50 countries with the fastest-growing GDP per capita
50 countries with the fastest-growing GDP per capita
The gross domestic product for the United States has grown 3.1% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. While this number does not reflect how the economy has grown for the individual American—personal income, for example, only increased 0.5%—a nation's GDP is a strong indication of how a nation is doing.
The gross domestic product is the total assessment of all commercial and industrial actions that happen in a nation. This includes all the products and services bought and sold there, as well as all the labor that went into those products and services. This is a different assessment from purchasing power parity, which looks at a nation's ability to buy a common basket of goods. While purchasing power parity assesses the strength of a nation's currency, GDP is about its output.
It should be noted that a high GDP does not necessarily mean that a nation's economy is healthy. A nation at war, for example, would have a higher GDP than a nation at peace, due to the high cost of weaponry, ammunition, and combatant pay and transportation. Similarly, a nation in recovery from a disaster will have a higher GDP than one that is in healthier condition. It's also worth noting that a nation that is relatively poor would have a bigger reported GDP shift than a wealthier nation for the same size of economic change.
To better understand this, Stacker has looked at data from the International Monetary Fund to determine the 50 nations with the highest GDP per capita. As a nation with a large population would naturally have a large GDP, we based our analysis on the per capita rate to make nation-to-nation comparison easier.
For this analysis, we considered the projected percent change from 2014 to 2024. Nations that did not have historical data to support this projection, such as Pakistan, Somalia, and Syria were not considered for this list. National subdivisions, such as Hong Kong, which engage in international trade, however, were considered. The data on this list is accurate as of April 2019.
Keep reading to learn how the world's countries compare in GDP and which nation—once a target for American military intervention—is #1.
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- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 53.99%
- 2014 GDP: $63.27 billion ($1,230.53 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $65.67 billion ($1,238.52 per capita, 0.65% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $103.56 billion ($1,894.87 per capita, 52.99% growth from 2019)
The country formerly known as Burma is trying to rebuild itself. In 2013, a Myanmar government study found that 37% of the nation's population was unemployed, and 26% was impoverished. In Chin State, located in western Myanmar, the poverty rate was a staggering 73%.
However, McKinsey Global Institute analysts have found that an investment in high-tech industries in the country—along with a change in policy with the nation's drug enforcement and treatment of certain ethnic groups—could lead to a quadrupling of the nation's economy by 2030. The refinancing and dismissal of approximately $6 billion of the nation's debts in 2013 has helped the nation's economic health.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 54.64%
- 2014 GDP: $16.51 billion ($4,441.77 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $17.21 billion ($4,661.38 per capita, 4.94% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $26.09 billion ($6,868.89 per capita, 47.36% growth from 2019)
Since the Revolution of the Roses in 2003, the former Soviet Union nation of Georgia has seen significant economic growth. Moving from a communist to a free market economy seems to agree with the country, with the World Bank naming the country the #1 nation for economic reform and a top nation for ease of doing business. Georgia's joining of the EU's Free Trade Area led to an increase in bilateral trade, despite the fact that trade with the Russia-led Commonwealth of Independent States has fallen off.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 54.7%
- 2014 GDP: $4.60 billion ($7,389.89 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $5.44 billion ($8,711.37 per capita, 17.88% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $7.17 billion ($11,431.98 per capita, 31.23% growth from 2019)
The Balkan state of Montenegro is still amid recovery from the Yugoslav Wars, U.N. economic sanctions, and the breakup of the Communist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The growth of the nation's banking sector has grown significantly, attracting several foreign depositors. The high concentration of foreign direct investment, especially in real estate, means that the nation's economy is growing faster than any other European nation.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 55.99%
- 2014 GDP: $12.80 billion ($10,151.73 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $14.81 billion ($11,693.55 per capita, 15.19% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $20.05 billion ($15,835.20 per capita, 35.42% growth from 2019)
The African island nation of Mauritius has been burdened economically, with the added curse of being an island nation. However, a well-defined legal and commercial framework and a tradition of entrepreneurship has helped the nation transition from an agricultural economy to one that is service-based. Its transparent investment laws make it easy for foreign investors to pump money into the economy; in turn, the nation has emerged as a regional leader in tourism, banking, insurance, and shipbuilding.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 56.29%
- 2014 GDP: $17.76 billion ($54,527.56 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $24.54 billion ($68,793.69 per capita, 26.16% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $33.16 billion ($85,221.86 per capita, 23.88% growth from 2019)
The Arctic-adjacent nation of Iceland would seem to be inhospitable to growth. With the landscape defined by volcanoes and glaciers, the fact that the island nation's economy is largely service-based makes sense. The 1990s free market reforms, however, have promoted significant economic growth, with the nation being rated as having one of the world's highest levels of economic freedom.
