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Small Countries with Large Economies

We ranked every country by two factors: Surface Area and GDP. Which countries had a high GDP rank but a low Surface Area rank?
For GDP we used 2022 IMF forecasts, PPP method
No data exists for the Vatican
Quiz by interopia
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Last updated: April 21, 2022
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First submittedJuly 6, 2018
Times taken46,025
Average score65.0%
Rating4.75
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Rank
difference
Country
139
Singapore
115
Taiwan
104
Netherlands
101
Belgium
101
Israel
98
Qatar
97
Switzerland
93
South Korea
88
Kuwait
80
United Arab Emirates
Rank
difference
Country
78
Ireland
78
Denmark
75
Bahrain
72
Luxembourg
70
United Kingdom
69
Austria
67
Czech Republic
64
Sri Lanka
64
Dominican Republic
63
Lebanon
+5
Level 59
Feb 4, 2020
Nice quiz, thank you
+20
Level 63
Apr 18, 2020
Why not use GDP per unit area?
+24
Level 85
Apr 18, 2020
Monaco? Brunei? Liechtenstein? Malta? Yet Bangladesh is there? I'm confused. (Not wondering about San Marino, since I'm not sure what they produce there.)
+42
Level 72
Apr 18, 2020
Just like San Marino here, Dan Marino doesn't show up on enough NFL quizzes. Coincidence?
+28
Level 82
Apr 18, 2020
Those European microstates are just so small that even a great relative economy is small in absolute numbers.
+18
Level 87
Apr 18, 2020
Some small countries like Monaco and Liechtenstein aren't included in the IMF list, but they rank in the 140s in other lists, alongside Malawi and South Sudan. High GDP per capita for a country with very few people doesn't translate to a high total GDP. Bangladesh has 160million people, Liechtenstein has 38,000.
+11
Level 66
Apr 19, 2020
It doesnt say anywhere it is GDP per capita though
+14
Level 73
Apr 22, 2020
Exactly Sifhraven - what ECon is saying that a country like Monaco with an extremely high GDP per capita can still have extremely small populations which mean they don't make a lot of money total, and so still score low on total GDP rankings.
+6
Level 84
Jun 1, 2020
it's because of PPP. Bangladesh is an extremely poor country, so local prices are greatly reduced both so that the impoverished people there can afford things and also because labor costs, rent, standards of living and building codes and quality of construction materials etc is extremely low .. so prices reflect this.

when you start trying to assume that all goods in all markets regardless of quality should cost the same thing, and then adjust economy sizes based on this assumption, then all of a sudden Bangladesh has a huge economy.

+3
Level 84
Jun 4, 2020
also there are a ton of people crammed in to Bangladesh, so, when you divide up all the resources between them it gets even more meager.
+7
Level 71
Mar 10, 2021
I bristle a bit at the term "extremely poor." It's not completely inaccurate, but still misleading. Bangladesh really isn't much poorer than India, and I wouldn't be surprised if it surpasses India in the near future. It has a booming economy and has made massive strides in poverty reduction, healthcare, women's rights, and other issues that typically plague developing countries. This article is a pretty good summary of all of the progress Bangladesh has made.

For sure there's plenty of work to be done, plus climate change is a looming threat, but for the most part things are looking pretty good for Bangladesh.

+1
Level 51
Jun 1, 2020
And Liechtenstein?
+2
Level 84
Jun 4, 2020
they get taken down in the rankings for the same reason. High cost of living.
+3
Level 65
Feb 15, 2022
Not really the main reason at all, it's more because like all other micronations (except Singapore), the GDP is really small overall because the population is really small. These micronations are at the bottom in both the GDP and the Area country rankings, so the difference between the 2 rankings are smaller than for some other countries.

Liechtenstein

GDP ranking : 158th

GDP (PPP) ranking : 178th

Area ranking : 190th

Either way (PPP or not) Liechtenstein is quite far from making the list.

