Last year, I posted in my other blog www.ruphestimate.i.ph the richest countries in the world. This year CIA world factbook has new set of the world's richest countries. As I reviewed the data I had found out that this new set is absolutely different from the old one. For example, my host country, United Arab Emirates which ranked 3rd place last year did not able to guard its position and chopped to 13th place.
To give you a picture of the new set of the world's richest countries, I have outlined hereunder the top 10 richest (off course they are ranked according to its Gross Domestic Product or GDP).
Here they are:
Rank Countries GDP
1 Liechtenstein $118,000
2 Qatar $101,000
3 Luxembourg $85,100
4 Kuwait $60,800
5 Norway $57,500
6 Brunei $54,100
7 Singapore $52,900
8 United States $48,000
9 Ireland $47,800
10 Iceland $42,600
1) Liechtenstein (previous rank: 32) is situated in Central Europe, between Austria and Switzerland. The Principality of Liechtenstein was established within the Holy Roman Empire in 1719; it became a sovereign state in 1806. Until the end of World War I, it was closely tied to Austria, but the economic devastation caused by that conflict forced Liechtenstein to enter into a customs and monetary union with Switzerland. Since World War II (in which Liechtenstein remained neutral), the country's low taxes have spurred outstanding economic growth. Shortcomings in banking regulatory oversight resulted in concerns about the use of financial institutions for money laundering. However, Liechtenstein implemented anti-money-laundering legislation over the past several years and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the US went into effect in 2003.
2) Qatar (previous rank: 26) is in the Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. Ruled by the al-Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Qatari economy was crippled by a continuous siphoning off of petroleum revenues by the amir, who had ruled the country since 1972. His son, the current Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa al-Thani, overthrew him in a bloodless coup in 1995. In 2001, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Oil and natural gas revenues enable Qatar to have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
3) Luxembourg (previous rank: 1) is situated in Western Europe, between France and Germany. Founded in 963, Luxembourg became a grand duchy in 1815 and an independent state under the Netherlands. It lost more than half of its territory to Belgium in 1839, but gained a larger measure of autonomy. Full independence was attained in 1867. Overrun by Germany in both World Wars, it ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union and when it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union), and in 1999 it joined the euro currency area.
4) Kuwait (previous rank: 38) is found in Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Britain oversaw foreign relations and defense for the ruling Kuwaiti AL-SABAH dynasty from 1899 until independence in 1961. Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq on 2 August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led, UN coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91. The AL-SABAH family has ruled since returning to power in 1991, and reestablished an elected legislature that in recent years has become increasingly assertive.
5) Norway (previous rank: 4) is located in Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden. Two centuries of Viking raids into Europe tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav TRYGGVASON in 994. Conversion of the Norwegian kingdom occurred over the next several decades. In 1397, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Sweden then invaded Norway but agreed to let Norway keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway remained neutral in World War I, it suffered heavy losses to its shipping. Norway proclaimed its neutrality at the outset of World War II, but was nonetheless occupied for five years by Nazi Germany (1940-45). In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. The current focus is on containing spending on the extensive welfare system and planning for the time when petroleum reserves are depleted. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU.
6) Brunei (previous rank: 30) is found in the Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia. The Sultanate of Brunei's influence peaked between the 15th and 17th centuries when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate; independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six centuries. Brunei benefits from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields, the source of one of the highest per capita GDPs in Asia.
7) Singapore (previous rank: 22) is located in Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia. Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent. Singapore subsequently became one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe.
8) United States (previous rank: 6) is found in North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico. Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65) and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.
9) Ireland (previous rank: 5) is in the Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain. Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600-150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. In 1948 Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland is being implemented with some difficulties. In 2006, the Irish and British governments developed and began working to implement the St. Andrew's Agreement, building on the Good Friday Agreement approved in 1998.
10) Iceland (previous rank: 8) is situated in the Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the UK. Settled by Norwegian and Celtic (Scottish and Irish) immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D., Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althing, established in 930. Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by Norway and Denmark. Fallout from the Askja volcano of 1875 devastated the Icelandic economy and caused widespread famine. Over the next quarter century, 20% of the island's population emigrated, mostly to Canada and the US. Limited home rule from Denmark was granted in 1874 and complete independence attained in 1944. Literacy, longevity, income, and social cohesion are first-rate by world standards.
If you are observant enough, you can notice that none of these countries were able to retain their post. Some climbed up to the higher rank while some momentarily went down. Well, I guess (hope not) this is because of the current world financial crisis.