#45. Hong Kong SAR
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 56.41%
- 2014 GDP: $291.44 billion ($40,182.28 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $381.72 billion ($50,541.89 per capita, 25.78% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $490.32 billion ($62,848.13 per capita, 24.35% growth from 2019)
Hong Kong exists in a strange, if temporary, state of existence. A part of communist China, the former British territory is still allowed to maintain its free-market economy. This “one country-two states” solution was meant to allow Hong Kong and Macau enough time to gradually be acclimated to the Chinese economic and political systems.
For now, the state's low tax rates, no public debt, robust banking system with independently-defined bank interest rates, currency pegged to the U.S. dollar, and the world's highest degree of economic freedom—according to The Heritage Foundation's 2019 Index of Economic Freedom—are all encouraging Hong Kong's growth, despite growing interventionism from mainland China.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 57.62%
- 2014 GDP: $8.01 billion ($727.97 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $10.21 billion ($829.97 per capita, 14.01% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $15.81 billion ($1,147.45 per capita, 38.25% growth from 2019)
Another war-struck economy that is recovering, the African nation of Rwanda is working to resolve the effects of the systematic 1994 genocide that had devastated the tiny state. Since the violence ended, tourism has picked up, the poverty rate has dropped, and the life expectancy has increased to 67—a major improvement, considering the life expectancy dipped to a shockingly low 27.6 in 1993, according to the World Bank. Subsistence agriculture remains the country's chief industry.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 57.96%
- 2014 GDP: $140.08 billion ($14,182.70 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $168.78 billion ($17,296.33 per capita, 21.95% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $216.39 billion ($22,403.61 per capita, 29.53% growth from 2019)
An European nation with low income inequality, Hungary is a foreign trade-driven free market economy. The nation has a high trade surplus, with the emphasis being on exports—primarily to fellow EU members. The nation's economic recovery from its 2009 request for monetary assistance from the IMF and the 2008 recession was in part stalled—due to the government's passage of legislation that allowed the central bank to be interfered with for political reasons. The successful overturning of these laws revitalized the nation's recovery.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 59.88%
- 2014 GDP: $26.66 billion ($20,267.04 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $31.03 billion ($23,514.22 per capita, 16.02% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $42.75 billion ($32,402.07 per capita, 37.80% growth from 2019)
Another former Soviet Union republic, Estonia is today considered a high-income economy. With universal health care, free education, the longest-paid maternity leave out of the 36 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and a highly computer-literate populace, the small nation is among the highest-ranked in economic freedom, press freedom, and civil liberties.
