GDP per Capita

This lists of countries of the world sorted by their gross domestic product per capita at nominal values, the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year, converted at market exchange rates to current U.S. dollars, divided by the average (or mid-year) population for the same year.

The figures presented here do not take into account differences in the cost of living in different countries, and the results can vary greatly from one year to another based on fluctuations in the exchange rates of the country’s currency. Such fluctuations may change a country’s ranking from one year to the next, even though they often make little or no difference to the standard of living of its population. Therefore these figures should be used with caution.

Comparisons of national wealth are also frequently made on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP), to adjust for differences in the cost of living in different countries. PPP largely removes the exchange rate problem, but has its own drawbacks; it does not reflect the value of economic output in international trade, and it also requires more estimation than GDP per capita. On the whole, PPP per capita figures are more narrowly spread than nominal GDP per capita figures.

Great care should be taken when using either set of figures to compare the wealth of two countries. Often people who wish to promote or denigrate a country will use the figure that suits their case best and ignore the other one, which may be substantially different, but a valid comparison of two economies should take both rankings into account, as well as utilizing other economic data to put an economy in context.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an intergovernmental organization that oversees the global financial system by monitoring the macroeconomic policies of its member countries, in particular those with an impact on exchange rate and the balance of payments. Its objectives are to stabilize international exchange rates and facilitate development through the encouragement of liberalizing economic policies in other countries as a condition of loans, debt relief, and aid. It also offers loans with varying levels of conditionality, mainly to poorer countries. Its headquarters is in Washington, D.C. The IMF’s relatively high influence in world affairs and development has drawn heavy criticism from some sources.

The International Monetary Fund was conceived in July 1944 originally with 45 membersand came into existence in December 1945 when 29 countries signed the agreement, with a goal to stabilize exchange rates and assist the reconstruction of the world’s international payment system. Countries contributed to a pool which could be borrowed from, on a temporary basis, by countries with payment imbalances. The IMF was important when it was first created because it helped the world stabilize the economic system. The IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries.The IMF describes itself as “an organization of 187 countries (as of July 2010), working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.”

Non-sovereign entities (the world, the EU, and some dependent territories) are included in the list because they appear in the sources. These economies are not ranked in the charts here, but are listed in sequence by GDP for comparison.