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Nations with highest per capita income

Last updated on: October 9, 2010 11:26 IST

Image: The Indian economy has been on a roll for a while, yet per capita income in India is pathetically low compared to that in the rich nations.
Photographs: Reuters

India's per capita income grew by 10.5 per cent to Rs 44,345 in 2009-10 against Rs 40,141 in the year-ago period, according to government data.

The World Bank, however, pegs India's per capita income at a much higher $1,180 per year. India ranks a poor 161st in the world in terms of per capita incomes.

The per capita income was slightly higher than Rs 43,749 as calculated by the Central Statistical Organisation in its advance estimates for FY10. However, per capita income grew by 5.6 per cent last fiscal if it is calculated on the basis of 2004-05 prices, which is a better way of comparison and broadly factors inflation.

Per capita income (at 2004-05 prices) stood at Rs 33,588 in FY10 against Rs 31,821 in the previous year, according to estimates of national income released.

Per capital income means income of each Indian if national income is evenly divided among the country's population of 117 crore (Rs 1.17 billion).

The size of the economy rose to Rs 62,31,171 crore (Rs 62.3 trillion) in the last fiscal, up 11.8 per cent over Rs 55,74,449 crore (Rs 55.7 trillion) in FY09.

According to the World Bank categories: Nations with per capita income (PCI) less than $935 are 'low income;' nations with PCI from $936 to $3,705 are 'lower middle income;' those with PCI from $3,706 to $11,455 are 'upper middle income;' and those with PCI from $11,456 or more are 'high income.'

So which are the nations with the highest per capita income in the world? And where does China stand?  . . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: A model poses on a solar 'lazy sun bed' for luxury boats during the Monaco Yacht show.
Photographs: Reuters

1. Monaco; per capita GDP: $203,900

Monaco, a major tourist resort in the Mediterranean, has the highest per capita income in the world at a breathtaking $203,900. That's more than 175 times the per capita income in India.

The Principality of Monaco has booming high value-add industries and a strong services sector. Monaco has no income tax, but it makes most of its money from being a tax haven.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: A general view shows Vaduz Castle in Liechtenstein's capital Vaduz.
Photographs: Reuters

2. Liechtenstein: $113,210

Natives of Liechtenstein, a small country bordering Switzerland and Austria, are the second richest in the world in terms of annual per capita income.

The principality has an industrialised economy, with banking and financial services being the mainstay. Tourism too is a major revenue earner for the nation.

The personal income tax rates in Liechtenstein too are exceedingly low: basic income tax rate is 1.2 per cent on income up to 200,000 Swiss Francs, and maximum is 5 per cent on income over 2 million Swiss Francs a year.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: People walk past the Grand Hotel in Oslo.
Photographs: Reuters

3. Norway: $86,440

Norway's per capita income stands at $86,440, which is the third highest in the world.

Norway has a mixed economy consisting of state-owned businesses and a robust free market. It's a highly developed and an industrialised state. Fishing, petroleum, hydel power, minerals contribute heavily to the nation's GDP.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: The headquarters of the Bank of Luxembourg in central Luxembourg.
Photographs: Reuters

4. Luxembourg: $74,430

Luxembourg's per capita income is at $74,430. That makes it the world's fourth highest PCI.

Luxembourg is located in Europe and is bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany.

The nation has highly developed industrial and financial sectors.

Luxembourg, one of the world's richest cities, also offers higher salaries. On an average, workers in Western European cities receive more than three times the pay of their colleagues in Eastern Europe.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: A motif for the Channel Island of Jersey is seen in St. Helier in Jersey.
Photographs: Reuters

5. Channel Islands: $68,610

The per capita income in Channel Islands is a whopping $68,610. That makes it the fifth highest per capita income in the world.

Tourism is the major revenue generator for the Channel Islands. The islands of Jersey and Guernsey also provide financial services and are tax havens.

The Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. Jersey's major agricultural products are potatoes and dairy produce.

The source of milk is Jersey cattle, a small breed of cow that has also been acknowledged (though not widely so) for the quality of its meat.

Small-scale organic beef production has been reintroduced in an effort to diversify the industry.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Birds fly near the Great Mosque in Doha, Qatar.
Photographs: Reuters

6. Qatar: $66,100

The per capita income of Qataris is $66,100, the sixth highest in the world.

Qatar is an Arab emirate located in the Persian Gulf.

The nation's economy mainly depends on its huge oil and natural gas reserves. There is no income tax in Qatar.

Qatar is an oil- and gas-rich nation with world's third largest gas reserves.