It was the first country to hold digital elections, is cryptocurrency-friendly (although, plans to set up a national cryptocurrency have been denounced), and has some of the best biodiversity in Europe. With almost all government functions being online, it is also extremely easy to start a business in Estonia, with the process being thought to take about three hours on average, according to the Estonian Investment Agency.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 60.05%
- 2014 GDP: $58.72 billion ($3,687.75 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $82.34 billion ($4,674.59 per capita, 26.76% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $114.95 billion ($5,902.07 per capita, 26.26% growth from 2019)
The largest Central American nation by population, Guatemala has come a long way since the 1996 Guatemalan Peace Accords that ended the 36-year civil war. The 2006 Central American Free Trade Agreement has increased exports to the United States, while its large expatriate community in the United States created a remittance channel that helped to bring foreign income into the nation. An increase in textiles, clothing, and cut flowers exports—along with traditional exports like coffee, bananas, and sugar—has fueled Guatemala's growth, although it still experiences high levels of income inequality.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 60.24%
- 2014 GDP: $31.39 billion ($15,680.89 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $35.72 billion ($18,522.10 per capita, 18.12% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $47.98 billion ($25,126.29 per capita, 35.66% growth from 2019)
Like many former Soviet Union nations, the transition to a free-market economy has stimulated growth in Latvia. Due to its placement amid several key transportation routes, the nation's transit services are highly developed. Since the economic collapse of 2009, the Latvian economy—largely based on timber sales, agriculture, electronics, and machinery construction—has recovered, with most of the nation's utilities privatized and its currency pegged to the euro.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 60.72%
- 2014 GDP: $8.79 billion ($729.80 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $12.62 billion ($926.33 per capita, 26.93% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $18.08 billion ($1,172.92 per capita, 26.62% growth from 2019)
The agricultural and mineral-extraction dependent African nation of Guinea (not to be confused with Equatorial Guinea or Guinea-Bissau) had to deal with years of dictatorship and political corruption since gaining independence. The relative peace since 2013 has allowed Guinea—which controls 25% of the world's reserve of bauxite, the largest source of aluminum—to return to the global market.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 61.33%
- 2014 GDP: $19.80 billion ($1,361.35 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $25.32 billion ($1,510.20 per capita, 10.93% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $42.37 billion ($2,196.20 per capita, 45.42% growth from 2019)
Another Western Africa nation, Senegal has benefited and suffered from reminders of its colonial past. The former capital of French West Africa, Senegal remains the shipping, banking, and transportation hub for French-speaking Africa. Heavily dependent on foreign aid—largely in exchange for exports of fish, groundnuts, and services—Senegal's economy has been growing steadily since the start of IMF economic interventions in 1994.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 61.45%
- 2014 GDP: $891.05 billion ($3,533.61 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $1.10 trillion ($4,123.30 per capita, 16.69% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $1.61 trillion ($5,704.86 per capita, 38.36% growth from 2019)
The largest nation in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is an emergent market. One of three G20 nations on this list, Indonesia's control of pricing on basic goods largely influences the tempo of the nation's economy. Due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the nation's purchasing of non-performing bank loans and corporate assets, the country temporarily publicized much of the nation's private sector assets. However, the growing privatization of the market is slowly turning over control to individual citizens and foreign investors.
#36. Dominican Republic
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 62.01%
- 2014 GDP: $66.16 billion ($6,693.69 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $84.84 billion ($8,178.15 per capita, 22.18% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $118.23 billion ($10,844.44 per capita, 32.60% growth from 2019)
Boasting the largest Caribbean economy and the second-largest gold mine in the world, the Dominican Republic sits on the Eastern half of the island of Hispaniola. Its neighbor to the west, Haiti, is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, reflecting the differing treatment the two countries received from their colonizers and their separate paths post-colonization. Its 1996 presidential elections, in which Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Liberation Party won, delivered the political stability the nation needed to focus on economic growth.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 63.17%
- 2014 GDP: $545.28 billion ($14,342.83 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $593.3 billion ($15,629.88 per capita, 8.97% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $883.87 billion ($23,403.54 per capita, 49.74% growth from 2019)
While not a former Soviet nation, Poland's positioning in Communist Europe has created both headaches and blessings for the nation post-USSR. Poland's transition to the free market can best be described as shock therapy: The sudden releasing of governmental controls on trade, subsidies, pricing, and currency control sent the economy into a tailspin, but it quickly recovered.
Its position as the “breadbasket” of Europe—with more agricultural land available than any other EU member—and as a major energy conduit between the EU and Russia, has made Poland's economy robust. In fact, it's so strong that it was the only EU nation and one of the few developed nations in the world to avoid a recession during the 2007–2008 banking crisis.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 63.64%
- 2014 GDP: $407.34 billion ($6,079.69 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $516.66 billion ($7,607.67 per capita, 25.13% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $679.12 billion ($9,949.03 per capita, 30.78% growth from 2019)
The second-largest economy is Southeast Asia (behind Indonesia), Thailand's current economy is the result of much social and economic engineering. Following the military coup of 2014, Thailand's economy was on the verge of collapse. But in 2016, the military unveiled a new economic initiative, “Thailand 4.0,” which sought to convert the nation into a high-income country by 2021. This plan called for making the nation an inclusive society and investing in high-tech industry and value-added product and service production.
