No country is perfect, it’s a fact. But it’s also a fact that some nations are better than the others. So today we have prepared a mega list of 25 powerful countries in the world. Well, there are many parameters by which one can rank different nations, so we have tried to evaluate each nation based on these indices to rank them –
Table of Contents
Annual GDP: $932 billion
Number of Billionaires: 20
Many of our readers might get surprised to find Indonesia in this list, but it actually deserves to be here. According to the IMF, Indonesia has the 16th biggest economy (nominal) in the world and the 7th largest in Purchasing Power Parity. Recently, UNCTAD placed Indonesia in the 4th place as a prospective investment destination in 2017-2019. In the year 2016, Indonesia spends almost 1% of their total GDP on defense. They also have the 10th largest active standing military in the world.
Annual GDP: $304 billion
Number of Billionaires: No Data
Pakistan has the 42nd largest economy, according to nominal GDP and 25th biggest (according to PPP) in the world. More than 55% of Pakistan’s annual GDP comes from its evolving service sector. It has the 7th largest military in the world with an annual budget of $9.9 billion (2016). Pakistan is also the second South Asian and only Muslim state to retain nuclear warheads.
Annual GDP: $517 billion
Number of Billionaires: 31
According to the IMF forecast, Sweden will have the 23rd largest economy in the world in the fiscal year 2016-17. Sweden may have a small active army of 14,000, but leads in the HDI index and have a strong relationship with other European powerhouses. It is also a home for some of the leading arms companies in the world, including Saab Group and Industrigruppen JAS.
Annual GDP: $477 billion
Number of Billionaires: 4
Poland suffered enormously during the world war II and was invaded by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in a time span of 16 days. But they somehow survived. Today, Poland has the 5th largest army in the world with an annual expenditure of $9.7 billion in the year 2016. It also has a growing defense industry.
Annual GDP: $1.23 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 25
Spain has remained a NATO member since 1982, and has established itself as an active member in international security activities. It has the 14th largest economy, 17th largest defense expenditure with 42nd largest army in the world. Spain has also maintained a special relationship with Hispanic America and the Philippines.
Annual GDP: $1.8 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 43
Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world by both total area and population. Brazil’s economy is one of the fastest growing economy, which is ninth-largest by nominal GDP and eighth-largest by PPP as of 2016. It also enjoys its position as a regional power. According to some reports it is also identified as an emerging global power. According to SIPRI, Brazil spends around 22.8 billion on defense in 2016.
Annual GDP: $762 billion
Number of Billionaires: 10
The Netherlands has one of the developed economy in the world and have a special role in the European economy for many centuries. They have a high level of economic freedom which is the 5th largest competitive economy in the world according to the Swiss International Institute for Management Development. The Netherlands has the 26th largest military budget on the planet, spending $9.2 billion on defense in 2016.
Annual GDP: $412 billion
Number of Billionaires: No data
The Islamic Republic of Iran or simply Iran is one of the strongest countries in West Asia, both economically and militarily. Iran has the 29th strongest economy, according to nominal GDP and 18th largest according to PPP GDP in the world. While, Iran spends 3% of its annual GDP on defense, it has capable, self relied defense industry, which is accounted for developing its own military gadgets and equipment.
17. United Arab Emirates
Annual GDP: $407 billion
Number of Billionaires: 5
The U.A.E’s economy is powered by its abundant oil reserves. In 2009 according to the WTO, more than 85% of the UAE’s economy was based only on the oil exports. U.A.E has an extensive international relationship with other OPEC countries, it is also one of the founding members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In 2016, U.A.E spends nearly $22 billion on the military budget.
16. Saudi Arabia
Annual GDP: $637 billion
Number of Billionaires: 10
According to total area, Saudi Arabia is the fifth-largest country in Asia and second-largest in the Arab world only after Algeria. Saudi Arabia has a strong diplomatic relation with the United States since 1940. It also plays an important role in the Gulf region militarily. The country spends the highest percentage of GDP on defense than any other nation.
Annual GDP: $664 billion
Number of Billionaires: 36
Switzerland is famous for its neutrality. Neither it is a part of NATO nor a member of the EU, but it is still one of the most influential country in Europe. According to the IMF, Switzerland has the 19th largest economy in the world. Because of the landlocked topography, Switzerland has no proper navy at its disposal.
Annual GDP: $1.25 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 33
Australia has the world’s 13th-largest economy (nominal) in the world according to the IMF. It is the 7th largest spender in the defense sector with a $24.3 billion defense budget. Its isolated location plays an important role in its defense.
Over recent years, Australia’s foreign relations have been boosted by new treaties with the United States specially the ANZUS pact. Australia has also penned down various ambitious pacts to develop strong relationships with Asia and the Pacific, ASEAN and the Pacific Islands Forum are most important of them.
Annual GDP: $861 billion
Number of Billionaires: 29
Turkey’s geographical location is one of the hottest topics in today’s geopolitics. It has been the focal point of all major NATO conflicts with Russia. Being an important member of NATO, it enjoys some economic and military advantages provided by some major powers. Turkey has the 17th largest economy and 18th biggest defense budget in the world. It also has several active military bases in Qatar, Syria, Somalia and Bashiqa (Northern Iraq).
