A country’s wealth may be based on the per capita income of its citizens or on the total market value of all its goods and services in one year. The former measures the micro effect of the economy on the country’s citizens, while the latter measures its economic influence and power around the world. Here now is a list of the top 20 richest countries in the world based on the gross domestic product of its goods and services.
21 Switzerland - $622.86 billion
Switzerland is a landlocked country known for its neutrality. It is one of the most competitive and innovative economies in the world. Its most important sector is manufacturing, specifically in the fields of chemicals, health and pharmaceuticals, scientific instruments, precision measuring tools and musical toys.
19 Saudi Arabia - $657.05 billion
Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab country in Asia and the second largest in the world after Algeria. It has the second largest reserves of oil and the sixth largest reserves of natural gas in the world, with the product accounting for 95 percent of its exports and 70 percent of its revenues.
18 Netherlands - $770.24 billion
The Netherlands is a low-lying country with a strategic location that gives its prime access to Germany and the United Kingdom. It has one of the largest fields of natural gas in the world. It also has the oldest stock exchange in the world, which is also one of the largest in Europe.
17 Turkey - $783.06 billion
Turkey is a country located in West Asia and Southeast Europe. It is strategically located at the crossroads of the two continents. Agriculture is still considered a major pillar in its economy as it accounts for one fourth of employment, but the country has also become increasingly dependent on industries in the major cities.
16 Indonesia - $894.85 billion
Indonesia is an archipelago of 17,508 islands. It owns the largest economy in Southeast Asia, with agriculture providing the most employment. Its natural resources include crude oil, natural gas, gold, copper and tin. It is also a major exporter of electrical appliances, plywood, rubber and textiles.
15 South Korea - $1,151.27 billion
South Korea is an industrialized country that has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Its economy is largely driven by exports, specifically of electronics, automobiles, machineries, ships, robotics and petrochemicals.
14 Mexico - $1,162.89 billion
While it has one of the largest economies in the world, Mexico also has one of the highest degrees of economic disparity between the rich and the poor. Around half of its trade are conducted with the US and Canada. Its economy is driven by industries such as oil, electronics, automobiles, construction, food, banking and other financial services.
13 Spain - $1,340.27 billion
Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe. It is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of the development and production of renewable energy. It has recently suffered from a crisis brought about by the collapse of its property and banking sectors.
12 Australia - $1,542.06 billion
Australia is known for its high ranking in human development and prosperity indexes. The country emphasizes export of commodities rather than manufactured goods. It is a major exporter of wheat, wool, iron ore, gold, coal and liquefied natural gas.
11 Canada - $1,770.08 billion
Canada has a highly globalized economy, making it one of the top ten trading nations in the world. It has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. It is also one of the largest suppliers of agricultural products in the world. It is a major producer of uranium, zinc, gold, nickel, aluminum and lead.
10 India - $1,946.76 billion
India is the second most populous country and most populous democracy in the world. It also has the second largest labor force in the world. Its main exports are petroleum products, textiles, software items, engineering products, chemicals and leather manufactures.
9 Russia - $1,953.56 billion
Russia is the largest country in the world. It has the largest reserves of forestry, minerals and energy resources. It is also the one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas. It also owns one fourth of liquid fresh water in the world.
8 Italy - $1,980.45 billion
Italy is known for its competitive agricultural sector and its wine production that is the largest in the world today. It also has proud industries in automobiles, appliances and fashion design that are of extremely high quality. The country, however, suffers from a lack of raw materials and energy resources.
7 Brazil - $2,425.05 billion
Brazil is the largest country in South and Latin America. Its major exports include aircrafts, electrical equipment, ethanol, textiles, automobiles, footwear, iron ore, steel, coffee, orange juice and soybeans. Tourism is also a major source of economic activity in various regions.
6 United Kingdom - $2,433.78 billion
The United Kingdom has a robust service sector that accounts for 73 percent of its gross domestic product. It also has vibrant sectors in automobiles, aerospace and pharmaceuticals. The country also has an abundance of coal, petroleum, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, lead, salt and clay.
5 France - $2,580.42 billion
France is the largest country in Western Europe and owns the second largest exclusive economic zone in the world. It is an important producer of agricultural products. It also has vibrant industries in banking and other financial services. Its energy source is heavily dependent on nuclear power.
4 Germany - $3,366.65 billion
Germany is the most populous member of the European Union. It boasts of a skilled labor force, large capital stock, low corruption and high level of innovation. It is one of the leading advocates of European economic and political integration.
3 Japan - $5,984.39 billion
Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. It has a large industrial sector as the country is home to some of the most technologically advanced producers of automobiles, electronics, machine tools, steel and other non ferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles and processed foods.
2 China - $8,250.24 billion
China is the most populous country in the world. It is one of the leading examples of state capitalism. While private enterprises have expanded by leaps and bounds, the state still controls vital industries like energy and heavy industries.
1 United States - $15,653.37 billion
The United States is one of the most ethnically-diversed and multi-cultured nations in the world. It is generously gifted with natural resources and has a well-developed infrastructure and high labor productivity. It is a leading producer of energy, liquid natural gas, sulfur, phosphates and salt. It also has vibrant wholesale, retail and manufacturing sectors.