Qatar has experienced rapid economic growth over the last several years on the back of high oil prices.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: A girl holds a balloon at an election rally of Bermuda's ruling Progressive Labour Party in the capital of Hamilton.
Photographs: Reuters

7. Bermuda: $60,000

Bermuda, a tourist's delight, is located in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Bermuda's per capita income is almost 30 per cent more than that of the United States. The tiny island nation's per capita income stands at just above $60,000. It has the seventh highest per capita income in the world.

Bermuda is a major financial centre and is particularly attractive because of its low taxation rates. Financial services is the nation's largest industry, followed by tourism.

Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its capital is Hamilton. It is the oldest and most populous remaining British overseas territory. Bermuda has a very affluent economy with finance as its largest sector followed by tourism.

As the offshore domicile of many foreign companies, Bermuda has a highly-developed international business economy; it is an exporter of financial services, primarily insurance, reinsurance, investment funds and special purpose vehicles.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Denmark.
Photographs: Reuters

8. Denmark: $58,930

Denmark's per capita income is at $58,930. According to World Bank rankings, it is the world's eighth highest PCI.

Denmark has a highly industrialised economy, with robust agricultural and corporate sectors.

Despite being one of the most competitive nations, it has a very weak financial regulatory system. Also, its labour laws are very lax and tilted heavily in favour of the employers.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Switzerland.
Photographs: Reuters

9. Switzerland: $56,370

The Swiss enjoy a financially comfortable life, with a per capita income of $56,370. Switzerland ranks ninth in the World Bank's per capita income rankings.

Switzerland, a truly capitalist economy, has many giant banks and multinational corporations.

It also has highly developed industries in sectors like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machine parts, electronics, precision instruments, banking, tourism, etc. Dairy farming too is an age old industry in Switzerland. It has very low tax rates.

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Nations with highest per capita income

Image: A night view of Kuwait City.
Photographs: Reuters

10. Kuwait: $53,930

Kuwaitis have the tenth highest per capita income in the world.

The country has the world's fifth largest oil reserves. The Kuwait Stock Exchange, which has about 200 firms listed, is the second-largest stock exchange in the Arab world.

Petroleum and petroleum products now account for nearly 95 per cent of Kuwait's export revenues, and 80 per cent of government income.

Kuwait is regarded as one of the most economically developed countries in the Arab League.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Motorcyclists ride their bikes on the roads at Creg-ny-Baa during 'Mad Sunday' at the TT meeting, on the Isle of Man.
Photographs: Reuters

11. Isle of Man: $51,310

Isle of Man natives have the 11th highest annual per capita income in the world at $51,310.

Tourism, banking and manufacturing are the key contributors to the economy of the Isle of Man.

The Isle of Man has free access to European Union markets for goods.

The Isle of Man has income tax rates of 10 per cent and 20 per cent. It has no capital gains tax, wealth tax, stamp duty, death duty or inheritance tax.

The island is a British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: A woman passes the headquarters of Cassa di Risparmio, the largest bank in San Marino.
Photographs: Reuters

12. San Marino: $50,670

The economy of San Marino is mostly driven by tourism. Its citizens enjoy the 12th highest per capita income in the world at $50,670 per annum.

However, the nation's other industries like textiles, agriculture and banking also make a significant contribution to San Marino economy.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: The Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Photographs: Reuters

13. United Arab Emirates: $50,240

The United Arab Emirates has a per capita income of over $50,240. It is the 13th highest in the world.

The United Arab Emirates has a highly developed economy, and has a rich source of revenue in tourism and its huge oil reserves.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: The Netherlands.
Photographs: Reuters

14. Netherlands: $49,350

The Dutch have the world's 14th highest per capita income at $49,350.

The Netherlands is the world's 16th largest economy, which is mostly driven by manufacturing, tourism, and services.

The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union, the OECD and the World Trade Organization.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Sweden.
Photographs: Reuters

15. Sweden: $48,930

Sweden's per capita income is $48,930, making its PCI 15th-highest in the world.

Sweden has a very well developed industry in sectors like engineering, telecom, power, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, etc. The nation's economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade. It also has highly skilled work force.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Tourists sit in a hotel pool side bar along Seven Mile Beach in George Town, Cayman Islands.
Photographs: Reuters

16. Cayman Islands: $48,140

The per capita income of Cayman Islands is more than $48,140, as per World Bank figures. It has the 16th highest PCI in the world.

The Cayman Islands are situated in the Caribbean Sea. It is a major financial centre and also one of the world's best known tax havens. The nation's economic mainstays are tourism and financial services.

The Cayman Islands is a British overseas territory located in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The territory is a major offshore financial centre in the Caribbean.

With an average income of around $42,000, Caymanians enjoy the highest standard of living in the Caribbean.

The islands print their own currency, the Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD), which is pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate of 1 KYD = $1.25.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Fireworks sparkle over the Capitol in Washington.
Photographs: Reuters

17. United States of America: $47,240

America's per capita income is $47,240. It's the 17th-highest in the world.

