Rich Poor Countries based on GDP

UN,IMF,World Bank: Rich and Poor countries of World, MUN

Everyone does not have same wealth. Some are poor, some are rich. Similarly, some countries are rich and some are poor. Who decides Rich or Poor country? How do they measure the wealth of the company? What is UN, IMF, World Bank? What is MUN or Model United Nation? What are Developed, Developing Countries?

How many countries are there in the world?

There are between 168 and 254 nations, depending on who is doing the counting. The United Nations is often considered the start point for the correct counting the total number.  There are 195 countries in the world today. This total comprises 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations and 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Of the 195 countries in the world:

  • 54 countries are in Africa
  • 48 in Asia
  • 44 in Europe
  • 33 in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • 14 in Oceania
  • 2 in Northern America

There are approximately 170 separate currencies, 239 two-letter country codes recognized by the ISO (International Standards Org.), and the Universal Postal Union has listings for 500,000 localities in 189 Countries.

The YouVideo here How many countries are there in the world? explains in detail.

Who decides Rich or Poor country: UN, IMF, World Bank

The question is how does one measure the money in a country and who measures it.

Experts have come up with ways to define what a rich country or a poor is. Some experts say that value of all final goods and services produced in a country in one year is to be used as a measure, called  Gross Domestic Product (GDP); while other experts say that value of all goods and services produced in a country in one year by the nationals, plus income earned by its citizens abroad, minus income earned by foreigners in the country should  be used as a measure, called Gross National Product (GNP).

Different international financial institutions have been set up to track the wealth of a country. Some of these are:

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF): IMF is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. (  Our article What is IMF? How does it work? Difference from World Bank explains it in detail.
  • The World Bank: provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries for development programs (e.g. bridges, roads, schools, etc.) with the stated goal of reducing poverty. (
  • The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked to promote international co-operation, to create and maintain international order, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.

The Video from One Minute Economics gives an overview of the IMF,World Bank and UN.

These agencies come up with different ways to define rich countries.

As per International Monetary Fund(IMF) based on 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. As per the IMF based on GDP per capita, the world looks as shown in the image below Ref : Wikipedia List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita

Our article What is GDP, Gross Domestic Product explains GDP in detail

India’s rank

  • As per IMF: 142 with GDP of $ 1,723 in 2016
  • As per WB:134 with GDP of $ 1,709 in 2015
  • As per United Nations: 147 with GDP of $ 1,614 in February 2015
Rich Poor Countries based on GDP
Rich Poor Countries based on GDP

The top 15 countries based on per capita nominal GDP for countries by different organizations

International Monetary Fund
 (Estimates 2017)
World Bank (2016) United Nations (2016
Rank Country US$
1  Luxembourg 107,708
2   Switzerland 80,837
 Macau 79,563
3  Norway 73,615
4  Iceland 73,092
5  Ireland 68,604
6  Qatar 60,811
7  United States 59,495
8  Denmark 56,335
9  Australia 56,135
10  Singapore 53,880
11  Sweden 53,248
12  San Marino 47,302
13  Netherlands 48,271
14  Austria 46,435
15  Finland 45,693
 Hong Kong 44,999
Rank Country US$
1  Luxembourg 102,831
2   Switzerland 78,813
 Macau 73,187
3  Norway 70,813
4  Ireland 61,607
5  Iceland 59,977
6  Qatar 59,331
7  United States 57,467
8  Denmark 53,418
9  Singapore 52,961
10  Sweden 51,600
11  Australia 49,928
12  Netherlands 45,295
13  Austria 44,177
 Hong Kong 43,681
14  Finland 43,090
15  Canada 42,158
Rank Country US$
1  Monaco 168,004
2  Liechtenstein 164,437
3  Luxembourg 101,835
 Bermuda 99,363
4   Switzerland 79,609
 Macau 73,187
5  Norway 70,617
6  Ireland 64,497
 Cayman Islands 63,261
7  Iceland 60,966
8  Qatar 59,324
9  United States 57,808
10  Australia 54,069
11  Denmark 53,730
12  Singapore 52,814
13  Sweden 50,687
14  San Marino 47,910
15  Netherlands 45,753

Model United Nations

Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. Participants in Model United Nations conferences, known as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries to represent, or occasionally other organizations or political figures, where they represent members of that body. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in the committee, staying true to the actual position of the member they represent. At the end of a conference, the best-performing delegates in each committee, as well as delegations, are sometimes recognized with awards.

Model United Nations is a way to become an active, more concerned global citizen, while in this era of globalization, being globally aware is more important than ever. MUN is an exercise in research, public speaking, and teamwork. MUN builds confidence and leadership and diplomatic skills.

The following video gives an overview of MUN

What are Developed, Developing Countries

Countries are often loosely placed into the following categories of development:

  1. Developed countries: Canada, United States, European Union members, Japan, Israel, Australia, etc.
  2. Countries with an economy consistently and fairly strongly developing over a longer period: China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Costa Rica, Mexico, Egypt, much of South America, etc.
  3. Countries with a patchy record of development: most countries in Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean excepting Jamaica

The often used term “Third World” today mostly refers to underdeveloped or better-developing countries. The video below explains how to classify Developed and Developing Countries.


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1 Comment

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