While the economy has been shaken up a little lately and the richest European countries are constantly changing, some countries in Europe remain consistently well off in a comparative sense and these aren’t necessarily those countries you’d think they’d be. England, Germany, France… these are the major players in Europe so presumably they’re the richest European countries too?
Well no actually, and in fact a look at which territories are the richest European countries suggests that there is something to be said for being a dark horse. It’s those smaller countries with smaller economies and who keep themselves to themselves politically that actually tend to fair better. Bellow are some of the countries that traditionally are the richest European countries and that for the most part still are, and a little bit about why they’re so successful.
Luxembourg: Luxembourg consistently tops lists of the richest European countries and possesses one of the highest GDP per capita (around $85,730). The purchasing power of Luxembourg might also be a result of artificial inflation due to employees working in Luxembourg and living in neighboring Germany and France. It is also the world’s second largest investment fund center (the USA is the first) and the most important private banking center of the Eurozone.
Norway: Norway is another of the richest European countries by GDP per capita ($55,198) and has one of the best standards of living in the world. This is partly due to its being rich in natural resources – including petrol, hydro power, minerals, fish and more.
Ireland: While Ireland was hit hard by the economic crisis it is consistently one of the richest European countries and enjoys a good quality of life. This is again potentially due to its relatively small size. It has been rated the world’s third most economically ‘free’ economy.
Iceland: Iceland is not only one of the richest European countries by GDP per capita, but is one of the most productive countries in the world and has many diverse manufacturing industries and services including software development, biotechnology and financial services.
Netherlands: The Netherlands is another of the richest European countries and is one of the most popular countries for foreign investment.
Switzerland: Switzerland’s relative wealth is largely a result of its independence and its refusal to participate in financially draining wars and disputes. This is what makes it one of the richest European countries, along with its exports. It has a flexible job market and has a $67,385 GDP per capita.