The United States is mostly a capitalist economy, with huge mineral and oil reserves, apart from fantastic infrastructure, skilled work force, and the highest number of the world's largest corporations.

The country has highly developed sectors, like banking, financial services, automobile, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, etc.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: The 'Gloriette' is seen above a stage set up in the park of Schoenbrunn castle as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs their 'Sommer Night Concert' in Vienna.
Photographs: Reuters

18. Austria: $46,850

Austria has a strong social market economy and a high standard of living as befits a nation that is amongst the world's richest. Austrians enjoy the 18th highest per capita income in the world.

Austria is a highly industrialised nation, but has a very strong labour movement.

Tourism, industry and the services sector add to the nation's economy.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Finland.
Photographs: Reuters

19. Finland: $45,680

Finland has a highly developed industry and a mixed economy. It is one of the richest nations in the world, and has consistently scored very high on most parameters like connectivity, standard of living, quality of life, economic freedom, etc.

Finland, at $45,680 per annum, has the world's 19th highest per capita income.

The services sector contributes the major bulk to the nation's economy, followed by manufacturing.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: A night view of the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel is seen in Macau.
Photographs: Reuters

20. Macao SAR, China: $45,360

Macau has the world's 20th highest per capita income at $35,360.

It is one of the most open economies in the world. Tourism and garment exports are the biggest revenue generators for Macau.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Belgian soldiers set up a Belgian flag on the top of Atomium in Brussels.
Photographs: Reuters

21. Belgium: $45,310

The Belgian open economy has used its well developed transport network, its central location in Europe, its highly industrial and commercial base to grow at a rapid pace.

Belgium has the world's 21st highest per capita income at $45.310.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: A boy holds a Republic of Ireland flag during a St Patrick's day march in central London.
Photographs: Reuters

22. Ireland: $44,310

The Irish have a per capita income of $44,310, ranking them 22nd in the world.

Ireland too has made rapid strides in the field of information technology. Construction, apart from agriculture, too is an important part of the Irish economy.

Ireland is the third-largest island in Europe and the 20th largest island in the world.

The focus of economy shifted from agriculture to a modern knowledge economy. It now stresses on services and high-tech industries and is dependent on trade, industry and investment.

The 1995 to 2000 period of high economic growth led many to call the country the Celtic Tiger.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Australia.
Photographs: Reuters

23. Australia: $43,770

Australia has a highly developed market economy. Almost 68 per cent of the Australian economy is dominated by its service sector.

Australians enjoy the world's 23rd highest per capita income at $43,770.

The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia.

. . . 

Nations with highest per capita income

Image: An ice-covered cliff is seen in Golfoss, Iceland.
Photographs: Reuters

24. Iceland: $43,220

At $43,220, the per capita income of Iceland is the world's 24th highest.

Iceland has a very healthy power sector which helps it to be a highly industrialised country.

Apart from manufacturing, the nation is also taking big strides in the fields of software generation, biotechnology, tourism, and financial services.

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Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Eiffel Tower, Paris.
Photographs: Reuters

25. France: $42,680

France has the fifth largest economy in the world, behind United States, China, Japan and Germany. At $42,680, the French have the world's 25th highest annual per capita income.

France is a highly industrialised country with sectors like energy, telecommunications, aerospace, defence, engineering, and automobile production boosting its robust economy.

After Germany, it is also Europe's largest economy. Tourism and agriculture too add to its economy.

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Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Germany.
Photographs: Reuters

26. Germany: $42,560

Germany has the largest economy in Europe, the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world, and fifth by GDP in 2008.

Germans enjoy the world's 26th highest per capita income at $42,560 per year.

The service sector contributes around 70 per cent of the total GDP, industry 29.1 per cent, and agriculture 0.9 per cent to the economy.

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Nations with highest per capita income

Image: The Great Wall of China.
Photographs: Reuters

124: China: $3,590

China's per capita income is $3,590. It ranks 124th in the world in terms of per capita income.

China is the world's second largest economy, with its GDP standing at slightly more than $7 trillion. India, by comparison, touched the $1-trillion mark in 2007.

China, the world's factory, has a highly developed manufacturing sector. It has a huge market which acts as a magnet for big multinationals who pour in billions of dollars into the economy to grab a chunk of the massive Chinese market.

The country also has a very well developed telecommunications market, apart from robust agricultural and industrial sectors.

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Nations with highest per capita income

Image: Pakistan.
Photographs: Reuters

171: Pakistan: $1,020

Pakistan's per capita income is at $870. It ranks 171st in the world.

For the past few years, India's neighbour has been growing at an impressive rate of about 7 per cent. Its economy mainly comprises agriculture, services, telecommunications, software, automotives, textiles, etc.