Annual GDP: 2.45 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 101
India is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country and the largest democracy in the world. In 2016, the IMF declared the Indian economy as the seventh largest in the world by nominal GDP and 3rd largest by purchasing power parity.
With the 3rd largest army and an ever increasing military budget, India is set to become a global leader in next two-three decade or even before. Aside from a strong military relationship with Russia, India also has an intense defense relations with USA and France.
Annual GDP: $339 billion
Number of Billionaires: 18
Israel has a long history of conflict involving its surrounding Muslim nations. Just to give a preview of the situation, under Israeli law, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen are all enemy nations and it goes both ways. Despite of being a small country area wise, Israel nurtures some of the dangerous special forces in the world. In 2016, Israel spends a staggering 5.8% of its total GDP on defense.
10. South Korea
Annual GDP: $1.49 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 38
South Korea’s main strength comes from its robust international relationship with more than 188 countries. The country has also been an important member of the United Nations since 1991. Mostly because of the constant threat from its neighboring country North Korea, it maintains a strong military with an annual budget of $36.8 billion. South Korea also has a booming arms industry that helps the country in various ways.
Annual GDP: $1.53 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 39
Canada is the second largest country in North America in terms of inhabitable land. Canada gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1931, but gained its full sovereignty only in 1982. Since then it has worked its way to become a global player. Canada has the 10th strongest economy in the world, and has a military budget of 15.5 billion dollars in 2016.
Annual GDP: $1.85 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 42
Italy has the 8th largest economy in the world and the 3rd largest in the Eurozone. Italy’s main strength comes from its manufacturing industry, but it’s also known for its food and fashion. Its geographical location is the key to its economic growth and political power, but it is diminishing because of many alternate trade routes in place today. Italy spends nearly 1.5% of its total GDP on military expenditure which stands at a mammoth 27.9 billion in the fiscal year 2017.
Annual GDP: $4.93 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 33
Japan may be small in area, but it hosts the 11th largest population in the world with 127 million people. According to Bloomberg Innovation Index, Japan ranks 2nd in the most innovative nation in the world. Japan has the 4th largest economy in the world (PPP), and 8th largest country according to total military expenditure.
Annual GDP: $2.42 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 38
France has long been a center for fashion, Art, philosophy and science, but it also have been a military powerhouse. The French military is the most successful force in the world, having won countless amount of wars. It also played an important part in the expansion of the Imperial French empire in the beginning of the 19th century. The modern day France is no shy of its former glory. According to the IMF, France ranked the 6th largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity and second largest among the EU nations. It also has a major defense and aerospace industry in the world.
5. United kingdom
Annual GDP: $2.6trillion
Number of Billionaires: 54
The United Kingdom once dominated almost the entire world from east to west from north to south. That’s why the common phrase “the empire on which the sun never sets” was popularly used to describe the British Empire. Today, the UK has strong ties with the United States and France, which is mainly focused on economic and military purposes.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the United Kingdom has the 7th largest military expenditure in the world which is accounted for 2% of their total GDP. Based on GDP (nominal), the UK has the fifth-largest economy in the world and the second largest in Europe only after Germany.
4. Federal Republic of Germany
Annual GDP: $3.36 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 114
One way or the other Germany has been in the center stage of Europe’s political and economical mechanism for many years. Today, Germany plays an integral part of two of the world’s most powerful treaties in effect, NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and EU (European Union). Germany ranks 5th in PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) only after US, China, India and Japan. Its annual military expenditure is only out-shunned by 8 countries.
3. People’s Republic of China
Annual GDP: $11.8 trillion
Numbers of Billionaires: 319
China has the fastest growing economy in the world and one of the largest in the history of mankind. According to many professionals one day the Chinese economy will overtake the current American financial state and that say is not far. China’s main strength comes from its huge population and large workforce. With more than 2 million standing military personnel the Chinese People Liberation Army is the largest force in the world.
2. Russian Federation
Annual GDP: $1.28 trillion
Numbers of Billionaires: 96
The Russian Federation, or simply Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of total surface area, covering more than 1/8 of Earth’s inhabitable land. It also has the 9th largest population with nearly 146 million people. For more than two decades Russia remained the world super power when it was an integral part of the Soviet Union and was only out-powered by the United States. Russia’s economy is largely based on its vast reserve of natural resources, in which oil and radioactive minerals play the most important part. It is also the second largest arms exporter in the world.
Read: USA vs Russia: The Military Stats | Weapon War
1. United States of America
Annual GDP: $18.46 trillion
Number of Billionaires: 565
There is no doubt about the fact that the United States is the most powerful nation in the world. America’s power can be judged by the single fact that it has the second largest and the most advanced military on the planet. Moreover, US ranks 10th in the human development index and comes in second in Purchasing Power Parity index only after China.
US also maintains a strong political presence in other parts of the world via various economic and military treaties and NATO is one of them. Although the United States is getting some tough competition from certain countries lately, it won’t be a surprise if they lead this list for another decade or two.