Let's take a look at the globe's five richest countries—as ranked by the International Monetary Fund's 2014 estimates for GDP per capita, adjusted for purchasing power parity—and see why these leaders are so successful.
5: Norway, $56,222 per-capita GDP
Scandinavia's wealthiest country is also its most resource-rich. Norway has fostered an economy that has weathered the recession well: The country boasts a mere 3.4% unemployment rate, far below the euro area's rate of 11.5%, thanks largely to its rock-solid oil industry. The nation is the largest producer of oil on the continent, and that advantage has helped the country put together a sovereign wealth fund of $860 billion.
4: Brunei, $56,285 per-capita GDP
Count the tiny Southeast Asian nation of Brunei as another beneficiary of oil and gas. In 2012, oil and gas activity powered more than half of the country's overall GDP, with significant exports to Japan, South Korea, China, and Australia in particular.
Unlike the prior two countries on this list, however, Singapore is not fueled by natural resources. The city-state has emerged as a global financial hub and is perfectly positioned to continue taking advantage of the rise of Chinese and Southeast Asian wealth in coming years.
One of Luxembourg's biggest secrets to avoiding Europe's malaise, however, is its low taxes — and status as a tax haven. The country offers the second-lowest overall corporate tax rate among EU and European free-trade-agreement-bound countries, according to the Financial Times, and it rakes in more than 10% of global foreign direct investment. That has encouraged banks from around the world to set up shop in one of the smallest countries in Europe, and it has benefited Luxembourg citizens greatly.
1: Qatar, $96,992 per capita GDP
Qatar, home to 1.8 million people, is the Middle East's wealthiest country and the region's top nation in terms of human development. The country is the global leader in liquefied-natural-gas exports, and it boasts more than 25 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.