While having a per capita GDP that places it in the middle of the list of Southeast Asian nations, Thailand has the 10th-best current account balance (the difference between goods exported and goods imported) in the world, as well as the second-best export volume in the region after Singapore.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 63.94%
- 2014 GDP: $11.30 billion ($26,319.61 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $15.13 billion ($32,021.78 per capita, 21.67% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $20.85 billion ($43,149.13 per capita, 34.75% growth from 2019)
A tiny island nation about 50 miles south of Italy, Malta's location in the middle of the Mediterranean, as well as its storied history, position it to be a major trading conduit between Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. A highly skilled, highly diversified workforce also helps the Malta service-based economy, which centers around tourism, banking, and electronics manufacturing. The country is ranked the #22 happiest nation in the world by the United Nations in 2019.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 64.84%
- 2014 GDP: $284.59 billion ($2,849.27 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $356.68 billion ($3,280.38 per capita, 15.13% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $563.82 billion ($4,696.61 per capita, 43.17% growth from 2019)
Following the nation's independence from the United States, the Philippines economy has seen spurts of rapid growth and severe recession. Its current economic growth started with the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who tethered her nation's growth rate to the United States with the establishment of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) initiatives, with both of which creating remittance channels for the flow of foreign investments. This, coupled with strong tax reforms and the promotion of tourism, regional development, and foreign investments, has helped to bring the country on-track financially.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 64.93%
- 2014 GDP: $130.57 billion ($3,053.61 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $134.89 billion ($3,220.93 per capita, 5.48% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $206.73 billion ($5,036.43 per capita, 56.37% growth from 2019)
The former Soviet Union nation of Ukraine has emerged, in recent years, as a battleground for the proxy war between the EU and Russia. Upon the removal of the Russian-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych during the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution and the nation's subsequent embrace of the EU, Russia annexed Crimea and engaged in the ongoing War in Donbass in eastern Ukraine. Despite having the second-lowest GDP in Europe, the lowest median non-real estate wealth per adult in the world, and extreme political corruption, the agriculturally fertile nation has found strategies to reduce its poverty and make its exports more competitive on the global market.
#30. Central African Republic
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 67.08%
- 2014 GDP: $1.71 billion ($362.87 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $2.29 billion ($440.99 per capita, 21.53% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $3.46 billion ($606.29 per capita, 37.48% growth from 2019)
The Central African Republic is currently amid a civil war that has been raging since 2012, which has made it one of the poorest nations in the world. The nation also has the lowest level of human development, is the most unhealthy, and is the worst nation to live in if young. Increased in foreign aid and foreign investments largely account for most reported growth, as the continuous wars have destroyed much of the nation's business infrastructure.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 67.31%
- 2014 GDP: $48.63 billion ($16,584.72 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $54.24 billion ($19,748.94 per capita, 19.08% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $71.02 billion ($27,748.22 per capita, 40.50% growth from 2019)
By this point, a pattern should be emerging when it comes to the GDP of former Soviet Union nations. Since the Soviet Union's economy was state-driven, any growth that would naturally have occurred in the satellite states were suppressed for the benefit of the whole. Now free from their metaphorical jar, the now former Soviet states have the freedom to grow and become fully engaged in the global free market. Lithuania is no different in this regard.
The first satellite state to declare itself independent, EU member Lithuania has emerged as a service-based economy. The nation's economic growth has slowed down compared to its numbers during the Great Recession when the nation was considered to be a Baltic Tiger (along with Estonia and Latvia).
