Qatar is currently the richest place in the world, but with the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau growing at a rapid rate, their status as the richest in the world may soon change. The International Monetary Fund claims by 2020 Macau will become the richest place in the world with $143.12K GDP. These projected numbers will place Macau as the richest and Qatar will trail behind as their GDP is projected to reach $139,151 within that time frame.
The expansion comes after slow growth due to Macau’s casinos suffrage under President Xi’s anti-corruption drive. Macau became a gambling mecca almost two decades ago when the territory returned to Chinese control. Macau is the only place in China that has legalized gambling and has turned into a hot spot due to the ability to gamble freely. The International Monetary Fund data shows that Macau’s gross domestic product has tripled from $34,500 per capita in 2001.
The International Monetary Fund has provided a list of the richest places in 2020 which includes Macau at number one and Hong Kong in the 10th spot. Qatar follows second behind Macau and Luxenbourg is in third. After Luxembourg, the list includes Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Ireland, Norway, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait before finishing with Hong Kong.
In 2023, the wealth gap between Macau and Qatar is expected to widen beyond the 2020’s forecasted GDP. Macau’s GDP per capita is predicted to reach around $172,681 by 2023 while Qatar will only reach $158,117, according to the data compiled from the April edition of the International Monetary Fund’s Global Economic Outlook database.
Macau’s authorities have begun seeking closer economic ties with Hong Kong and several others cities throughout China. While the International Monetary Fund has claimed there is only little impact on the ordinary residents of Macau, many have complained otherwise. Residents have started complaining about the economy and how it is more skewed towards gambling and that housing costs have surged in the past ten years. The younger generation has started demanding more opportunities for work outside than the gambling industry.
The IMF has also shown that while Macau will reach $172,681 by 2023, Hong Kong will nearly reach $80,000 by that time. The United States is ranked number 12 among the world’s richest place. Smaller developed countries and regions are more likely to rank high in the wealth per capita due to their small population size. With a smaller population, it is easier to divide the wealth. The oil-rich nation of Qatar has a population of 2.57 million, while Macau has a much smaller population which makes the per capita calculation work in favor of Macau.