

Average Income Rank: 22

Social Progress Index Rank: 16

Average Rank: 14.7

France Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 14.7

Bottom Line: France

France is No. 6 in the world in GDP at $2.8 trillion, so it should rank higher, but its average income of $44,510 is only No. 22 in the world, which drags its overall wealth rating to No. 9.

France’s access to clean water and sanitation, basic medical care and access to shelter put it at a firm No. 16 in SPI ranking.

But there is room for improvement in access to advanced education and inclusiveness, which received scores of 64.28 of 100 and 67.48 of 100, respectively.

8. Canada

GDP Rank: 10

Average Income Rank: 18

Social Progress Index Rank: 14

Average Rank: 14

Canada Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 14

Bottom Line: Canada

Canada comes in as the eighth wealthiest nation with its $1.7 trillion GDP ranking No. 10 and SPI checking in at No. 14.

The latter owes a lot to the 98.44 of 100 score it received in basic medical care and 95.74 points in personal rights.

The sorest spot for Canada is the 69.43 points it received in access to advanced education, which may be attributed to its expansive rural areas.

7. Australia

GDP Rank: 13

Average Income Rank: 13

Social Progress Index Rank: 15

Average Rank: 13.7

Australia Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 13.7

Bottom Line: Australia

Australia comes in with relatively consistent ratings across the board, ringing in No. 13 in GDP and average income at $1.4 trillion and $53,349, respectively. It comes in a little short in SPI at No. 15 but still pulls in high rankings for nutrition and basic medical care, water and sanitation, personal rights and access to information and communication. It does, however, ring in just 69.31 points of 100 in access to advanced education. This all adds up to a No. 7 ranking on our list of wealthiest nations. (note, Australia also consistently ranks as a top travel destination)

6. United Kingdom

GDP Rank: 5

Average Income Rank: 21

Social Progress Index Rank: 13

Average Rank: 13

United Kingdom Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 13

Bottom Line: United Kingdom

Down one overall position from the Netherlands is the U.K., the No. 6 wealthiest nation in the world.

While its $2.8 trillion GDP put it 12 spots ahead of Netherlands, it falls by nine places in average income at just $44,770 per year.

It also came in six spots lower in SPI with sore spots being inclusiveness and access to advanced education.

5. Netherlands

GDP Rank: 17

Average Income Rank: 12

Social Progress Index Rank: 7

Average Rank: 12

Netherlands Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 12

Bottom Line: Netherlands

The Netherlands is tied with Japan with an average ranking of 12, but it goes about it differently on its way to No. 5 on our list.

Netherlands’ $912.8 billion GDP in 2018 is ranked only No. 17, but its average income of $54,262 gave it a boost. In SPI, the Netherlands trailed Japan by one position.

The Netherlands excelled in the same areas as Japan in SPI, except its personal rights rating was significantly higher.

4. Japan

GDP Rank: 3

Average Income Rank: 27

Social Progress Index Rank: 6

Average Rank: 12

Japan Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 12

Bottom Line: Japan

With a GDP of $4.9 trillion in 2018, Japan is No. 3 in the world, but its average income of $40,753 drops it to No. 4 on our list of wealthiest countries. Helping pull it back up from the low marks in average salary is its No. 6 ranking in SPI, thanks to high rankings in water and sanitation, access to basic knowledge, nutrition and medical care and shelter. The only sore spots in SPI area its inclusiveness and access to advanced education, which may be confusing given the country’s focus on technology.

3. United States

GDP Rank: 1

Average Income Rank: 9

Social Progress Index Rank: 25

Average Rank: 11.7

United States Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 11.7

Bottom Line: United States

The United States’ GDP sits at the top of the world at $20.5 trillion as of 2018, but there is more to it being No. 3 on our list than that.

Average income also rings in high at $63,093, putting it at No. 9 in the world. These two high rankings help it make up for the surprisingly low No. 25 ranking in the SPI.

In the SPI, the U.S. ranks among the best in shelter, water and sanitation, medical care and personal rights, but it falls short in inclusiveness, health and wellness, and personal safety.

2. Switzerland

GDP Rank: 20

Average Income Rank: 8

Social Progress Index Rank: 3

Average Rank: 10.3

Switzerland Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 10.3

Bottom Line: Switzerland

Switzerland boasts some of the highest wages in the world, putting its average at $64,109 per year, which plays a big role in it being the second wealthiest country in the world.

Plus, it boasts some of the world’s most advanced social markers, including access to drinking water, nourishment, electricity access, independent media, secondary school enrollment, and greenhouse gas emissions.

What separates it and Germany is its No. 20-ranked GDP of $705.5 billion.

1. Germany

GDP Rank: 4

Average Income Rank: 17

Social Progress Index Rank:

Average Rank: 10

Germany Quality of Life

 Average Rank: 10

Bottom Line: Germany

Topping our list as the wealthiest nation in the world is not all that surprising.

Germany has long been one of the leading countries in GDP and leads the world in some of the most important parts of the SPI: secondary school enrollment, access to electricity, access to drinking water and nourishment.

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