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 68.48%
- 2014 GDP: $911 million ($8,569.93 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $1.27 billion ($11,690.28 per capita, 36.41% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $1.61 billion ($14,438.47 per capita, 23.51% growth from 2019)
The economy of the tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada has been defined by heavy external debt—developed from the recovery effort from 2004 Hurricane Ivan, which hit the nation hard. The second largest global producer of nutmeg and a major exporter of cinnamon, citrus peel, cloves, ginger, and allspice, tourism remains the nation's life blood. Grenada's public debt has been seen as unsustainable, which has driven the nation to develop new growth strategies.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 68.55%
- 2014 GDP: $32.85 billion ($3,110.57 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $43.69 billion ($3,822.93 per capita, 22.90% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $64.86 billion ($5,242.82 per capita, 37.14% growth from 2019)
Only one of two landlocked nations on the American supercontinent, Bolivia is the second-poorest country in South America after Venezuela, with more than one-third of the nation's population living in poverty. Mineral and oil-rich, the near-austerity economic policies of former President Evo Morales helped to clear the glut in the national budget—-leading to the nation having a budgetary surplus for the first time in history. Since then, the government regularly achieves surpluses.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 68.82%
- 2014 GDP: $47.06 billion ($6,598.94 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $52.42 billion ($7,526.94 per capita, 14.06% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $76.81 billion ($11,140.08 per capita, 48.00% growth from 2019)
The former Yugoslav republic of Serbia has had some setbacks since the breakup of Yugoslavia The nation's failed union with Montenegro and the separation of Kosovo have placed the nation on its heels. However the country's economy, largely service-based, is emergent. While the global recession weakened the nation financially, foreign investment from companies like Siemens, Phillip Morris, Coca-Cola, Michelin, and Fiat Chrysler has helped it to regain strength. While imports vastly outpace exports, growth in the nation's exports portfolio is helping to improve Serbia's economic picture.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 69.72%
- 2014 GDP: $9.51 billion ($2,675.04 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $12.04 billion ($3,398.87 per capita, 27.06% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $16.02 billion ($4,540.21 per capita, 33.58% growth from 2019)
The former Soviet Union republic of Moldova is overwhelmingly service-based. The poorest European nation per capita, it is also the least visited and has the lowest Human Development Index ranking in Europe—uncharacteristic of a satellite state. However, agreements with the World Bank and the IMF, as well as the wide-spanning economic liberation of the nation's monetary and land privatization policies, has led to consistent economic growth.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 71.42%
- 2014 GDP: $49.92 billion ($12,756.95 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $70.16 billion ($16,629.07 per capita, 30.35% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $101.27 billion ($21,867.69 per capita, 31.50% growth from 2019)
Panama's acquisition of control of the Panama Canal from the United States in 1999 significantly improved the nation's economic picture. With much of the nation's GDP deriving from the canal's passage fees, the nation had found itself with the freedom to develop its tourism, banking, construction, and commerce sectors. Now boasting low unemployment rates and a food surplus, Panama has emerged as Latin America's seventh-most competitive economy.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 71.56%
- 2014 GDP: $56.82 billion ($7,888.56 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $67.04 billion ($9,619.02 per capita, 21.94% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $91.56 billion ($13,533.90 per capita, 40.7% growth from 2019)
Another former Soviet Bloc nation, Bulgaria is now a nation where the private sector accounts for 70% of the nation's productivity. The jarring conversion from communism to free market—that some ex-Soviet countries used to successfully bridge the change in culture—led to a severe Bulgarian recession in 1997. Despite this, the nation recovered, and after achieving a balanced budget in 2003 was able to amass its first surplus. Low taxes and low government debt, as well as austerity measures imposed following the 2007–2008 global economic crisis, have led to continued economic growth in the nation.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 71.72%
- 2014 GDP: $43.52 billion ($7,962.37 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $50.35 billion ($8,430.86 per capita, 5.88% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $85.81 billion ($13,673.28 per capita, 62.18% growth from 2019)
The Caspian Sea-bordering Republic of Turkmenistan sits on one of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world. The former Soviet country—while existing under the veil of democracy—retains many of the political tenets of its communist past, including a predominantly one-party rule (as all parties operates under the blessings of the former Communist Party, now called the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan). Relying largely on the export of natural gas, oil, and cotton, measures such as the full subsidizing of electricity, water, salt, and natural gas for all citizens, and the renovation of its major cities are all contributors to the nation's growing economic health.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 73.02%
