The United States is the world’s richest country, followed by Japan.
Economists measure a country’s wealth by looking at the total value of the goods and services it produces each year.
They call this the GNP, which stands for gross national product.
In 2000, the United States had the world’s highest GNP by far, nearly $9 trillion.
Japan was second, with $4 trillion, followed by Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
Another way to measure wealth is to divide a country’s GNP by the number of people who live in that country.
This is called the GNP per capita.
Using this measure, the world’s richest country is Luxembourg, not the United States.
The next richest countries in GNP per capita are Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Japan, and Singapore.
The United States ranks seventh.
Of the world’s 6 billion people, 1.2 billion live on the equivalent of a dollar a day or less.