+2
Level 58
Jan 3, 2021
Countries on this list either are rich per capita, but have a very small area and population (such as Singapore, Monaco, San Marino), or are very poor per capita, but have a huge population (such as Bangladesh). 140 million people with an average income of $1,000 US or less a year adds up to a big economy; 4 million people with an average income of $100,000 US a year also adds up.
+1
Level 41
Feb 26, 2021
vatican, san marino, moldova...
+1
Level 93
Apr 18, 2020
Yes - really interesting quiz. It's amazing that Liechtenstein doesn't make this list.
+3
Level 83
Apr 18, 2020
The last 3 are quite surprising, although I did get Lebanon as a wild guess.
+10
Level 66
Apr 19, 2020
Never underestimate Lebanon.
+1
Level 42
May 25, 2022
I really wonder about Lebanon, the economy there is really bad and people are getting poorer by the day. I wonder why it made the list.
+2
Level 87
Apr 18, 2020
Just wondering what sources you are using for country size? For example I have Luxembourg 71st for GDP and 167th for size, which would lead to a rank difference of 96 instead of 66. I've checked some other countries and gotten different results too.
+3
Level 83
Apr 18, 2020
Quizmaster will have to answer this. While I appreciate him featuring my quiz, he changed the methodology I had used.
+5
Level 81
Apr 18, 2020
You're probably not using PPP. Wikipedia list has IMF 2019 estimates, Luxembourg ranks 70 in nominal GDP and 100 in PPP. Country size is less debatable, while for GDP you have quite a choice of methods.
+3
Level 87
Apr 18, 2020
Thanks I think that might be why.
+2
Level ∞
Apr 19, 2020
The source is listed, but if you want more info you can find it here:

https://www.jetpunk.com/info/countries-by-gdp-per-capita

Djilas is right. Most of the time these discrepancies have to do with which method is used to calculate GDP. I prefer Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). Others disagree.

+3
Level 84
Jun 1, 2020
With PPP you can find out amazing things like that Bangladesh is almost as wealthy as Luxembourg.
+7
Level 83
Nov 17, 2020
That's extraordinarily disingenuous, and not at all the conclusion one would draw from PPP. With PPP the average Luxembourger's GDP share comes to 22 times that of the average Bangladeshi. It just so happens Bangladesh has 271 times Luxembourg's population and only 57 times its area, so the answers to this quiz are hardly surprising. For the record Luxembourg's GDP is 1.02x larger on PPP measurement, according to the IMF figures. Bangladesh's 2.7x larger. What I don't really understand is your objection to measuring a country's wealth by what it can actually buy, as opposed to some arbitrary setting of government policy. PPP to me seems like a much better way of capturing a country's true wealth than nominal GDP.
+3
Level 72
Feb 5, 2021
Wealth is not the right word to use since it is relative to the world and is only about how much money you have, not what you can buy with it. It's that people living in Bangladesh and Luxembourg can afford similar things for the amount of money they make even though people in Luxembourg have a lot more money.
+3
Level 84
Apr 20, 2020
Has there been any consideration for accepting "DR" as an acceptable answer for Dominican Republic? I have many friends from there and all of them commonly say, "I'm from D.R" or "Down in D.R...." and everybody knows exactly what they're talking about.

It seems so common to me, I'm always mildly surprised it's not accepted on here. And while I can type, I'm sure all of the hunt-and-peck JetPunk'ers would welcome the abbreviation.