- 2014 GDP: $1.59 billion ($1,690.67 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $2.39 billion ($2,218.05 per capita, 31.19% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $3.62 billion ($2,925.19 per capita, 31.88% growth from 2019)
The tiny African nation of Djibouti sits on the Horn of Africa, with Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia surrounding it. Its positioning on the Red Sea means that it controls the junction between the sea and the Indian Ocean, making it a principal refueling point and transshipment center, as well as a principal port for Ethiopia. The nation is also home to a significant banking community and a growing tourism industry.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 73.54%
- 2014 GDP: $259.20 billion ($55,534.1 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $381.57 billion ($76,911.15 per capita, 38.49% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $502.53 billion ($96,374.98 per capita, 25.31% growth from 2019)
Since its 2008 financial crisis, the economy of Ireland has suffered ups and downs, with the growth since 2015 being the highest period of growth in recent history. Ireland has low corporate tax rates, making the nation a preferred tax haven in the EU; many multinationals—encouraged by Apple's use of the Double Irish tax agreement to avoid American taxation on non-American profits—have been paying their taxes in Ireland. The EU, however, has closed this loophole, giving large corporation until 2020 to plan to properly report their profits. Due to this artificial inflation, adjusted projections of the Irish economy shows it as in decline.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 75.37%
- 2014 GDP: $199.63 billion ($10,004.88 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $244.16 billion ($12,506.52 per capita, 25.00% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $342.42 billion ($17,545.41 per capita, 40.29% growth from 2019)
A former Warsaw Pact nation, Romania has emerged as a service-based free market economy. It took the nation a long time to overcome its lack of infrastructure and obsolete industrial base, but by 2000, the nation has embraced the stability that has been fueling its economic growth since. However, the global recession of 2007–2008 hit Romania hard, forcing it to incur debt with the IMF. Despite the nation's low wages, it also has low unemployment and a negative inflation rate.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 76.76%
- 2014 GDP: $1.06 billion ($662.38 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $1.54 billion ($865.74 per capita, 30.70% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $2.32 billion ($1,170.85 per capita, 35.24% growth from 2019)
The small West African nation of Guinea-Bissau is in a state of political instability. Since independence, it has yet to have a president serve a full term in office. Without consistent leadership, Guinea-Bissau suffers from two-thirds of its population being impoverished, the second-longest time to register a business on average in the world, and one of the lowest GDPs in the world. However, an IMF structural reform package has been introduced in the nation. Some of the nation's economic growth is due to the country's growing role as a cocaine transshipment hub to Europe, which is largely being tolerated by the government.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 78.50%
- 2014 GDP: $37.00 million ($3,459.46 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $49.00 million ($4,421.21 per capita, 27.80% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $69.00 million ($6,175.07 per capita, 39.67% growth from 2019)
Tuvalu is an Oceania island nation located between Hawaii and Australia. With a land area of about 10 square miles and a population of 10,640, Tuvalu is one of the smallest nations in the world. The nation's income is largely deriving from fishing licenses, international donations, and the Tuvalu Trust Fund, as well as control of .tv, a top-level internet domain. Changes in any one of these sectors can significantly increase the nation's GDP, and expected increases in fishing licenses revenue will likely lead to the nation's surplus.
#16. São Tomé and Príncipe
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 79.68%
- 2014 GDP: $349.00 million ($1,763.38 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $477 million ($2,147.16 per capita, 21.76% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $782 million ($3,168.46 per capita, 47.57% growth from 2019)
Another island country, Sao Tome and Principe is located in the Gulf of Guinea off equatorial Central Africa. With a population of 199,910, the nation is one of the smallest in Africa. The economy of the nation is driven by plantation farming, with cocoa being the nation's predominant crop. Fishing is the nation's other major industry, with tourism being underdeveloped, but in the process of having its infrastructure improved.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 80.2%
- 2014 GDP: $13.22 billion ($4,575.42 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $15.96 billion ($5,561.68 per capita, 21.56% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $23.47 billion ($8,244.68 per capita, 48.24% growth from 2019)
The Adriatic nation of Albania is another formerly Communist nation. Its economy's conversion from centralized to market-based also meant the provision of universal health care and free education to its citizens. Although it has the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the Balkans, the nation is still largely impoverished when compared globally. Significant infrastructure development in Durres and Tirana has improved the nation's economic health, and an expected increase in foreign investment will likely do the same.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 89.67%
