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 2020 IMF forecasts, PPP method
No data exists for the Vatican
Quiz by interopia
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Last updated: April 18, 2020
First submittedJuly 6, 2018
Times taken18,510
Rating4.61
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Rank
difference
Country
140
Singapore
112
Taiwan
108
Qatar
102
Netherlands
99
Belgium
98
Israel
95
South Korea
95
Kuwait
92
Switzerland
80
United Arab Emirates
Rank
difference
Country
76
Bahrain
73
Denmark
71
Ireland
69
United Kingdom
69
Czech Republic
68
Austria
66
Luxembourg
63
Dominican Republic
62
Bangladesh
62
Lebanon
+5
Level 50
Feb 4, 2020
Nice quiz, thank you
+12
Level 65
Apr 18, 2020
Why not use GDP per unit area?
+19
Level 84
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.)
+28
Level 71
Apr 18, 2020
Just like San Marino here, Dan Marino doesn't show up on enough NFL quizzes. Coincidence?
+13
Level 78
Apr 18, 2020
Those European microstates are just so small that even a great relative economy is small in absolute numbers.
+10
Level 84
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.
+10
Level 67
Apr 19, 2020
It doesnt say anywhere it is GDP per capita though
+8
Level 71
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.
+5
Level 81
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.

+2
Level 81
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.
+2
Level 66
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 50
Jun 1, 2020
And Liechtenstein?
+2
Level 81
Jun 4, 2020
they get taken down in the rankings for the same reason. High cost of living.
+1
Level 59
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 32
Feb 26, 2021
vatican, san marino, moldova...
+1
Level 90
Apr 18, 2020
Yes - really interesting quiz. It's amazing that Liechtenstein doesn't make this list.
+2
Level 81
Apr 18, 2020
The last 3 are quite surprising, although I did get Lebanon as a wild guess.
+8
Level 65
Apr 19, 2020
Never underestimate Lebanon.
+2
Level 84
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.
+1
Level 81
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 78
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 84
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.

+2
Level 81
Jun 1, 2020
With PPP you can find out amazing things like that Bangladesh is almost as wealthy as Luxembourg.
+4
Level 75
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.
+1
Level 61
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.
+2
Level 80
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.

+9
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!
+4
Level 49
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!
+1
Level 54
Apr 20, 2020
There's some big countries on this quiz... Or I just think every country is big as a Dutchie!
+5
Level 48
Apr 22, 2020
Is your grandmother a Grand Duchy?
+1
Level 25
Jun 1, 2020
how can the UK, South Korea and Bangladesh be small countries??
+2
Level 58
Jun 1, 2020
South Korea is smaller than Iceland.
+2
Level 74
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.
+2
Level 80
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 58
Jun 1, 2020
I have to believe you made a mistake not putting Brunei on this quiz
+2
Level 64
Jun 1, 2020
Brunei has a pretty small economy.
+1
Level 49
Jun 1, 2020
Uhh where's Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Cyprus, etc?
+1
Level 80
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 66
Jun 1, 2020
Surprised not to see Japan here
+3
Level 54
Jun 22, 2020
Japan is not a small country.
+1
Level 60
Jun 1, 2020
Bangladesh my foot 😲😲😲😲😲
+2
Level 62
Jun 1, 2020
Typed "czechia" with 2 seconds remaining to get 100%. Also the only time I will call the country Czechia.
+5
Level 72
Jun 1, 2020
How does Denmark make the list? It's total land area is enormous.
+5
Level 80
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 51
Nov 6, 2020
Agreed. Maybe add a caveat. Great quiz though!
+1
Level 78
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 65
Jun 1, 2020
Its always taiwan that gets me
+1
Level 40
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 πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈ
+1
Level 63
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 32
Feb 26, 2021
wdym ''all problems in the world''
+1
Level 28
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.
+1
Level 61
Feb 5, 2021
Japan is 62nd in area so its impossible for Japan to be on the list.
+1
Level 32
Feb 26, 2021
it can be by population...
+2
Level 61
Feb 5, 2021
Surprised Russia wasn't here
+1
Level 28
Mar 10, 2021
You just commented on my comment that Japan is 62nd so it's impossible and now you say Russia?
+1
Level 68
Apr 13, 2021
S a r c a s m.
+2
Level 36
Feb 24, 2021
Surprised USA, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Australia, Canada, And Indonesia weren't there
+1
Level 28
Mar 10, 2021
They're the biggest countries, they have to be smaller for it to make this list.
+1
Level 32
Feb 26, 2021
ok... u think USA, Russia, china, india, australia and canada is small country ??