The wealthiest country in the world based on per capita income is Qatar. This is according to the latest list of the world’s richest countries compiled and published by Forbes magazine on February 2012. The Arab Gulf emirate of 1.7 million people topped the list thanks to the oil prices recovery and its vast natural gas reserves. Based on the report, the gulf estate, booked an estimated gross domestic product per capita of more than $88,000 for 2010.
The ranking made by Forbes used the GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power for 182 countries. They used the International Monetary Fund data from 2010, the most recent available. It takes into account the relative cost of living and inflation rates, rather than just exchange rates.
Next to Qatar is Luxembourg, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity basis of $81,466. The Western European nation, with only half a million people, is one of the largest financial hubs in the world. In the third place of the world’s richest nations is the Southeast Asian city-estate Singapore, with a GDP (PPP) per capita of nearly $56,700. The Southeast Asian city-estate, which is also considered as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, has a highly developed market-based economy diversified into technology, manufacturing, finance, and other thriving economic centers.
Qatar will be hosting the 2022 football World Cup and is spending its money to infrastructures to make itself an even better nation to host the event, as well as attract more businesses and foreign investments. The Gulf estate has the third-largest reserves of natural gas in the world, behind Russia and Iran. Qatar has invested greatly in infrastructure to liquefy and export its oil reserves to leverage its resources. It is also diversifying its economy by focusing its economic policy on developing non-associated natural gas industries, such as finance, technology, and tourism. Now, Qataris are enjoying a high standard of living comparable to western people, with many social services and modern amenities offered to its citizens. Qatar’s labor force relies on foreigners, with 94% of its labor coming from foreign source.
However, Qatar’s main source of wealth has also its major drawback. The country has the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions for the past 18 years. In 2007, Qatar has an emission rate of 69 tons per person per year. These emissions are largely due to high rates of energy use in Qatar. Major uses of energy in Qatar include air conditioning, natural gas processing, water desalination and electricity production. Well, if you live in a country where gas and oil are cheaper, and electricity is provided for free, you will have a lot of reasons to consume more. Carbon dioxide emissions are those stemming from the burning of fossil fuels and the manufacture of cement. They include carbon dioxide produced during consumption of solid, liquid, and gas fuels and gas flaring.
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