- 2014 GDP: $61.55 billion ($1,431.32 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $99.25 billion ($2,010.51 per capita, 40.47% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $153.19 billion ($2,714.84 per capita, 35.03% growth from 2019)
In 2010, the eastern Africa nation of Kenya passed a new constitution that devolved the power of the central government. The move led to the election of Mwai Kibaki, whose platform consisted on fighting the nation's high corruption, improving the nation's economy, and improving the educational system. Road and railway infrastructure development has helped to develop consistent economic growth in the nation, with increases in telecommunications, higher education, and tourism adding to the growth. However, Kenya remains highly food insecure, difficult to do business in, and largely impoverished.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 89.89%
- 2014 GDP: $1.83 billion ($2,387.79 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $2.84 billion ($3,421.11 per capita, 43.28% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $4.08 billion ($4,534.06 per capita, 32.53% growth from 2019)
One of the few South Asian nations that has never been colonized, Bhutan's small economy is also one of the world's fastest-growing. The Tala Hydroelectric Power Station is the backbone of the Bhutan economy, providing electricity to India. Subsistence farming is the primary revenue source for more than half of the population.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 92.03%
- 2014 GDP: $185.76 billion ($2,047.43 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $260.3 billion ($2,725.83 per capita, 33.13% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $392.84 billion ($3,931.64 per capita, 44.24% growth from 2019)
One of the few true communist nations left in the world, Vietnam has seen its economy recover since the Vietnam War. It has embraced limited capitalism in order to enter the global market and today has one of the highest-growing GDPs in the world. With the cessation of the American embargo against Vietnam in 1994 and the end of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, reforms—such as devaluing its exchange rate and allowing private ownership in industry—have allowed the nation to embrace globalization. Poverty—while not as bad as in China and India—remains a problem in the nation.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 93.89%
- 2014 GDP: $3.69 billion ($10,787.47 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $5.75 billion ($15,463.27 per capita, 43.34% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $8.45 billion ($20,916.07 per capita, 35.26% growth from 2019)
The Arabian Sea island nation of the Maldives has an economy that centers largely around tourism, shipping, and fishing. Primarily a tourism-driven economy, most of the government's revenue comes from import duties. However, foreign investment in the nation's fishing industry is most responsible for the growth of the economy.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 96.09%
- 2014 GDP: $10.53 trillion ($7,701.69 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $14.22 trillion ($10,153.39 per capita, 31.83% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $21.31 trillion ($15,102.15 per capita, 48.74% growth from 2019)
China is the world's largest economy by purchasing power and the second-largest by GDP. This has been largely fueled by the nation's possession of the largest manufacturing sector on the planet. The nation's 10th place on this list reflects a slowdown in the nation's economic growth; from 1985 to 2015, China had growth rates that averaged 6% per year. Its economy of scale, however, required China to transition to being a more mature industrial power, focusing on developing its industrial infrastructure.
There is a growing suspicion, however, that China's growth numbers are overstated, with some analysts claiming that China's GDP may be half of what is officially reported. This is backed by a statement made by the Chinese Premier in 2005.
#9. Laos People's Democratic Republic
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 101.81%
- 2014 GDP: $13.27 billion ($2,075.14 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $20.15 billion ($2,931.80 per capita, 41.28% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $30.92 billion ($4,187.94 per capita, 42.85% growth from 2019)
The Southeast Asian nation of Laos is a communist country like its neighbor Vietnam. But unlike Vietnam, Laos sustains itself largely with trade from its neighbors—particularly, China. Despite the nation having a communist government, the United States does not officially recognize Laos as a Marxist-Leninist state, allowing its companies to receive assistance from the U.S. Export-Import Bank. With subsistence agriculture counting toward half the nation's GDP and 80% of its employment, the nation has emerged as a tourist destination. Laos is also mineral-rich and is looking for foreign investors to develop the nation's mining industry.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 103.51%
- 2014 GDP: $2.04 trillion ($1,610.36 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $2.97 trillion ($2,198.59 per capita, 36.53% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $4.73 trillion ($3,277.28 per capita, 49.06% growth from 2019)
The second-most populous nation in the world, India also has one of the world's lowest per-capita income rates and has struggled to assert itself post-colonization as a newly industrialized nation. The nation has insufficient public health care, food security, and infrastructure for its 1.3 billion people. Despite this, it is the third-largest economy by purchasing power and the seventh largest by GDP. With a young, English-speaking workforce, the nation has maintained growth rates that surpass China's numbers. However, growth is slowed by government bureaucracy, inflexible labor laws, and poor infrastructure.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 107.58%
