Just like the way it is in other regions, a clear contrast exists in the economies of the Arab world. The region harbors some of the world’s richest nations as well as some of the poorest.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released its list of countries’ GDP per capita for 2020. GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP), is what analysts use to rank countries, and the numbers for the Arab world are in.
Below are the list of the top 5 richest and poorest Arab countries in 2020.
The Top 5 Richest Arab Countries
With a GDP per capita of $51,991, Bahrain sits at the no. 5 spot on the richest Arab country list, and its economy ranks 23rd in the world. Bahrain is a high-income economy, rich in oil and natural gas resources, aluminum export, and tourist attractions.
4. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the fourth richest Arab country, with a GDP per capita of $56,912, and 15th richest in the world. The kingdom’s economic wealth can be credited to its production and export of petroleum. According to OPEC, Saudi Arabia is its second largest member with 22.4% share of the world’s crude oil reserves.
Kuwait is the third richest country in the Arab world, with a GDP per capita of $67,891. Kuwait is a small petroleum-based economy; its currency, the Kuwaiti dinar is the highest-valued unit of currency in the world.
2. United Arab Emirates
Sitting pretty at the no. 2 position on the richest Arab country list, is the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is the second richest country in the Arab world, with a GDP per capita of $70,442. The UAE’s economic success mostly comes from oil and natural gas resources, tourism, and construction.
Qatar ranks no. 1 on the list with a GDP per capita of approximately $138,910. The country isn’t only the richest Arab country, but the richest nation worldwide. Qatar’s primary source of wealth is its ginormous oil and natural gas reserves. Qatar is also renowned for having less than 1% unemployment rates in the world.
The Top 5 Poorest Arab Countries
With a GDP per capita of $12,050, Libya is the fifth poorest Arab country. The North African country used to be the richest country in Africa because of its large amount of oil reserves, corruption and war however made that a thing of the past. Libya is now the 107th poorest nation in the world.
Jordan is the fourth poorest Arab country, with a GDP per capita of $9,650. Jordan’s economy has been weak for a long time, with high unemployment, rising inflation rate, and limited local energy resources. Jordan is the 117th poorest country in the world.
Morocco sits at no. 3 on the poorest Arab country list with a GDP per capita of $9,280. The primary issues affecting the North African country are its high unemployment rates, high illiteracy rates, economic unpredictability, and financial inequality. Morocco is the 119th poorest country in the world.
Sudan is the second poorest nation in the Arab world, with a GDP per capita of $4,090. Although, blessed with some natural resources including petroleum, never-ending conflicts and protests are the main reasons for the economic instability in the country. Out of the 195 countries in the world, Sudan ranks as the 148th poorest.
With a GDP per capita that has plummeted to $2,400, Yemen ranks at no. 1 on the poorest Arab country list. Even before the ongoing conflict, Yemen was the poorest country in the Arab world. The ongoing war has taken the country’s economy from bad to worse. Yemen is the 178th poorest out of the 195 countries in the world.