+16
Level ∞
Apr 20, 2020
You know what, I was just getting irritated myself with how long it takes to type out Dominican Republic. DR added as a type-in!
+6
Level 53
Jun 1, 2020
Now I'm wondering how many quizzes (apart from countries of the world) would have both DR and DRC as answers.The UK/Ukraine one is annoying but not really anything that can be done about it!
+2
Level 55
Apr 20, 2020
There's some big countries on this quiz... Or I just think every country is big as a Dutchie!
+9
Level 53
Apr 22, 2020
Is your grandmother a Grand Duchy?
+2
Level 31
Jun 1, 2020
how can the UK, South Korea and Bangladesh be small countries??
+4
Level 57
Jun 1, 2020
South Korea is smaller than Iceland.
+5
Level 79
Jun 1, 2020
It's the difference in rank between their land area and their position in terms of gross GDP (read the description). There are 196 countries recognised by Jetpunk. You don't need to be minuscule to have a big difference in your two ranks.
+4
Level 83
Jun 1, 2020
You could fit the UK in my province 4 times and in my country 41 times. It's all relative.
+1
Level 65
Jun 1, 2020
I have to believe you made a mistake not putting Brunei on this quiz
+3
Level 68
Jun 1, 2020
Brunei has a pretty small economy.
+2
Level 48
Jun 1, 2020
Uhh where's Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Cyprus, etc?
+5
Level 83
Jun 1, 2020
Read the explanation of how it works. It's not $/km2 (which I think would be a better idea); it's size rank vs. economic rank.
+1
Level 67
Jun 1, 2020
Surprised not to see Japan here
+6
Level 55
Jun 22, 2020
Japan is not a small country.
+1
Level 60
Jun 1, 2020
Bangladesh my foot 😲😲😲😲😲
+3
Level 69
Jun 1, 2020
Typed "czechia" with 2 seconds remaining to get 100%. Also the only time I will call the country Czechia.
+5
Level 75
Jun 1, 2020
How does Denmark make the list? It's total land area is enormous.
+5
Level 83
Jun 3, 2020
Presumably, they aren't including overseas territories, so Greenland doesn't count against it. There should be a note about that.
+1
Level 55
Nov 6, 2020
Agreed. Maybe add a caveat. Great quiz though!
+3
Level 76
Jun 1, 2020
I had to click on the photo to see where it was taken. Never heard of the Supertrees in Singapore, but after reading about them part of me is amazed in a good way at all their functions and aesthetics, but another part of me is sad that they created artificial trees instead of having the real thing. They look pretty amazing, though.
+1
Level 69
Jun 1, 2020
Its always taiwan that gets me
+1
Level 43
Jan 3, 2021
Dom Rep?? Are you sure?
+1
Level 36
Jan 3, 2021
i considered guessing the dominican republic but i thought it wouldn't count... turns out i was wrong 🚶‍♀️
+2
Level 67
Jan 3, 2021
Yet more proof, if it were needed, that Belgium is responsible for all the problems of the world. As long as we conveniently ignore all the countries above it, which everyone punches down on too much already.
+1
Level 41
Feb 26, 2021
wdym ''all problems in the world''
+2
Level 29
Jan 4, 2021
I'm kind of surprised that Japan isn't on here. It's a fairly medium-sized country with 126 million people, and it has a high GDP per Capita and a high HDI.
+2
Level 72
Feb 5, 2021
Japan is 62nd in area so its impossible for Japan to be on the list.
+1
Level 41
Feb 26, 2021
it can be by population...
+6
Level 72
Feb 5, 2021
Surprised Russia wasn't here
+2
Level 29
Mar 10, 2021
You just commented on my comment that Japan is 62nd so it's impossible and now you say Russia?
+3
Level 73
Apr 13, 2021
S a r c a s m.
+3
Level 35
Feb 24, 2021
Surprised USA, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Australia, Canada, And Indonesia weren't there
+1
Level 29
Mar 10, 2021
They're the biggest countries, they have to be smaller for it to make this list.
+1
Level 35
May 20, 2022
@Kings675A and @thailand he is being sarcastic brooo...
+1
Level 41
Feb 26, 2021
ok... u think USA, Russia, china, india, australia and canada is small country ??
+1
Level 48
Feb 18, 2022
why uk is considered a small country here. i think its quite big compared to these other countries
+1
Level 53
Mar 23, 2022
Uk is not small
+1
Level 91
Apr 21, 2022
The quiz is based on the difference in rank of size and rank of economy.
+5
Level 85
Apr 21, 2022
I thought Lebanon would be off the list by now. There's not much of an economy going on there right now. Sri Lanka also seems like it's on the way out.
+2
Level 85
Apr 21, 2022
Also, although it says nothing in the notes, I'm taking a wild guess that Denmark's counted area doesn't include Greenland, unless its GDP includes icebergs.
+2
Level 69
Apr 22, 2022
The comments under here really show people don't know the difference between gdp and gdp per capita lol
+2
Level 85
Apr 23, 2022
The quiz says nothing about "per capita", otherwise Monaco, say, would be near the top instead of not anywhere on the list. Meanwhile, Lebanon has a disappearing numerator, while Denmark+Greenland has an immense denominator in the GDP per area equation.
+2
Level 46
May 19, 2022
Surprised that Jupiter is not on here
+1
Level 67
May 19, 2022
Brunei?
+2
Level 71
May 19, 2022
I'm not sure Sri Lanka will stay on this list for long. Their economy is basically in free-fall right now. And the story behind it is very tragic--once the richest country in South Asia, but corruption, government incompetence, and an overdependence on foreign trade drove them into the ground. Here's to hoping things get better there soon.
+1
Level 28
May 19, 2022
uk is not smalllllllllllllllllll
+1
Level 60
May 21, 2022
you clearly dont understand the quiz
+1
Level 55
May 23, 2022
Vatican City?
+1
Level 35
May 23, 2022
im typing israel, switzerland,uae, and singapore, and to compare those countries to UK
+1
Level 56
Jun 19, 2022
Small countries *proceeds to include the UK*
+1
Level 61
Jun 22, 2022
So very curious that Sri Lanka is in there this year with what's happening there.