- 2014 GDP: $16.7 billion ($1,090.71 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $26.98 billion ($1,635.44 per capita, 49.94% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $40.24 billion ($2,264.08 per capita, 38.44% growth from 2019)
The Kingdom of Cambodia has a largely undeveloped economy, but it has seen some economic growth in the last few years, with increases in tourism helping to improve GDP growth. The nation has large caches of natural resources, such as oil and natural gas, untapped due to the country's geopolitical disputes with its neighbors. Currently, the nation's largest export is textiles.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 108.77%
- 2014 GDP: $20 billion ($705.94 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $28.92 billion ($965.34 per capita, 36.75% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $46.66 billion ($1,473.76 per capita, 52.67% growth from 2019)
The Indian subcontinent nation of Nepal is best known for its mountains—particularly Mount Everest, which sits on the nation's border with China. The nation is agriculturally based, with the development of the country's industrial base being disrupted by the political instability the government has endured. The 2015 constitution changed the way the population was represented, bringing an end to the instability that rocked the nation since the 2007 dissolution of the monarchy. Half of the nation's population is unemployed, leading to many working in foreign countries. Remittances amount to nearly a quarter of Nepal's GDP.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 117.44%
- 2014 GDP: $54.17 billion ($613.1 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $90.97 billion ($951.1 per capita, 55.13% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $138.04 billion ($1,333.14 per capita, 40.17% growth from 2019)
Ethiopia sits in the Horn of Africa, south of Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti, and west of Somalia and Somaliland. The most populous landlocked nation in the world, Ethiopia is known as “the cradle of humanity,” as the oldest human skeletons were discovered in the nation. Recovering from the economy-crippling Eritrean-Ethiopian War and one of the worst droughts in East Africa in 2011, the nation's economy has the fastest growth of any non-oil-dependent African economy. Despite this, the nation's GDP is currently is one of the lowest in the world.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 138.76%
- 2014 GDP: $184.01 billion ($1,163.04 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $314.66 billion ($1,888.86 per capita, 62.41% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $487.06 billion ($2,776.91 per capita, 47.02% growth from 2019)
Another Indian subcontinent nation, Bangladesh's economy has been largely influenced by the political unrest in the nation. Recent protests have questioned the nation's foreign aid and trade agreements with the United States and the EU. The nation's economic growth, however, can be pointed to the large number of conglomerates that have emerged in the nation's food processing, textiles, shipbuilding, steel, energy, electronics, and ceramics industries. Much of the nation's economic growth was fueled by increased domestic demand.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 168.38%
- 2014 GDP: $3.08 billion ($4,029.78 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $3.83 billion ($4,881.9 per capita, 21.15% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $8.61 billion ($10,815.28 per capita, 121.54% growth from 2019)
The South American nation of Guyana is largely known as the site of the Peoples Temple compound Jonestown, where 918 people died in a mass murder/suicide orchestrated by Jim Jones. Beyond this, Guyana is a growing site of foreign investments: The country's oil, minerals, and logging industries have all drawn foreign companies to the nation, expanding Guyana's GDP.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 210.75%
- 2014 GDP: $3.96 billion ($710.25 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $7.72 billion ($1,253.06 per capita, 76.43% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $14.75 billion ($2,207.1 per capita, 76.14% growth from 2019)
Horn of Africa nation Eritrea has had a challenging history. Since its independence from Ethiopia in 1993, the nation has been a one-party state where no federal elections have ever been held. The economy of the beleaguered nation has grown in part due to start of full operations with the Bisha mine—where gold and silver are extracted—and the opening of a cement factory in Massawa. Remittances from workers abroad bring in nearly a third of the nation's GDP.
- Projected GDP per capita growth 2014-2024: 218.33%
- 2014 GDP: $24.26 billion ($3,876.41 per capita)
- 2019 GDP (projected): $44.96 billion ($6,835.62 per capita, 76.34% growth from 2014)
- 2024 GDP (projected): $85.31 billion ($12,339.9 per capita, 80.52% growth from 2019)
Northern African nation Libya has been in strife since the death of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. While a government has been formed, there are still areas of Libya in the hands of Islamists, tribal, and rebel militants. The strife has impacted Libya's oil operations. Embargoed under the Gadhafi reign, Libya holds the largest reserve of light sweet crude oil in the world.
Having less sulfur than other types of oil, sweet crude oil can be directly converted into gasoline without extra refinements, making the oil highly valued. It will take significant investments in infrastructure to maximize this, but Libya has the potential to become one of the world's wealthiest nations—as it was in the 1980s.